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    Grammar Mama

    “It’s a damn poor mind that can think of only one way to spell a word.”

    Andrew Jackson

    For some reason, Pip uses the phrase, “Alls I need…”  My husband never says, ‘ALLS,’ I’ve never used it, and I haven’t heard anyone else use it around Pip, so I have no idea where she heard it.    In the past, grammatical errors have been easily corrected with Pip, but  the dreaded ‘ALLS’ continues to pop up, despite my repeated corrections.  The other day I tried a new tactic; to be more specific…

    “Pip, you’re saying ‘ALLS’ instead of ‘ALL’…there’s no ‘S’ after the word ALL.”

    “But I like S’s Mama.”

    “I like S’s too, Honey, and we can use them in lots of words, but everybody who speaks English says ‘ALL,’ they don’t say ‘ALLS.’

    “But it doesn’t matter what everybody else does, right Mama?”  Right theory, wrong application, but how to explain this to a three-year-old?

    “When we use words to speak to each other, we want people to understand what we’re saying, so it’s important that we use words properly.  If you say ‘alls’ instead of ‘all,’ people might not know what you mean.”

    Yet again, words were coming out of my mouth that I didn’t really believe.  Pip must think I’m an idiot sometimes.  Of course people will understand her if she says, “Alls I want to do is read.”  That one little ‘s’ isn’t powerful enough to alter the meaning of her sentence, it’s simply incorrect grammar, and it drives me nuts!

    I don’t claim to be a Grammar-Guru, but there are examples of poor English all around us.  One of my personal pet peeves is the use of ‘there’s’ instead of ‘there are.’ Example: “There’s a lot of leaves on the ground,” is grammatically incorrect, yet you hear it all the time.  If you take away the apostrophe, you’re really saying, ‘there is a lot of leaves on the ground,’ instead of , ‘there are a lot of leaves on the ground.’  Once again, the meaning isn’t altered by the poor grammar, but it’s still wrong!

    I’m sure that I make errors in my writing and my speech,  and when I do, I would like to know about them!  I will humbly thank you if you point out a grammatical error of mine.  I want to know!  I hope to instill the same desire to learn in my children, which is why I’m not going to give up on the eradication of ‘ALLS.’

    Although I wasn’t satisfied with my ‘correct usage’ explanation, Pip seemed to be, and I am happy to report that ‘ALLS’ hasn’t been uttered in quite some time.  If and when it does reappear, I’ll have to be ready for it.  In the end, alls I want is for my daughter to speak good.  (Cringe.)

    3 comments to Grammar Mama

    • Sue

      Karen she may not be thanking it for you now, but she will definitely thank you for it later. It drove me crazy when my ‘English’ father was constantly correcting my speech when I was young. As I grew up though I was more and more thankful of all that he taught me. It helped to give the confidence to face almost any situation. Keep up the great work!

    • Karen

      Great reinforcement Sue! Thank you!

    • I’m a stickler with grammar too. I love blogs, but one thing about reading self-published material is that I also end up reading so many spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes! It drives me batty. Your writing is definitely free of those, thankfully. (Teacher!) My pet peeve is when “there” is used instead of “their”, or “your” instead of “you’re”.

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