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Grammar: Quotation Marks

My whole world has been turned upside down over the course of a few hours. Ever since I was a young twat, I have been reading and reading and reading, books large and small, fat and tall, full and thin. Never have I ever decided to analyze a fictional book for grammar until today. Never had I ever taken notice of the grammar usage in books, specifically the quotation marks around character dialogue.

My world has been flipped, the disaster triggered by a simple observation I made while re-reading the Fablehaven series, written by Brandon Mull. A very simple observation with very simple rules behind it that has a very simple explanation involving something I had always believed myself to be proficient in; grammar.

While many people will laugh in my face and tell me that I am a fool for not noticing sooner, I shall explain to you the epiphany I came to just yesterday. (Or was it the day before?) While reading books, I never thought to pay attention to the grammar that finished, or continued, a line of dialogue. The obvious things stuck out to me: the use of quotation marks, the creation of a new paragraph whenever a new character spoke, and even the importance of understanding exclamation marks and question marks. However, I suppose the simplest things would be the ones that slipped my notice. The commas! The capitalization! Despair is all that I can feel now that it has come to light in my mind. Here, I shall give a demonstration of something I may have written just a few days ago and believed to be alright

Dru grasped his friend’s wrist, forcing her to turn around and stare into his eyes. “Terry, please, come with me.” He said, placing his hands over hers with a plea in his eyes. “You’ll die if you go alone!”

Just looking at this now causes me pain. Oh, the humanity that I have been subject to for all these years! Now, to prove my point, I will rewrite the previous passage in a grammatically correct way, and allow you the laugh that many others will already have had just looking at the passage.

Dru grasped his friend’s wrist, forcing her to turn around and stare into his eyes, “Terry, please, come with me,” he said, placing his hands over hers with a plea in his eyes. “You’ll die if you go alone!”¬†

Do you see it now? That, which causes me so much pain, is what was held right in front of my face for all of these years–so close, yet so far. Never had the thought occurred to me that two quotes, two pieces of dialogue, or two fragments of a sentence, could be, nay, should be a part of the same sentence! What a fool I’ve been, how much pain I’ve caused–simply due to the one observation my brain was too foolish to come across. Commas! The curse brought about by the ancients on the English language.

Laugh all you’d like. I’ve already laughed my fill. Foolish self, duped by my own self-confidence. Let this be a lesson to all–YOU NEVER KNOW EVERYTHING!


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Does anyone ever wonder about how life is supposed to go? In an ideal world, everyone would have two parents (genders non-disclosed) or maybe more that love them very much. In this same ideal reality, their parents would do their very best to help their children get what they need and do what they want while being supportive of said child’s beliefs and dreams. Of course, then life has to come in and change all of that.

As I am growing into adulthood, I have come to realize a few things. Parents aren’t anything like the ideal parents I described above. Yes, they love us. Yes, they care for us, and yes, they try their best to show us the most support when it comes to our hopes and dreams. Unfortunately, in reality, parents have their own goals, their own dreams, and their own ideals. When their lives mix with our lives, and one or the other can’t mediate it, it becomes an endless spiral of misery that makes both parties go insane.

When you hear the story as to how I got to this conclusion, you’ll probably think I’m being melodramatic, but hold out ’till the end? My parents are split up, one of them doesn’t really care what happens to me because he has older children who have already disappointed and made him proud. (They’re like twenty years older than me.) The other one is, well, amazing. But, for some reason, I just keep finding every reason to piss her off or piss myself off while she’s around. I recently have gotten to the time when I need to file my taxes for the first time. She gives me long-winded speeches about how filing your taxes is great, and how I can get money back when I file them, and how her taxes are going, and so on and so forth. However, every time I ask her to help me file them, she goes off, does something, and ignores me. I figure, I can do my taxes on my own, right? I’m an adult. Then, of course, I get half way through, ask her a question because my (b**a$$) can’t figure out what it means and she doesn’t answer me. Greeeat.

Now, this is just one of many interactions that people have with their parents very often. (Probably.) It’s probably something that everyone has to figure out on their own, right? That’s what I hope because if it isn’t, I’m in for a pretty rude awakening. Ahh, life. How it loves to $#@! me over.