on Writing Forward:
Accomplished writers respect the rules of grammar the way an acrobat respects the tightrope — grammar might be intimidating and complicated, but we need it in order to perform.
Yet sometimes, an acrobat takes her foot off the tightrope. She does a flip or some other trick of physical prowess that seems to defy the laws of gravity and exceed the potential of the human body.
Grammar rules lend structure and clarity to our writing and give us common ground rules that we can use to communicate clearly and effectively, just like the tightrope gives an acrobat a foundation upon which to walk.
So when does a writer take her foot off the rules of grammar so she can perform spectacular tricks?