On September 21, 2018, Ellen Jovin set up a folding table on a Manhattan sidewalk with a sign that said “Grammar Table.” Within seconds, passersby began excitedly asking questions, telling stories, and sharing pet peeves.
Grammar Table was born. What followed is the stuff of grammar legend.
Ellen and her director/cinematographer/driver husband, Brandt Johnson, decided to take the table on the road. They visited 47 states before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and Brandt filmed the action. Alaska, Hawaii, and Connecticut (yes, that far-away land) await the arrival of the table.
Ellen is the Anthony Bourdain of grammar. She shares her curiosity, playfulness, humanity, and deep love of language with anyone who stops by the table. She debates writers, editors, linguists, and lawyers. She acts as grammar guide to the less sophisticated. She makes her guests, and herself, laugh. She creates community.
Fan-favorite topics include the Oxford comma, spaces after periods, semicolons, gender-neutral pronouns, and whether you can end a sentence with a preposition (hint: you can!).
Ellen is currently writing a book about the adventures of Grammar Table, to be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2021, and Brandt is working on the Grammar Table documentary film.