Grammar is the means by which words are combined to form sentences that others will understand. Without it, your writing will be incomprehensible. The rules of grammar can be negotiable under special circumstances, but they are not optional.
Along with spelling, capitalization, and punctuation, grammar is devoted to aiding the clarity of communication. Given this, it's quite odd that badficcers are so determined not to use it, and instead prefer to write sentences like: "because she got a power and she can distoy us all the bad guys" ("legolas by laura"). Often, bad grammar can be fixed by requesting the services of a beta reader. It is when someone simply does not bother to even reread their work or have it beta'd that it becomes an offence in the eyes of the PPC. Bad grammar should never see the light of day; it should be buried in drafts.
If you are writing in a foreign language, you will probably have a good grasp of grammar. If you are writing in English as a native speaker, you may not, thanks to the poor teaching of grammar in English and American schools. However, "They didn't teach me what the pluperfect is until A-Level German!" is not an excuse for sentences such as: "He turned around to see Courtney sitting on the, hu, huffing for air, and clenching the sheets in her hands."[source, please!]
As current opinions in the world of linguistics are leaning towards the theories of a) language acquisition as innate and b) a universal grammar, agents will accept no excuses for poor grammar. Bad grammar is a charge. However, agents outside of the DTE must note that poor grammar in and of itself is neither assassination- nor exorcism-worthy. Beware of Muphry's Law.
Charging for using or not using the Oxford Comma is considered slightly spurious (and is more of a punctuation issue anyway).
Effects of Bad Grammar in Badfic Edit
Agents who enter a fic encounter the effects of bad grammar more often than not. These can include:
- Temporal distortions.
- Geographical Aberrations.
- The literal interpretation of bad wording or urple prose.
- The creation of odd objects (such as OFUM's Long Table Elrond) when the wording is almost impossible to interpret.
- The simultaneous existence of several contradictory details, such as a Sue's eyes being simultaneously several colors. Tends to cause headaches.
- Related to the previous two, Ing Disease.
- Events repeating several times due to a tense shift.
- Earthquake-like disturbances, severe disorientation, or splitting headaches can be caused by repeated tense shifts.
- In extreme cases, bad grammar, tenses, or awkward style can transfer themselves to the agents PPCing the story.
- Sentences without punctuation can force characters to keep talking without taking a breath.
- Overall bad grammar can give the world a tangible, uncomfortable feeling to agents visiting. For example, a lack of paragraphs might make even an open field feel close and stuffy, while constant run-on sentences might make the action take place at a breakneck pace.