It’s funny. When I published The Apple Tree I was very excited to see the direct reaction my fiction would get on a site that featured comments. Ironically, though an irony apparently totally lost on some commentors, some people were more interested in my misuse of words than the story itself. I’m by no means a grammarian. I often tell people the either/or choice my college gave me: Sociolinguistics or Grammar. It never seemed like much of a choice to me. I know enough to construct the sentences in a way that feels right, and if a few rules get bent along the way, so be it. At the time, I was embarrassed. I felt like I’d let people down, wasted their time. Then I realized, like Ashley in the story, I was giving too much power to words. Words can’t wreck cars or kill people, but they can make you feel really bad about yourself. Especially when they are forbidden or formulated into rules to use as weapons. Ashley and I are stuck in a world where the damage is done, we just have to pick up the pieces and live with it.
P.S. The word, never spoken, in the story is … ain’t. 😉