Tag Archive - grammar

Want to Be a Great Writer? Then Don’t Neglect This!

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we’re looking at an excerpt from a previous post titled Do Writers Really Have to Learn All That (Yucky) Grammar?

Do writers really need to learn all that yucky grammar? In a word, yes. In two words: absolutely yes.

I hear groans. I hear protests. You hated English Comp in school? Old, crotchety Mrs. Snigglegrass made you dissect sentences and name the parts of speech? You got a what as your final grade?

I feel your pain. Who ever makes grammar fun and easy? Learning grammar, to some people, is as much fun as getting a tooth pulled. Or having to memorize the multiplication tables or the capitals of all the countries in the world (remember when they never changed?). Terms like dangling modifiers, predicates, participial phrases, and subjunctive mood give some people the chills.

Did you have to conjugate verbs back in junior high? Do you know the difference between the past progressive tense and the past perfect? No? Do you care?

More than likely, you don’t. Continue Reading…

Do Writers Really Have to Learn All That (Yucky) Grammar?

In a word, yes. In two words: absolutely yes.

I hear groans. I hear protests. You hated English Comp in school? Old, crotchety Mrs. Snigglegrass made you dissect sentences and name the parts of speech? You got a what as your final grade?

I feel your pain. Who ever makes grammar fun and easy? Learning grammar, to some people, is as much fun as getting a tooth pulled. Or having to memorize the multiplication tables or the capitals of all the countries in the world (remember when they never changed?). Terms like dangling modifiers, predicates, participial phrases, and subjunctive mood give some people the chills. Did you have to conjugate verbs back in junior high? Do you know the difference between the past progressive tense and the past perfect? No? Do you care? More than likely, you don’t. Continue Reading…

Each Writer Should Correct Their Own Grammar

Dreading to deal with the ubiquitous “their,” let’s just get it over with. It’s become so common for us to say things like “Do you know someone who lives alone and worries for their life?” or “Everyone in the audience blew their nose.” How about “No one knew what their assignment was.” And so on.

We have gotten into the habit of using “their” as a catch-all word in sentences that really call for a singular pronoun. And often, the best way around these glaring pitfalls is to rewrite.

It is clunky to always say “his” or “her”: “Each person in the room scratched his or her head.” But although it’s easier to defer to “Each person scratched their head,” why not rewrite into a stronger sentence? Or if it the information is not necessary, just take it out. Do you really need to tell the reader that everyone scratched their head? Just what are you trying to say? Continue Reading…

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