09/05/2013 04:40 pm ET Updated Nov 05, 2013

Grammar: Let's Talk Periods


There comes a time in most American kids' lives when they enter public school. Somewhere around the age of 5, we break free from our preschools, and daycares, and move on to Kindergarten. I learned a lot my first year in school, and one of those things was the word "tooken." Back then, we were all tooken-ing all kinds of things. "I tooken my book to school," and "He tooken the rest of the ice cream."

Next I learned about doing things on accident. I was forgetting my coat at school on accident, I gave the cat too many treats on accident, we were just on accident all over the place!

Then came middle school. When you're a teenager, you starting talking about all kinds of new things. When you're a girl, every once in a while you talk about your period. For all I know, boys talk about them too. Periods! Anyway, when you talk about anything, you don't just use the noun and then leave it at that. You use verbs, you use prepositions. Just because you're talking about menstruation doesn't mean you just get to give up on syntax.

And as far as I knew, my grammar when it came to that time of the month was fine.

Until one day, I said "I'm on my period."

"You're on you're period? It's not a drug Emma, you're not on it," said my mom.

"Well what am I supposed to say?"

"You're having your period."

"It's not a party either Mom, I'm not having it."

As far as I was concerned, up until this point, I had been on my period once a month for the past five years. Every girl I know says that they're on their period. It's not exactly a subject that I converse a lot about with boys but for all I know, they think we're on our periods too.

For things like tooken, and our prepositions for the word accident, we have English teachers, and parents to tell us when our grammar is a little off. In my case, I have both wrapped up into one to tell me I'm when wrong. And when we don't believe them we have the wonderful to tell us that, no, in fact, we really are wrong and tooken is not a word.

But when you type into that search bar "on my period or having my period" your results have nothing at all to do with grammar. I don't know if I'm right or if I'm wrong or even if there is a right or a wrong in this situation. I don't know if I'm the first person to even ask this question. But I'm sure there is an answer out there, and I would like to know what it is.