Jan Goldfield

best-selling author
A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining Your Pond

available online

I was born a curmudgeon. 

As soon as I was self aware, I started asking questions.  Mostly of my family because, duh, those were the only people I knew.  I questioned values mainly and then not my grandparents because they spoiled me, gave me ice cream, homemade bread and blueberry pie. So that left my parents.  They were 25ish years old when I began asking questions.  They had never ventured beyond the confines of their small town upbringing so were ill equipped to answer this little shrill voiced child they were trying to bring up.  

I was brought to church, one of those "Jonathan Edwards, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" sort of churches.  We were hollered at by an old white man behind the pulpit who convinced us to hate everyone who was not like us and not think all that much of ourselves either.  

As you can imagine, that brought questions.  The haranguing just made no sense to a curious, questioning 6 year old.  And no answers were forthcoming. And by the way, they still are not.

I managed to make it through high school in Grand Haven, MI, the town of my birth and get a scholarship to Michigan State University.  Whew, that was my escape from that hidebound conservative town and my exposure to the rest of the world. At least the one Michigan State offered.  That was 1959.  In a couple of years, I was involved in women's rights, civil rights, sit ins and starting my lifelong and continuing battle for equal rights for everyone.  The battle were hard fought, but I still think that the generation who came of age in the 60's changed the country for the better.

I never had a job.  I always supported myself by doing something I wanted to do and was good enough at to convince people to pay me to do it.  I still have never had a J O B, only self employment through all these years. 

I would love to explore these alternative lifestyles in the future.  

Do you have one? Or did you follow your parents' rules. Or maybe they were the same.  Let's talk.


I Object to Your Bad Grammar


C'mon people. Please start learning and using good grammar and spelling. We can't understand what you want to say when you use loose instead of lose. Or their instead of there or they're. Learn the difference between hear and here. And fergawd's sake, no more apostrophe esses on the ends of words unless it's a contraction. See: It's. Contraction for it is. Easy, right? Well do it then.

Teachers, are you teaching grammar? Do any of you teach your students about hour and our, affect and effect? Do you know the difference?


you really don't know what you are talking about because you don't know how to tell us

Is it because I write for a living that I object to your bad grammar and spelling? I don't think so.

I think it's (see, a contraction again) because I love to read and therefore want to understand what you are writing and I simply cannot do it when I see your instead of you're. It distracts from what you are saying and makes us look at all your mistakes instead of reading what you have to say. It also makes us think you really don't know what you are talking about because you don't know how to tell us what you are talking about.

Do you just not care? If you don't care, stop writing. If you didn't learn, start now.

Read. That's a good way to learn good grammar.



Fishing for Jan's Curmudgeon Column Links?

Here they are.

Jan Goldfield, Sage Companion





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