So there I was, at the advanced age of sixty eight, published author an’ all, on the receiving end of the most withering of looks from my Russian teacher. ‘Where is your predicate, Laurie?’ she said, and I was darned if I had an answer for her.
My knowledge of grammar is threadbare. I must have been away the day they did transitive and intransitive verbs. If you put me on the spot I still hesitate between ‘who’ and ‘whom’. And I start sentences with conjunctions. But not always. How very odd then that I became a writer and that the one place in the world where I feel I know what I’m doing is on the written page. I guess it’s like some people take naturally to platform diving without knowing the theory. If I should get too cocky and attempt three and a half literary somersaults in the tuck position there’ll always be an editor to clean up the mess when I go splat.
I also have trouble with the word ‘
wierd‘. Which is weird because I was spelling bee champion 1956-7, East Midlands Under Elevens, beating Brenda ‘The Swot’ Bracegirdle to the punch with ‘superfluous.’
I made that last bit up. Well hell, I am a novelist, hanging prepositions be damned.