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I am the daughter of an English teacher

"Knock. Knock." "Who's there?" "It is I". Never, "me". I used to look down my nose at people whose grammar was incorrect; who ended phrases with prepositions; who wrote run-on sentences; who led untidy lives. I make lists, plan schedules, always choose 'best' over 'good' and ''better'. Grandchildren show me the compositions that are marked A. I always got good grades. If I came home with a 97 on my report card, my father would say (only partly joking) "what happened to the other three points?" For many years I worked very hard for those three points. Life, however, is untidy. I've learned that a person's character is more important than his grammar; that 'good enough' can lead to satisfaction and happiness; that children are completely lovable no matter what their schoolwork shows; that the best-laid plans don't always work out; that schedules are the basis for change. I try hard to be flexible. Although I seldom achieve it, I admire spontaneity. I've learned languages and ways of life that are different from English. I know that double negatives can, in the end, be positive. Life can be a run-on sentence. The language of love has no correct grammar.

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Saturday, 29 January 2022

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