I went to a ‘special’ high school. Highbrow. Intellectual. Then, I went to a niche college. Then, I went to work in the world of words.
I have studied with and worked with words and wordy people since I was 14 years old.
I learned all the grammar rules. I learned all about style guides. I even, at some point, learned proof-readers’ marks.
Then, I got a life.
I moved from the US to the UK. I learned that there are two very different takes on what is commonly thought to be the same language.
I worked with a multi-national team. People who spoke 3, 4, 5 languages.
I worked with teams in France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Japan, Trinidad & Tobago, China, Iraq, Turkey, Brazil, Canada, and Angola.
I moved to Tottenham, where over 250 languages are spoken.
I had neighbours from Guyana, Jamaica, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Ghana, Poland, Romania, the list goes on and on. . . .
I moved to Wales. To Gwynedd of all places. Welsh is the language of choice here.
And I have been able to communicate with all of these people. All of them. Do we always use the same words? No. Is our grammatical style always the same? Nope. Are our accents and pronunciations different? You betcha. Is one of us right and the other wrong? I tend to think it matters not one bit as long as we are communicating and can understand each other.
Why am I telling you this?
Well, the eagle-eyed amongst you might have noticed that my spelling, punctuation, and word-choice swing from on type of English (British) to another (American). You will note that there are inconsistencies. You might even go so far as to say that I am ‘wrong’ in my use of quotation marks, spacing, commas, and spelling.
And I want you to know that I am just fine with that.
I’ll trade hand gestures, nodding, smiles, and genuine communication with beautiful people from around the globe for a fusty old style guide any day.