Ellen Jovin has traveled to all 50 states with her “Grammar Table,” and on Wednesday, she set up shop at the Lincoln Memorial to share her love of words with others.
“I just sit there on the street and I answer grammar questions from passersby,” Jovin told WTOP. “If people have tales of grammar trauma that they want to share with me, I will listen.”
She started the traveling pop-up table five years ago outside of her New York City apartment. Her love of literature has also led her to write books, her most recent being “Rebel with a Clause: Tales and Tips from a Roving Grammarian.”
Her husband has submitted a documentary about her cross-country journey to film festivals.
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“I also love the art of it, just beautiful writing, whether fiction or nonfiction. It’s so central to what we are as human beings, how we communicate with one another and how we relate to our cultural heritage,” she said.
But, for Jovin, it’s a lot more than just talking to strangers about grammar. She said it fulfills her love for meeting new people and traveling.
“I love grammar but I also love meeting people. So every time I go out on the street, it could be in a 1,000-person town or it could be a giant metropolis, I get to meet people I didn’t know before and I’ve learned so much from that. And then every time I go home, from being out with this thing, I feel happier,” she said.
She hopes her fun approach and brightly-colored table provides a space for people who may have struggled in language arts classes to leave feeling more confident in their grammar skills.
“I would like to keep hitting the grammar road and roaming around. I would love to do more international stuff … go to other countries. But really, there’s so many cities and towns that I’ve never seen in the United States,” Jovin said.