Tag Archives: English

Misspelling, Punctuation and Grammar…

Ever get really frustrated at people who misspell ‘definitely’? I do…but it was in my early twenties when I realised the correct spelling was not ‘definately’… *hangs head in shame*
I know I’m not an expert in the English language, I wish I was…but I’m not. My writing strengths are in my imagination and capturing a story…but I have to work hard at the editing and grammar side of things. I have to restudy syntax and all those other grammar related words when I come across them!

I had a fantastic English teacher in High School…full of vivid enthusiasm and passion for the subject, and I loved English. I was inspired and encouraged then he left and was replaced by an eternally dull pedant who made it her place to tell me, in no uncertain terms, that my work was not as good as I thought it was. She then proceeded to mark me down every opportunity she had. For a while I felt crushed and rebellious, and perhaps my fifteen-year-old self would blame her for my rejection of sixth form.

I feel that I missed out when I see so many writers with degrees and writing qualifications, and I wish I’d chosen to study further. I truly have no idea why I didn’t. I had a place in sixth form and top marks in English and Art, but I found myself a full-time job in the Summer holidays and that was it! No one tried to change my mind and I got no opposition to work. I feel very strongly these days about my own children completing their education and I encourage them purposefully to take their A-levels, so it surprises me that my own parents didn’t protest at my decision to leave school, but leave at sixteen I did. I often wonder what direction my life would have taken if I’d done things differently. I did eventually get an A-level in English at evening classes, but I’m afraid my result wasn’t my best…I was too busy meeting my husband and falling in love!

Recently on Facebook someone posted a link and when I read it, I grinned and thought: I wish I’d been taught like this… a few simple lessons with visuals and humour…might have made it stick better!

Click on the links below…

Five Sentence Fiction: Shiver

The word is: Shiver
‘Her heart hammered and she was sure it could be heard thumping against the wall of her breast. She pushed backwards, her cold, clammy hands stretched flat against the damp brick. Fingernails dug deep into the mortar, splintering as she strained her ears to hear…nothing, and she wanted to breathe, but couldn’t. A putrid stench permeated the alley and the foul odour assaulted her nose despite her breath still caught in her constricted throat. Hot sweat dripped from her cold, shivering body as she began to slip into unconsciousness, his hands still clasped around her throat…’

And a new twist…my son is struggling with English at school, he’s always found creative writing difficult, and with GCSE’s on the horizon, we thought this exercise would be great practise for sentence structure and creative writing…so here’s Dan’s try (influenced by Michael Morpurgo’s ‘War Horse’) he really enjoyed having a go:
‘The lieutenant could see his horse shivering with nerves because he had to go to war the next day, so he practised and practised with his lieutenant, eventually night fall came. 
Today was the day that the horse had to go to war, and the horse ran and ran down to the enemy trenches trampling over dead bodies then an enemy sniper’s bullet skimmed his lieutenant’s leg, so he ran for help. On the way back an enemy jumped onto his best friend, another horse, after he shot his rider and as he kicked him flying off, the enemy shot him dead. The horse was concentrating on his best friend that died and his lieutenant got shot in the head, and the horse ran back as fast as lightning. When he got back the nurse looked at him and could feel the horse’s breath on her arm as she looks at his legs covered with scars.’