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Category Archives: Grammar
Borrow Lend me your attention and let me share this gaffe on a newspaper website that my friend Fred pointed out: The day before, his sister Dolly Wambach, of Georgetown, Minn., and family spent about 12 hours loading the tops … Continue reading
Can something be “very imperative?” No, it can’t. I’ve already written about the overuse of intensifiers, our habit of tacking adverbs like very, really, and extremely onto words in an attempt to turn up the intensity of our language. While … Continue reading
Susan writes: I believe if you use contractions in a manuscript, consistency demands using them in both dialog and narrative. A fellow writer was told by an editor to use contractions in dialog but not narrative. I’ve scoured CMS but … Continue reading
Are you still fearful of using contractions? Don’t be. They have a long and storied history. For more, see my article “Contractions and how not to abuse ‘em.” (Hat tip to Ray Ward.)
Phil W. (of Brandywine Books fame) writes: I have a question about compound words. I understand that using compounds as modifiers requires a hyphen, e.g. our decision-making process, but my organization often uses compounds as nouns, e.g. disciple-maker or “Editing … Continue reading
Rather a lot, apparently, because it’s not being taught in our public school system, judging from this opinion piece in the Boston Globe:
At the science fiction site io9, Charlie Jane Anders has a long post about the dangers of the adverb. Aspiring science-fiction authors receive one piece of advice above all others: Forsake the adverb, the killer of prose. It’s terribly, awfully, … Continue reading
"In fact, part of the fun of Standard English is to abuse it in ways that create excitement and aesthetic tension. But first one must master enough Standard English to have a basis for abuse." -Arthur Plotnik, The Elements of … Continue reading
I’m not sure how I missed this until now, but tomorrow is National Grammar Day. Do you adore clean, correct sentences? Do ungrammatical advertisements make you cringe? We understand completely, and this is why the Society for the Promotion of … Continue reading