Glamour & Grammar & the Duchess of Cambridge

Welcome to the second edition of Glamour & Grammar, the blog series in which I address grammatical failures in pop culture.

 Allow me to begin with the thought process I went through before writing this post:

Is it okay to correct the grammar of royalty? Yes, just not to any royal faces.

Is it okay if the grammatical errors in question were made in a letter to a young cancer patient? No, probably not.

But if it were okay, then I'd point out that Kate Middleton's been having some comma trouble lately.

I would let you know that the comma trouble surfaced in a note Kate wrote to a little boy whom she met in a children's cancer unit. I might even post the note on my blog and turn the problem areas purple.

Dear Fabian,

I very much enjoyed meeting you at The Royal Marsden hospital last month. Despite the enormously demanding course of treatment you are undergoing, 

I was so touched by your strength of character, and delighted to hear the news that one of your big sisters will be able to donate bone marrow to you later this year.

I will keep my fingers crossed that your health goes from strength to strength over the months ahead. This must be a troubling time for you, your parents and your sisters, but I know I left The Royal Marsden assured by how incredibly talented, kind and clever the team at the hospital are. Combined with your belief and positive energy, you couldn't be in better hands.

Keep up the good work with the blog and in the meantime I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.


I would explain that "and" provides sufficient separation for "touched" and "delighted" in the first highlighted sentence. The comma between those words is unnecessary.I would also explain that a comma is needed in the second highlighted sentence. A measly "and" isn't strong enough to carry an independent clause on each side. Like any coordinating conjunction, "and" needs a sidekick comma if it hopes to balance a compound sentence.

Sidenote: I really wanted to say a "prevenient comma." Thank you, Christian theology class. p.s. I'm not Arminian. p.p.s. I'm not Armenian either. p.p.p.s. Christian theo was my favorite class in college. I wish I could take it again. #thingsineverthoughtiwouldsay

I might close my argument by reposting the sentences with correct punctuation:

"I was so touched by your strength of character and delighted to hear the news...."

"Keep up the good work with the blog, and in the meantime I will keep...."

At this point I would probably feel like a horrible person for critiquing a letter to a cancer patient. I might even decide to give Kate points back for being a classy lady.

kate+2 copy
kate+2 copy

There is, of course, the possibility that someone other than Kate Middleton penned typed this letter. If England is anything like America, someone other than Kate Middleton probably typed this letter.

I have a letter of my own for that person:

Dear That Person,

Clearly you are in need of a public relations practitioner who handles punctuation aptly. Look no further. I have a degree in public relations and 15% of a degree in journalism, and I know how to place a comma. You can reach/hire me via the contact link at the top of this blog.

Grammatically yours,

Kate, Duchess of Commas

I don't normally talk to strangers.

But Katelyn and I got stopped in (a crowded area of) the mall today by two guys who said they were communications majors and needed help with a class project, and the communications major in me felt sympathy for them, and we decided to stop and answer their questions. They turned out, however, to be little more than SketchFest 2010 on a quest to sell us some lame-o magazines.


They majorly ticked off Katelyn and me in their attempt to make a sale.

I couldn't help thinking that they must have skipped a bunch of key communications classes because these guys knew zilch about demographics, public relations, and, oh, basic human decency.

Just saying.

I know. I know. It's been forever.

But I will reiterate that I have been terribly busy. Frightfully horribly painfully busy. Last night I finished my last project (at approximately 2:30 a.m.), which I turned in today, and tonight I printed my last paper, which I will turn in tomorrow.

I am quite ready to be done with these things and to have finals behind me.

In other ways, however, I am not at all ready for the end of the year. And I might have shed a few tears about it today.

  • First, when I left the admissions office this morning knowing that I would never again work under my beloved boss, Abby
  • Second, after the student government banquet at which we celebrated all that's been accomplished this year and passed the torch to next year's leaders

Remember thesedays a year ago when I couldn't decide whether or not to take that student government job? At the end of sophomore year, a junior year full of both schoolwork and other work seemed like the most daunting idea ever. But it has turned out to be my favorite year of college thus far, and I don't feel ready to put it behind me yet. I don't want to say goodbye to the graduating seniors. I don't want dynamics to change in the way that they always do from year to year. I don't want to accept that college does not, in fact, last forever.

Sorry this wasn't a very happy post after my too-long hiatus. I will leave you with some of the pics from the photography 1 project I turned in this afternoon.