You are free to point out/correct/lambaste me on any grammatical error that is not listed below. In fact, you are still free to point out/correct/lambaste me on any grammatical error listed below if you truly think it will help me change my ways and see the light. Just don’t expect me to.
Your violent reactions are truly appreciated and will be used in helping me become a better writer (or not). Thank you.
~ No. 1 ~
I fully support and endorse the use of the Oxford comma. I fully believe that everyone who uses the Oxford comma deserves a hug, a kiss, and a pat on the back.
~ No. 2 ~
I start a large number of sentences with conjunctions and interjections. My high school English teachers did not like this. But my editor says that it’s better to write the way you speak as long as you’re understood. And I must say that I agree more with my editor.
~ No. 3 ~
I also tend to overuse parentheses. For this I am extremely sorry and you can trust that I avoid doing this in my professional writing. It’s just that I tend to have a million side thoughts on any given statement and parentheses just seem the best way to separate them from the main idea.
And speaking of parentheses…
~ No. 4 ~
Many will question my Ingles (read: English) skills due to inordinate number of errors in punctuation when it involves parentheses and/or quotation marks. But I will insist on being wrong about this.
In case you want to know, I use one simple rule in mathematics and computer science to determine where I place punctuation: You must close all statements.
It’s simple: You cannot write [3*(2+1]). It must always be [3*(2+1)] because you need to close the inner brackets () before the outer brackets . Otherwise, your calculator will be very mad at you.
In the same way “The cat ate the mouse (not the rat.)” looks very wrong to me. In my opinion*, it should be “The cat ate the mouse (not the rat).” so that the idea “not the rat” is safely closed before the sentence ends. I am more likely to believe a calculator than some stingy linguist.
In the same way, I close sentences I place within parentheses even if I have to close the sentence right after the parentheses immediately after.
This is the only rule that makes sense to me. I am stubborn about this and will not apologize even to my editors who have to painstakingly “correct” this. Think of me as you will.
* “In my opinion today is a Thursday. I don’t care if you or the calendar say it’s a Friday. It’s my opinion and I believe you should respect my opinion.” – This is a direct quote from my younger sister.
(That is, I am aware this is a failure in logic. But I will continue to be stubborn.)