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 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 debates writers, editors, linguists, and lawyers. She acts as grammar guide to the less sophisticated. 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!).
But this story transcends grammar. It's the story of an epic quest, in a time of deep social division, to connect with America and bring us all closer together. Over grammar? Yeah. Say goodbye to your preconceptions. Say hello to Grammar Table.
Brandt's documentary film about Grammar Table is in post-production.