Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Avoid Comma Drama

September 24, 2015 by  
Filed under Blog, Editing

Punctuation, blech! Yes, I know, but it’s not as bad as grammar—a subject we’ll tackle another time. In my craft blog today, I’ll share a few simple comma guidelines. And I do mean simple! Okay, now that you’re wiping the sweat from your brow, let’s go. Introducing: The Comma That little flip on the page […]

Avoiding Apostrophe Catastrophes

September 1, 2015 by  
Filed under Writing Tips

My family refuses to enter a restaurant with me until they have conducted a search and seize, emptying my purse of anything that even resembles a writing instrument. They tell me they are not going to tolerate waiting to order while I correct, “Its the best!” or “Joes’ Diner loves it’s customers.” Apostrophes. Little marks […]

Proof It

September 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Faith

Raise your hand if you’d rather proofread someone else’s work than your own. Count my hand raised. When it comes to others’ work, grammatical mistakes leap out, waving their arms and begging for a red-pen rescue. For all the delicate etiquette of criticism, it’s easy and oddly satisfying to search out and correct someone else’s […]

GROWING GRAMMAR: Sites for soaring

April 4, 2008 by  
Filed under Editing

Today I’m featuring a few sites of interest and invite you to explore them. I hope they provide information, entertainment, and justification for being on the internet.   Double-Tongued Dictionary: A site to behold! You can find new words, slang, and jargon. The “About” page bills the site as one that “records undocumented or under-documented words […]

GROWING GRAMMAR: Where were you on National Grammar Day?

March 7, 2008 by  
Filed under Craft, Editing

In case you neglected to mark this on your calendar, and since Hallmark has not yet officially designated it a greeting-card holiday, you may have missed: In the name of educational fun (and, no, that’s not an oxymoron), and to exercise your pointer finger, I’m providing the following links for your clicking: The Society for […]

Reflexive Pronouns Should Not Be Involuntary Reactions

February 1, 2008 by  
Filed under Craft, Editing

This is the what the sound of fingernails (think long, acrylic) scraping against a chalkboard would look like: hisself theirself/theirselves themself STEP AWAY FROM THESE WANNA-BE PRONOUNS! If you’re using them as dialogue for a character who speaks non-standard English, fine. Otherwise no, no, and no. The STANDARD reflexives are: myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, […]


December 7, 2007 by  
Filed under Craft, Editing

“Help Stamp Out, Eliminate and Abolish Redundancy!” –Unknown, Unknown, Unknown My students are fond of writing, “I was thinking in my mind. . .” or “I was thinking in my head….” This concerns me as I wonder in what other parts of their bodies thinking may (or may not) be happening. These repeated or unnecessary […]

GROWING GRAMMAR: WONDER WORDS (as in…I wonder which word to use?)

November 2, 2007 by  
Filed under Craft, Editing

Would you rather be nauseated or nauseous? This is extremely important to know. It could, in fact, make or break a relationship. If you’re nauseated, something is making you ill; perhaps the smell of your recent WIP ablaze in the fireplace where you tossed it in a moment of frustration. If you are nauseous, which […]

Growing Grammar: Planting Words So Sentences Can Sprout

October 5, 2007 by  
Filed under Craft, Editing

One of the most challenging lessons for students to learn (and for me to teach them) is that diction (word choice) and syntax (how words are arranged in a sentence) are crucial in understanding the piece we’re reading. Truly, the most difficult perception to hack away at is the notion that writers just don’t pay […]

GROWING GRAMMAR: Modifiers…do you know where yours are?

August 3, 2007 by  
Filed under Craft, Editing

Modifiers are like teenagers: they fall in love with whatever they’re next to. Make sure they’re next to something they ought to modify! (from The Guide to Grammar and Writing sponsored by the Capital Community College Foundation) Unlike luxury cars, modifiers are not equipped with navigation systems. They get lost, they dangle, they confuse. Hmmm…starting […]

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