December 3, 2022


New Hope, Pennsylvania – What do you think if you are out walking, shopping, or doing some other handiwork, and out of nowhere a woman in the street does a preposition for you – “This is my grammar table.”

You might think, who is this crazy lady? Who sees rules as so inevitable that they set the table just to talk about them?

“Because I like grammar so much,” Elaine Goffin told CBS News. “It’s the anchor—like we now use words. It won’t even happen. We’ll just look at each other.”

as you were in the beginning I mentioned in 2019Jovin runs a company that trains people in business communications. But her real passion is linguistics. So to share her knowledge — and have some fun — Goffin created her own grammar chart around New York City, where she lives.

All went well, I took the table to the collective name which is America.

“It’s been so much fun that I’m taking it on the road across the country,” she said.

Goffin even wrote a book about the experience called Rebel on a Condition.

I met her in New Hope, Pennsylvania, where Goffin reminded people how to draw sentences, explained when to use who and whom, and even answered something I’ve always wondered — should the period go inside the quotation mark or can it go outside, sometimes?

“She always goes inside,” she said.

But she says her favorite part is settling grammatical differences between husbands and wives.

“In my experience, usually if a couple shows up, usually the woman is right,” she said. “I mean, in my limited experience.”

You stuck me like a dangling adjuster. But you have to love her passion.

Goffin has visited 47 of the 50 states so far. She said these experiences showed her that Americans care more about rules than some cynical reporters would like you to believe. And you may be right. I mean, a guy at a red light had to know, then and there, do you always benefit after colon?

“If it’s just part of a sentence,” she told him, “there’s definitely no cover.”

This made her day. It’s another apt use in her never-ending quest to make us all better at crafting things.


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