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On Punctuation and Grammar: Let It Go

A Guest Post –
by Dominique Fruchtman

I don’t have a blog of my own (as of this writing), so I asked my good friend Brian if I could be a guest poster for the purpose of making this important point. 

About letting things go.

See how that sentence above wasn’t a proper sentence? And yet, I’m letting it go.

Brian and I share the oft annoying habit of being the self-imposed grammar and punctuation police, frequently to the hair-tearing distress of our other friends or anyone who comes within our orbit. Up until now, we couldn’t help it. But Brian recently told me that he is trying harder to “let it go”. He may even have referenced the recent Disney fairy tale Frozen and its Oscar-Winning hit, “Let It Go,”.

I, however, recall a different “Let It Go” from 1984 by an obscure artist called Luba. By chance, I heard a piece of it today that spoke to me:

Uniformity

Conventionality

Is the bane of our existence

Keep it safely at a distance

Nonconformity

Unconventionality

Is too good to be

Let your hair down

Can’t you see

Let it go

I think this is where we, as humans, need to straddle a fine line: How do you compose a resume that will get you a great job? By spelling everything correctly? By having perfect punctuation and grammar. At the same time, being able to tolerate this on an A-frame chalkboard.

Todays Special’s 

while walking down the street past your favorite neighborhood cafe without losing your mind.

It’s entirely possible that your favorite cook might not be a great Punctuator, but he makes a soup that knocks your socks off, so he is instantly forgiven! Are his chalkboard crimes worthy of crucifixion? Does it hurt his business? Do people scoff and shake their fists skyward, shouting, “This guy can’t punctuate, so he must not be able to make a soup worth a damn! Let’s get out of here.”

Or does it make him charming?

Until recently, I fell into the former category. People’s stock went distinctively down and I found it a severely unflattering trait when someone couldn’t conjugate, punctuate, don’t know how to grammar, or worse, didn’t care. For me, Smart is the new Sexy.

I am intentionally not going to review this post, this hot mess of free association, for structure, grammar and perfection. I am just going to allow it to Be. This post is my contribution to my letting it go. This effort strengthens my belief that there are times when it’s okay — maybe even better than okay — to relax the rules and enjoy life, to give the Grammar Police a well-deserved day off and just Let It Go.