by Gene Owens
Greasepit Grammar is a column of brief, simple, humor-laced lessons on grammar, usage, syntax and word meanings. Gene Owens’ grammar columns appear three times a week in the Oklahoma City Daily Oklahoman, twice a week in the Mobile Register in Mobile, Ala., and weekly in the Kingsport Times-News in Tennessee.
The columns are based on grammar questions submitted by readers. They are from 250 to 260 words long. They revolve around life in Swampscum, a fictitious Southern town, and a gang of good ol’ boys who hang out at Wade’s Dixieco, the local gasoline station, and constitute the Redneck Academy of Linguistics. Bubba is their chief grammarian and Miss Prunella Pincenez, his eighth-grade English
teacher, is his source of authority. The format calls for a simple discussion of the grammar question posed, with an anecdote at the end that illustrates the grammatical point.
The column appeals to readers at all levels. Bubba has received accolades from English instructors from the elementary-school to college levels. Educated readers see the column as an excellent means of teaching the untutored masses. The untutored masses see it as an enjoyable way to sharpen their English skills.
Gene Owens has been around the Southern journalistic scene for 48 years. He has been senior associate editor of The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., and editorial-page editor of the Roanoke Times in Roanoke, Va.
As senior editor for Creative Services, a management consulting firm in High Point, N. C., he ghosted more than a dozen published books for professional clients. For the past nine years he has been assistant managing editor, political editor and columnist for the Mobile Register.
Register readers last year named him their favorite local columnist, and readers of the independent regional magazine, Bay Weekly, agreed. He was runner-up in the regional Green Eyeshades competition among writers of humor columns. He has been on the board of directors of the National Conference of Editorial Writers and was editor of The Masthead, the NCEW’s national quarterly. He recently went into semi-retirement in Anderson, S. C.
In addition to Greasepit Grammar, he writes a column of commentary and humor from a Southern perspective. The column has been a fixture for ten years in the Greensboro, N. C., News-Record and in the Kingsport (Tenn.) Times-News.
And don’t miss his excellent essay on Judge Roy Moore and the Alabama Ten Commandments controversy:
Readers and editors may contact Gene at his BellSouth e-mail box.
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or write Ye Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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