Monthly Archives: September 2013

Visit from the Grammar Police

Grammar police car

The Grammar Police: Always vigilant in protecting the world from bad writers. Image courtesy of kconnors, Morguefile.

POLICE STATION–INTERIOR

POLICE CAPTAIN: Okay, people, it’s time to lock up this bad writer. He’s committed multiple grammatical errors for years — misplacing his modifiers, running on his sentences, mixing up his pronouns, and messing up his subject and verb agreements. And worse yet…

GROUP OF POLICE OFFICERS: Yes?

POLICE CAPTAIN: He’s been dangling his participles! In public! (POLICE OFFICERS gasp.) Go get him. (POLICE OFFICERS race for their vehicles. Sirens begin to wail.)

HOME–LIVING ROOM INTERIOR

OFFENDING WRITER: (busily typing on computer keyboard, muttering to himself while listening to music through headphones): Okay, just a few more words and then I’m done… (OFFENDING WRITER jolts and rips off headphones as door is smashed in and POLICE OFFICERS stream into the room.) What the….?

POLICE OFFICER: FREEZE! Drop that keyboard!

OFFENDING WRITER: Umm…is there a problem, Officer?

ANOTHER POLICE OFFICER: Yeah! Your grammar is in serious trouble, mister. This city’s had to suffer your lousy writing for years. You’ve committed almost every grammatical error on our books and your spelling stinks! You’re an embarrassment to your company and to writers everywhere. How dare you call yourself a professional writer.

OFFENDING WRITER: I’ll stop! I’ll stop! Please, please, don’t take me in.

POLICE OFFICER: Too late. Our purpose is to serve and correct. Book him. You have the right to remain silent…(Miranda warning continues as OFFENDING WRITER is handcuffed, escorted to the back seat of a police car and driven to police station.)

JAIL CELL–INTERIOR

(Cell door opens and OFFENDING WRITER walks into jail cell as cell door clangs shut behind him. OFFENDING WRITER confronts intimidating INMATE.)

INMATE: So, what are you in for?

OFFENDING WRITER: Dangling my participles, among other things. You?

INMATE: I’ve got this problem with apostrophes. Just can’t control ’em. (leers at OFFENDING WRITER)

(OFFENDING WRITER slowly backs away into corner, looking terrified.)

COURT ROOM–INTERIOR

JUDGE: OFFENDING WRITER, you’ve repeatedly broken grammatical laws and created a public nuisance. I sentence you to 10 years in grammar prison. Use the time wisely to fix your bad writing habits. Or get an editor, for crying out loud!

OFFENDING WRITER: (sighs resignedly) Yes, Your Honor.

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