I once worked for a company where supposedly my job was communications. Oddly enough, I was never allowed to send any communications until a certain V.P (a.k.a. Queen) reviewed it for “grammar.” This did not offend me because I know my grammar is average and I am fine being of average grammar. It simply means I can relate to the general population to which I proudly belong.

There was a reason - behind the reason - as to why The Grammar Queen insisted on reviewing my communications. The intent was not so much due to her command of grammar as it was to the control of it.  She consistently changed the words I wrote not because they were incorrect, but because she believed my writing was that of a court jester and she was after all, The Grammar Queen. You may ask why a company would pay me to write communications only to have them cremated by another? Beats me.


A communication was needed to send to 2,000+ clients. As always, The Queen cut, twisted and otherwise made mincemeat of what I had written. She sent it to the clients with nary a look behind her whalebone-stiffened petticoat.  The last line of the message stated “…and we thank you for your forbearance.” Forbearance? Seriously? I had to get out my Webster to see if it the word still existed.


I am thinking not since the Pilgrims at their last Thanksgiving feast was the word “forbearance” uttered.  “Good day, Prudence. I will fetch you a sarsaparilla in short measure and I am grateful for your forbearance.”


Even if the word is still listed with Webster (it is), why would you ever pull it out of its dusty archive? People. I implore you. Speak today’s English, not the King’s English (even if you are the Queen).  Following this bustle of quaint verbiage, I knew I finally had the gunpowder to fill my musket and aim it to the powers-that-be to reel in said Queen's control. But alas, I remained the imprudent jester.


If you are wondering if my roust did in fact change any imminent communiqué dispatched by the company, the answer is no. In point of fact, The Grammar Queen still wields her power and I jumped the moat and banished myself from that particular castle.


And as I end this missive, I just want to let you know that I appreciate your forbearance. Seriously.

Views: 1011

Comment by Jerry Albright on November 29, 2012 at 3:08pm

I like your style Bonnie.  Keep writing!

Comment by Amber on November 29, 2012 at 3:19pm

Great after lunch read, Bonnie!

Comment by Bonnie Brooks on November 29, 2012 at 3:25pm

Thanks Jerry & Amber...appreciate the feedback!

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on November 29, 2012 at 6:46pm

love it. the recruiting team got a good giggle out of someone using "preamble" in a sentence today.

Comment by Christopher Perez on November 30, 2012 at 9:03am

That was fun, Bonnie.

As a rule of thumb, you should write for the intended audience if your objective is to build rapport, be understood, and maintain "reader comfort". People shouldn't have to go back and re-read things numerous time in order to get your meaning, or interrupt their reading by trips to the dictionary. But what if the client audience is the Etymological Society of North Umbria? They might call for a more elevated, even stuffy, writing voice. It all depends.

If you are writing as an outlet I think it's ok to adopt any voice you choose. It becomes the signature aspect of your style. It won't be for everyone but you probably don't care. For me, that's one of the enjoyable things about RBC-- we get treated to a wide range of entertaining writing styles.

I pray it isn't obsequious of me to prevail upon you to continue regaling us thusly.   --Chris

Comment by Josue Chavez on November 30, 2012 at 10:09am

Keep up the good work Bonnie!

Comment by Deepa on November 30, 2012 at 4:50pm

too funny!! I forbid you to write anything but the King's English, Bonnie! very entertaining :)

Comment by Bonnie Brooks on December 3, 2012 at 8:48am

Appreciate the comments everyone!

P.S. And Chris....I only write in my own voice no matter who I'm addressing but using my Webster's can be a source of merriment. You may rise from your kneeling posture as I am assured your sycophantic reply hath not besmirched my presently unblemished eminence.   

Comment by Christopher Perez on December 3, 2012 at 9:03am

We need a "like" button for replies like that, Bonnie. LOL!

Comment by Bonnie Brooks on December 3, 2012 at 9:08am

Love the like button idea!!


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