Friday, April 13, 2012


I was recently asked, if I could be any superhero, who I would be.  Here's what I decided:

My sister and I grew up playing imagination games together.  We played everything: we constructed elaborate forts in the backyard and we were the Boxcar Children; we traipsed around the house dressed in old bed sheets and we were princesses; we carved out space in our bedroom closet, flipped the laundry basket bottom up and we were restaurateurs.
We also played superheroes.  My sister favored the classics (Batman, Superman), while I preferred those currently en vogue (She-Ra, Moon Dreamers).   One of my child development professors recently wrote a paper about the developmental importance of superhero play: a topic about which she loves to speak.  To a certain extent, my sister and I didn’t grow out of our superhero phase for a while.
My sister is a graphic designer and I have always loved to write.  When we were in high school, we created our own superhero Grammatica: a strong, spunky girl with a sidekick bee named Spelling and a keen eye for grammar.   We decided that the inaugural issue would find Grammatica and Spelling saving a town plagued by internet acronyms. 

I graduated with my B.A. in Communications.  I strongly feel that one of the best tools we can give someone is the power to communicate effectively.  I believe this is true for people of every age.  I have taken child development courses devoted to language and I have taken marriage and family counseling classes.  Language is immeasurably powerful.  
So if I could be any superhero, I would be Grammatica.   I would choose her not just for the loyal sidekick or the trusty red ink permanent marker.  I love the idea of a superhero as someone who does more than save people, someone who educates and empowers people as well.  Our concept of Grammatica is so much more than that of a grammar snob slashing through a jungle of errant commas and misplaced apostrophes: she would teach people the skills necessary to be communicatively successful.
Of course, the trust red ink permanent marker would be pretty cool, too.


Ryan said...

I always like Stephen Frey's take on language:

Jonathan Wilhoit said...

This post had me laughing out loud. Thanks for that.

Though, I also couldn't help but imagine Grammatica as a super villain, too. She swoops in and marks up everybody's writing with red marker, corrects people in the midst of conversation, and generally makes a super-annoyance of herself. Or maybe that could be her arch-nemesis... Knowitallitron.

Pocketful of Books said...

Haha Grammatica sounds like she would be the bane of my existence...I am forever making grammatical mistakes! It's partly because I write quickly to get all my thoughts out and forget about such things as spelling and punctuation! I think communication is so important though- I do feel bad for people with dyslexia and learning difficulties as language is such a powerful tool. Even on Draw Something one of my friends who can't spell AT ALL because of severe dyslexia was unable to play because he couldn't make the words under the pictures! It would be good to have a superhero to sort these problems out :-) x

Ryan said...
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