Autumn Tompkins: The Grumpy Grammarian

“I get so much out of helping other people find the right words because, a long time ago, I forgot words.

I have muscular dystrophy and spent the vast majority of my childhood in a hospital suffering from chronic pneumonia. About 24 years ago, I was given a medication to help me forget the pain of spinal fusion surgery. But instead of helping me forget the agony of being cut down the entire length of my back, it wiped my long-term memory.

I was about nine-years old, and forgot everything I’d learned from kindergarten through 3rd grade – reading, writing, arithmetic; all gone. I only had one year to relearn elementary school. Otherwise, I would’ve failed 4th grade and had to repeat. I had to relearn my school subjects as a priority, but other things didn’t make the list – like nursey rhymes.

And it was tough. I’d search for what seemed like forever to find the right words, but I could never find them. I could tell you what an object was FOR – like a dump truck, ashtray, or piece of paper – but I couldn’t tell you its name. My brain couldn’t connect the dots.

My deepest darkest secret: I still struggle with this. (“I need that thing – you know, it’s got ink in it, and I write with it.”) Sometimes, it takes me 45 seconds to find the word I’m looking for. (A pen.)

As a word artist, I help other people find the right words because I know the agony of not being able to articulate your thoughts or express yourself properly.

When you stumble in your search for the right words, your credibility as an entrepreneur takes a hit – along with your bottom line. And I don’t want that for anyone.”

AutumnThe Grumpy Grammarian and Word Artist
(New York, USA) 


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