After a stressful morning proof-reading a colleague’s draft document, I was reminded of visiting my Grandma MacKay last weekend, with Lynn and my wee one month old son, Findlay.
Grandma is sadly at the end of her long life, 98 years to the good, while Finn is only just starting his journey into the unknown.
But Finn can be grateful for his heritage.
Grandma was the first woman in her family to go to university. She was a quiet, determined Canadian, with a marvellous sense of mischief, and managed to play the part of minister’s wife with aplomb.
She met my Grandpa in the year before WWII, when he came out to preach in Canada, and they had a whirlwind romance. They planned to return to Scotland to marry, but couldn’t travel on the same liner.
Grandpa returned first, and as it transpired, on the last passenger liner to leave New York before war broke out. Grandma waited seven long years, before finally joining Grandpa in Scotland.
And Grandma was also capable: she was well read, spoke German, and ran the local provost’s office for many years as his PA.
And like my other grandparents, she was particular about language.
Grandpa MacKay was a learned reverend-scholar, preaching and teaching students Greek and Hebrew. Granny MacLeod was a fastidious school teacher, with a tight grip on spelling and punctuation. Seanair MacLeod was a minister, with an amazing gift for story telling and humour.
I guess those genes are to blame for my obsession with language.
So just in case you’re thinking of visiting my Grandma, here’s some helpful tips for your grammar.
Oh, and Finn? Get reading now, my wee boy.
Your Grammar is worth it.