"I" Before "E" Exceptions by Me

I just learned that I have a new power!

I can rewrite the rules of English grammar. No, I wasn’t bitten by a spelling bee or a writing spider, although that would be a cool concept for a story.

Other people give us power. Mine came from a participant in last week’s Business Writing class.

At the end of the one day class, participants filled out the evaluation form to rate the instructor’s skills (that would be me) and the provided materials. The form, also, provides comment sections. Under the area that asks for recommendations for improvement to the class, a participant wrote, “Exceptions are confusing.”

This class devotes about two hours in the morning to common grammar mistakes. Exceptions to the rules are not typically covered during this time—because they can be confusing. We discussed a few rule exceptions because of questions that surfaced during the class. But really? A recommendation for improvement is to fix the exceptions to the rules of English grammar?

Wow, the power. It might go to my head!

I have some positional power—power given to me as the trainer. But positional isn’t where the real power exists. Real capability to motivate people and change things comes from personal power—power that others give you due to your reputation, capabilities, interpersonal skills, etc.

Now I don’t think this participant meant to convey extra personal power on me or thought that I could rewrite the rules, but I can’t help but chuckle over the idea that someone would write this comment under the recommendations section.

Oh well, as a writer, I plan to exert my newfound power whenever possible.

Psssst, most writers do tweak the rules, in case you didn’t know, but you didn’t hear that from me!

Happy writing everybody. Now, I need to find a writing spider or spelling bee to see if they do transfer special powers. Peter Parker watch out!

PS  A special thanks to the participant who acted as my muse this week.



Henry said…
Come on, Barbara, we all know you're part of the Language Secret Police. You could fix the exceptions any time you wanted to. After all, it's the LSP that inserted those exceptions in the first place (because it's so much easier to control a populace confounded by confusing grammar rules).
Shh, we must never speak of this.
Valerie said…
I'm so glad I didn't have to learn English spelling and pronunciation as a foreign language! When my grandchildren and I use letter cards to spell rhyming words, I realize how many exceptions there are. Words that rhyme with Go: Bow, Sew, Though...

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