I’m not going to soften the blow; I’m going to give it to you straight. I love grammar. I mean, LOVE it. When I was a little girl, my sister and I used to diagram sentences during playtime. You know, for fun and giggles.
Like most grammar lovers, I’m of the school of thought that grammar is the foundation, the root system, the bedrock…pick your metaphor. Without it, things fall apart. I used to teach writing in college (the dreaded first-year requirement, among other classes), and I got a lot of “why does it matter if there’s a comma splice there?” and “nobody cares about this anyway.” Or my favorite: “but [insert upstanding citizen writer here] broke that rule!” To which I respond, a) it matters to Mom, and b) grammar gets super-fun when you know it well enough to break the rules.
I try not to be too much of a grammar snob, but I confess I will stop reading if something is egregiously unedited. Primarily because it’s too much work for me to figure out what the writer is trying to say, and I’m lazy like that. That said, I know no one is perfect. I expect I have made and will continue to make plenty of mistakes in writing I send out to the masses. I do cringe a little when I see one after the fact, especially if it’s in a submission. Gah! But if my CP catches something, or if instinct tells me I’m on the wrong track, a tiny piece of my heart warms. Then I get to learn something new, and it’s a little like being back at the kitchen table on a hot summer day, laughing with my big sister over a gerund or two.