Welcome! I'm Cookie's Mom. You can learn all about Cookie and why I blog here: About Cookie's Chronicles. If you're new here, you may want to SUBSCRIBE TO MY RSS FEED. Thanks for stopping by! Pull up a beach chair and be my guest, won't you?

Friday, January 23, 2015

In Defence of the Grammar "Nazi"

Yesterday, the following image was shared on Facebook with this text: "Once again I'll say it... we don't create the posts, we just share the ones we think you'll appreciate. Yes, there may be spelling or grammar errors, but can't you see beyond them?" ~ Source: Hippie Peace Freaks on Facebook (Great page. Check them out!)

In the comments, several people corrected the spelling error. Then others called those people out for missing the message, and one person called them all "grammar nazi's" (attempting, presumably, to refer to them in the plural form, rather than to their possessions… but I digress… although, only slightly).

I admit that I am a fan of good grammar. My mother was an English teacher, and I am a writer. I have edited books. I have probably even used the term Grammar Nazi to describe myself, but that ends today. The Nazi party was a racist group of people that no one should want to be associated with. I'm a "word nerd". I enjoy creating things with words. How words go together matters to me. Anyone who enjoys reading, whether they are grammar fans or not, can appreciate this love that I have for the written word. When I saw the above post, I understood the sentiment, but I felt compelled to present the grammarian's view, at least as I understand it.

Here's what I said:

In defence of grammarians, who can actually provide a valuable service, it IS difficult to ignore the errors. It's in our nature to spot them. It might even be our job to do so. That doesn't mean we can't enjoy the message, but it does diminish at least the initial effect for us. To us, it's as if the message is written in a foreign language that we first have to convert to one we understand. Worse, it might even create a negative visceral reaction in us, something like walking through a park on a beautiful day and stepping in dog poop that someone didn't care to bend down and pick up. I'm not condoning the degradation of others for a lack of skill or time or patience in creating error-free posts, but I do understand their frustration. In the eyes of the grammarian, proper grammar and spelling make the world a more beautiful place. We tend to think, How much more lovely this *might* have been had the author taken the time to check the spelling and grammar before posting it, and we tend to forget that not everyone has the necessary skills to do so. Let us all practice patience when judging errors in grammar and spelling, and patience for the grammarians who just want to make the world a more beautiful place.

All right, let me have it. What are your views? How do we all learn to get along? Surely there is space both for those who just want to express themselves without being lambasted for their imperfections along side those with a desire to clean up the poop, if you will, of the world of words.

Note that just because I am a professed grammarian doesn't mean that I always get it right. (Maybe there are errors in this very post. Let me know if you spot one!) We all make mistakes, so, in theory, we can all empathize with others when they do. Maybe one way to increase our tolerance of others' mistakes is to make some ourselves, on purpose. Here's a little experiment I tried:

It is so ingrained in me, the need to be grammatically correct, that I could let nothing leave my computer that wasn't double and triple checked, until I decided to let go of that compulsion in favour of saving time. I thought about all the time I spent checking my spelling and grammar, and what I could do with that time instead. I thought about other people who manage to share things with errors in them, and yet are not struck dead by lightening. I knew I could practice making mistakes in safe places like email and texts, that my friends would understand and not judge me for a few spelling errors here and there, and that it might even give them permission to do the same. I had to let the errors go on purpose at first. I couldn't not see them. Great exercise. I highly recommend it. I still think that if something is going to be published, it should be free of errors, but I'm working on being more forgiving around that too. 


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Cookie's Book Club Annual Christmas Giveaway

The Cookie's Book Club Annual Christmas Giveaway is on now.


Visit Cookie's Book Club for details and your chance to win great prize packages!

Plus, visit 100+ other bloggers to enter to win more great prizes.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Rain on a Distant Roof: A Personal Journey Through Lyme Disease in Canada
By Vanessa Farnsworth

On the book blog today…

New interview with Vanessa Farnsworth about her novel Rain on a Distant Roof: A Journey Through Lyme Disease in Canada, plus I'm giving away a paperback copy of her novel.

Until November 11th, enter to WIN a copy of Vanessa's powerful memoir, at Cookie's Book Club.

While battling Lyme Disease and the medical system that mostly ignores its existence, journalist Vanessa Farnsworth did a lot of research. She's something of an expert on what Lyme Disease is and how it is (mis)managed in Canada.

Have a question for Vanessa? Come check out the interview and ask her!

You can also join us for an up-coming Twitter Q&A, November 12th at 6pm MST. Use hashtag #LymeInCanada to follow and participate. (Further instructions can be found in the interview post.)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Allergy-free Paradise:
Sparkling Hill, Vernon, BC

Recently, my husband and I enjoyed some much-needed R&R at a jewel of a place in Vernon, BC.

Sparkling Hill Resort sits atop a cliff overlooking the pristine Lake Okanagan.

We were fortunate enough to be able to spend six nights at Sparkling Hill Resort, and by the end it felt a little like we were leaving home.

Sparkling Hill Resort is the brainchild of Austrian Gernot Langes-Swarovski. The design includes 1.9 million Swarovski crystals. We found them in all sorts of places, studding the backs of chairs and even hanging from trees outside our window, catching the sunlight and sending shards of colour across the sky.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Acceptance for Positive Change
- or -
Stop Nagging Already!

Today, I accepted the fact that I am a nag. I nag my son all morning long, beginning with light nags like "It's time to get dressed now" and "Don't forget to turn off the light in your bedroom." Eventually, no matter how many nags I issue, we are behind schedule and in our last five minutes the nags are coming fast and furious. "You've got x, y, and z still to do and you've got two minutes to do them in." "We need to be out the door in one minute." "We're late!" "RUN!!!"

Not only does this stress mama out, it creates a tension between junior and I that I don't like. After all, we only have this short hour of togetherness before he's gone to school all day. I also don't want the start to his day to be stressful. My constant reminders about what he has to do and when he has to do it also relieve him of any responsibility for anything. He knows I am watching the clock, so why should he? He knows I'll remind him if he forgets something, so why listen the first time?

Today, I decided to take responsibility for what I was doing, instead of blaming him for what he was not doing. Today was day one of my son's new life as a responsible six-and-a-half-year-old. This morning, he was responsible for everything, including keeping track of the time and what he had to get done. He has a watch and he can read it. He knows the morning routine. Guess what? We made it to the bus on time. Yes, we had to sprint, but we made it. No stress and a light workout. Awesome.

Have a responsible day! :)


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mama's Lasagna
made gluten-free, of course, and with a reduced glycemic index option

An aunt recently exclaimed about my lasagna that it was the best lasagna she has ever had. That's high praise considering it had been in the freezer for a year! We haven't eaten dairy in about that long, so it just sat there. I finally gave it to someone who would love it. I thought, since I am sharing the recipe with her, I would share it with you all too!

Photo source: Chatelaine.com

My mama's lasagna is super easy to make. Her recipe goes like this: