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Grammar

Which is Right?

Here are some pairs of words that are often confused. If you've ever written about someone facing a "nerve-wracking" experience or someone who's gotten his "just desserts," (and I've written both!) then you may be interested in these: AVERT/AVOID - Avert means to prevent or turn away from something. Avoid...
Grammar

Holiday Help

Did you wish everyone a Happy "Veteran's" Day yesterday? If you did, you had one apostrophe too many! The names of holidays often inspire unintentional grammar errors, because some of the holidays take on a possessive form while others take on only a plural form. So here is a list...
Grammar

Outlining the Plot

Recently, Turtle left the following comment: Just remember, I'm a newbie, so don't become upset at what I'm about to say. You, Shelly, and Andrea all talk of forward momentum and revising and moving things around...it seems to me that you are all happiest when you've crystallized WIP as opposed...
Grammar

Apostrophe Apocalypse

When was the last time you used an apostrophe? Do you recall? Do you remember why you used it? We all make grammar mistakes. There are occasionally old entries that I edit months later to remove grammar problems or misspelled words. Call me anal-retentive when it comes to grammar and...
Grammar

Politically Correct Punch?

I wonder if anyone else has noted the subtle edit made recently in a Kool-Aid commercial. The spot in question, which debuted over the past few months, depicts the start of a neighborhood lemonade war. The first line in the commercial is delivered by a young girl who sees that...
Grammar

A Few Weird Words

In this week's edition of the "Saturday Six," (see last post) I asked which of five words looked interesting enough that you'd actually want to know what it meant. If you haven't already answered, stop reading until you play! If you have, I thought I'd save everyone a little effort...
Grammar

A Grammar Challenge

Larry of "Larry's Blog" left me with a grammatical challenge. He asked what words like "bow," which have two different pronunciations as well as meanings with the same spelling, are called. A homophone is a set of words that are pronounced the same but have different meanings. "To," "too," and...
GrammarPet Peeves

A Grammar Issue

I was always involved in my high school newspaper. It wasn't really part of my wanting to work in television, because I knew even then that I did not want to be a reporter. I just liked working on the paper...it certainly beat sports! Anyway, at some point along the...
Grammar

Ten Words That Need to Go Away!!

1. "Bling-bling" - It's not really a word; it sounds more like something a three-year-old might say when she really means, "Bottle." 2. "Myself" - If you use this word, nine times out of ten you use it incorrectly. You can only use the word "myself" in a grammatically-correct sentence...
Grammar

A ‘Thing’ About Verbs

Here's a story that I wish was an April Fool's Day joke! Warren St. John reports in the New York Times that Shepard Smith, 40, host of Fox News Channel's "Fox Report," has a "thing" about verbs. Smith, in fact, doesn't like them. When he sees one in his scripts,...
Grammar

Leading Lame Lines

Plain English supporters around the world have voted "At the end of the day" as the most irritating phrase in the language. Second place in the vote was shared by "At this moment in time" and the constant use of "like" as if it were a form of punctuation. "With...
Grammar

Stupid Online Abbreviations

It's a little ironic that the Internet, the ultimate achievement of the information age, which has caused old-fashioned printed Encyclopedias and Dictionaries to become almost obsolete, is simultaneously allowing us to ignore all the great amounts of information just a few clicks away in order to become so lazy with...
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