Love them or hate them, they are part and parcel of writing.
We write because we love sharing stories with our readers and connecting with other people.
Whether in a novel or a news article, we write for a single purpose: to communicate. And every writing decision we make should revolve around one question – does this increase or decrease our ability to communicate with our audience?
But communicating isn’t as easy as it seems. Perfect communication isn’t an innate trait – between the mind and the pen (or keyboard), our thoughts do not always evolve into words as effectively as we’d like. We’ve all looked at our work at some point and felt the disappointment of knowing that it has little resemblance with the inspiration that exists in our head.
Grammar rules, and the art of breaking them
Our thoughts can lose clarity, substance, shape; in some cases, they lose meaning. No matter how much we try, we find ourselves hitting roadblocks as we write. And for many writers, one of those roadblocks is grammar rules.
These rules are drilled into us throughout school. Luckier students were given warnings when they ended sentences with prepositions; more unfortunate students failed tests because of it. And if you started a sentence with a conjunction? Hoo boy.
But grammar rules are a loose guideline, not a strict rulebook.
Rules should help shape the way we write rather than confine it. Formality at the expense of clarity is pompous, an effort in prioritizing the concerns of invisible grammar gatekeepers over the clear expression of your writing.
If people can’t understand your writing because you’ve dressed it up in perfect grammar, then why are you writing at all?
The point is not to ignore the rules or to dumb down your writing. Rules are important in your holistic understanding of writing. The point is to share what exists in your head to those around you in the clearest and most effective way possible. The moment that grammar rules begin getting in the way of this communication is the moment they become obsolete.
The Expert Editor has created this great infographic outlining 15 grammar rules you were probably taught in school, and why you can ignore them in your writing today. Check it out below.
Do you agree that the above grammar rules can be ignored or do you think we should still observe them? And are there other grammar rules we should ignore? Let me know in the comments below.