I remember learning a lot in 6th grade. My family moved to Ridgefield, NJ and it had only been 2 years since we moved to the states. My English was mediocre, but I was determined to learn a lot. In fact, we had lived in upstate New York for my 5th grade year, where I was the only Asian in the class. I learned a lot of English that year, and even graduated from ESL. By the end of the year, I was only one level behind on English & Reading. It helped that there weren’t any other Koreans around to translate anything for me. I had to adapt, and quickly. And I did.
In 6th grade, my teacher gave us weekly spelling tests and randomly asked us how to spell certain words throughout the week. One day, she called on me. She asked, “How do you spell the word, surprise?”
I got a little nervous, but I knew how to spell the word. I said, “S-U-R-P-R-I-S-E”.
She then corrected me. “No, that is incorrect. That is not how to spell ‘surprise’. It’s S-U-P-R-I-S-E.”
I was baffled, since I was sure that I had spelled it correctly. But I didn’t have enough courage to challenge my teacher. How could I be right and my teacher be wrong? There was no way. So I went home with the new spelling in my mind. I soon discovered that I was right all along, since that is a word used rather frequently in our daily conversations. I never corrected my teacher, but I remember this story from time to time. That year, I got 100% on every spelling test that was given to us and won a trip to Dairy Queen.
I don’t know what it is about grammar that fascinates me. Perhaps it’s my tendency to cling onto rules and standards; and most of the time there are clear-cut, very black and white rules in grammar. I can’t say that I could ever teach an advanced class in grammar, but I am pretty well-versed in it and have earned the title of “Grammar Fairy” by one of my friends. This new age of technology, where grammar has pretty much gone out the window, vexes me to no end. I have even corrected the grammar of well-known authors and writers on blog sites and always notice grammar errors in books and other published material. I’m probably a bit obnoxious about it, though I try to correct gently. I don’t know. It just really bothers me. And then I eat my own words when I find a grammar mistake in one of my posts.
There really isn’t a point to this blog post except to state officially that I am a Grammar Fairy. Don’t be surprised if I try to blow some fairy dust your way. 😉