November 3, 2015

Grammar Police: Spare a Thought for Us.


Here is a poem to encourage us all to stop and think.

It’s a very vulnerable insight into a side of me,
A side that is not as strong, or as positive, as I usually present myself to be.
It’s a side that gets frustrated when it tries to write a text,
And gets stuck writing a word that isn’t so complex.

Just yesterday, I was having a text conversation.
I had the line in mind the one I wanted to say,
But the sentence had a word that I could not display.
I tried it one way, I tried it another;
I took a moment and tried the other.
I looked and looked and could not see and so I rewrote a sentence that for most would be so simple.

This side of me accepts I have to ask for help and trust someone to proof read my emails—even though I’m 32.
This side knows I will always have to work to be creative in my role.
This side is one that I try to hide and do not speak about.
It’s a side that slows me down and fills me up with doubt.
I have a test to do for work soon…
From a course the team went on and I am very very worried that I will not be able to pass.
And how will I handle that, I ask?

This is not a poem asking for a lot;
Just a little understanding for a group that’s often forgot.

I saw a post the other day asking for support,
A friend going through a rough patch.
Something we could not see but would try to understand,
Something we would love them for and be there to hold their hand.
But then I saw another post later in the week,
From that same person—the one that I accept,
Shaming people for their use of spelling and grammar that’s incorrect.

It made me really angry,
It made me count to three.

To that person I say spare a thought for me.
It is not always easy to just write the word I need,
Some of us do struggle with something you can’t see,
Something we have had since birth—
A learning difficulty.

Though we may laugh it off when someone says that we are wrong,
Those words hurt more and more as time goes on and on.
Because although they are only pointing out a silly oversight,
I am really reading their correction and thinking ‘oh right’.

People tell me little rhymes to remember different words,
When I say that I just sprinkle a little grammar in here and there,
People think that I’m absurd.

I don’t feel so happy when I sit down for a test
And know that even if I do my best—
Even though I know my stuff—
I will not do very well because my answers will not read the way that I intend.
And even though I get more time to read my answers through,
I probably won’t correct the things that you would expect me to.

I do not feel too lucky when people look down on me for not going to uni,
For not getting a degree.
If uni was all speaking it would be a breeze,
But it’s revising, essays and coursework
Which is just too bad for me.

Imagine feeling stupid every single day or everyone telling you to take more time and check your work back through.

It might be simple for you, but for me it’s really tough.
Unless I know a word is wrong,
When I check my work back through
I’m an unlikely to make a change;
And anyway, what on earth would I change it to?

I would have liked to be a teacher but that’s just not a possibility.
I wouldn’t want my child to learn English from me!

I wanted you to take a moment and spare a little thought,
Sometimes there are other things that you cannot see
Something that’s obvious for you—
Is not quite so for me.


Who Says Pirates Have to Have Poor Grammar?

Author: Jessica Perry

Editor: Sarah Kolkka

Images: www.audio-luci-store.it/Flickr

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Jessica Perry