Friday, December 19, 2014

Proof It

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

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?

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

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, […]

GROWING GRAMMAR:

“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?)

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

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?

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 […]

Some rules NOT to follow!

FUMBLE RULES (with thanks to Richards Lederer and Dowis in Sleeping Dogs Don’t Lay) This is a collection of self-contradictory rules of English. Enjoy. Remember, though, like most humor, there’s a serious lesson for the learning! 1. Each pronoun should agree with their antecedent. 2. Between you and I, pronoun case is important. 3. A […]

GROWING GRAMMAR: DIALOGUE

Writing dialogue is tricky enough. Then there’s that whole punctuation issue, unless, well, you’re William Faulkner, James Joyce, or Cormac McCarthy, to name a few. They dispensed with punctuation littering their prose, and critics deem them style-masters. (Try doing that in a Genesis contest!). Some might deem them confusion-masters, but that’s another column. The rules […]

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