« No shrinking violet | Main | One Writes Because . . . »

Thursday Thirteen #11 - Grammar is a Piano


The emcee for the upcoming Literary Shift event asked the participants to respond to the following question: “If you were a punctuation mark, which one would you be and why?”

That got me to thinking about writing and grammar in general. (I chose a semi-colon - but that’s for another posting … )

And so, for this week’s Thursday Thirteen, I bring you 13 grammar-related quotes:

1. Grammar is a piano I play by ear. All I know about grammar is its power. ~ Joan Didion

2. Like everything metaphysical the harmony between thought and reality is to be found in the grammar of the language. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

3. Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar. ~ E. B. White

4. My spelling is wobbly. It’s good spelling but it wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places. ~A.A. Milne

5. Only in grammar can you be more than perfect. ~William Safire

6. Grammar is the logic of speech, even as logic is the grammar of reason. ~Richard C. Trench

7. Cut out all the exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke. ~ Author unknown

8. No iron can pierce the heart with such force as a period put just at the right place. ~ Isaac Babel

9. Damn the subjunctive. It brings all our writers to shame. ~ Mark Twain

10. Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers. ~ T. S. Eliot

11. You can be a little ungrammatical if you come from the right part of the country. ~ Robert Frost

12. At painful times, when composition is impossible and reading is not enough, grammars and dictionaries are excellent for distraction. ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

13. When a thought takes one’s breath away, a lesson in grammar seems an impertinence. ~ Thomas W. Higginson

del.ici.ous digg reddit StumbleUpon facebook Technorati Twitter


lol, totally agree with number 4.

Happy T13

Great T13. Those were well chosen. English was my best subject throughout school.

Thank you for commenting at my T13.

Excellent collection of quotes. My fave is #10, if only because it made me LOL!!

Yia sou Christine...And thank you for reading my blog and commenting on my TT....Literature and writing were my favourite subjects when I used to go to school many years ago..The quotes are very interesting...I'm definetly an exclamation mark...All that Greek drama and passion!!!

LOL! Then I would have to be an exclamation because I'm constantly laughing at my own jokes; well, not my jokes but my SELF.

Loved the list.

Well I wanted to say an ! but I know they're not politically correct, so maybe ".

I love these! Have you heard this one by Andrew Jackson: "It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word."

Your post reminds me of the old PBS show with Bill Cosby, Morgan freeman, and Rita Moreno. The Electric Company had lots of punctuation and especially exclamation points! (plus they had Spiderman too) Thanks for visiting my T13!

Cool list- very creative. My grammar may not be the best, but at least I try. Plus, I use spell check! By the way, I feel my grammar is being judged right now :P

I like AA Milne...it wobbles, ha! Fun list Christine :-)

Well done!

I like #11. I'm from the South...is that the right part of the country?

Nice TT!

I must be doomed. I love exclamation points! ;)
Thanks for popping by for TT :)

This is a breathtaking list of quotes. I love grammar - I fell in love with it in 8th grade, and it continues to be a passion. I'm delighted by this list! Thanks for your sweet visit to my site. This list inspires me immensely! Well done!

#10 is great. As a failed writer myself.

Great list! :) Very nice quotes. I've seen most of these before but writing quotes are such fun!

Ha ha, these are great. My poor students are going to love the Mark Twain one, which I plan to share with them tomorrow!

Awesome list. I especially enjoyed Robert Frost and A.A. Milne.

"Cut out all the exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke." Damn it - if i don't laugh at my jokes no one will. i'm really! really! really! bad! about lots!! of exclamation!!! points!

I like that list! Several of those quotes made me laugh (like the exclamation points. See, I'm laughing at my own jokes now, hehe)!

Thanks for visiting my list, too :-)

I love the wobbly spelling quote. I was afraid to visit because I thought maybe your link was a hint about mine... Happy TT.

I fully agree with 2, 5, 11 which I think he was referring to New England, in my case Bahwsten, and 13.

Which movies from my list did you add? I'm curious.

Be well and enjoy the day

This is an awesome list. I teach a grammar course in my day job and I may have to borrow some of these for it.

I love this TT. Great job finding the quotes.

I really enjoyed "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" by Lynn Truss. I bet you would too.

What a great list of quotes - wobbly words - cute.

I love this TT, great job

Great quotes Christine, you and Rhian have got me T13ing now!

Love these quotes, Christine! I had a hard time picking which I love most. I felt very attracted to number 1, I'd have to say. =)

Wow, what an awesome idea for a TT! I love those quotes. And I hadn't seen but a couple of them before now -- thanks so much for sharing! :) I absolutely love T. S. Eliot and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, E.B. White, A.A. Milne, and Mark Twain.

Happy TT, and thank you for visiting my blog.

You have a good list of quotes here.

I absolutely love these quotes. These are ones I would have never found myself. Thanks for finding them. I particularly like #3.