Yes, It’s About Grammar (And, Yes, You Need This Little Lesson)

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Libby does NOT care even a little bit, but as she is a dog, I’m gonna give her a pass on the grammar lesson.

Every once in a while, I just can’t take it anymore. And by “it”, I mean all those words used incorrectly that pop up in the newspaper or across social media or even out of the mouths of candidates in their TV commercials.

Oy.

Thank goodness, I have the means in which to right the writing world. And so when I have one of those moments when I just want to scream like a crazy woman, “NO! It’s not effect, it’s affect! Affect! Affect!“, I can sit myself down and mostly rationally expound on “Two Little Words Used Incorrectly.”

If you know the difference between the use of “affect” and “effect”, then you can save yourself a few minutes and go on your merry way, patting yourself on the back. But if you are scratching your head and wondering, “Hmmm. Do I know the difference between those two words?”, then please do yourself (and me) a favor and give it a read. Because honestly, y’all, I really can’t take it anymore.

 

 

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Takes One To Know One

Yep, I do so love my inner grammar nerd. So when I saw this handy-dandy infographic from Grammarly, first, of course, I read it. Then I nodded whenever I fit the profile (I mean, the semi-colon? LOVE it.). And then I had to share it here for you, ’cause come on, y’all. You know you’re one of us.

Anatomy of a Grammar Nerd Infographic

(And P.S. I’d just like to say that I’m calling shenanigans on that age bracket business. 18-24 years old? I don’t think so. On the other hand, that would lend credence to the 50% who are single…)

On Being A Writing Snob

2014-11-11 10.02.40I received a very cool postcard from Oldest Junior Hall who’s still over in New Zealand, doing his thing.

First, I read the card like a mother, smiling at the message, my heart missing that grown-up boy. But then I read it again, proofreading the note like a writer. And thank goodness, I still smiled. (He should’ve capitalized Lego, but he did get the apostrophe right, so it’s all good.)

Now, before you start thinking that I’m some kind of writing snob, I’ll bet you do the same thing, if you’re a writer. We can’t help it. We’re all about the words and the grammar and the sentence structure and we can’t just turn that part of our brain off and on like a spigot, right?

But it’s more than just being a writing snob.

I mean, I’d still love that boy, even if he wrote “their” when he meant “there.” But I’d correct him, too. I wouldn’t want him making mistakes in business emails or professional letters, or even social media posts and postcards, for all the wide world to see. Because a mom may overlook errors, but others may not judge so nicely.

I think people–and when I say people, I mean writers and non-writers alike–need to be able to express themselves correctly and effectively through the written word. So I want middle school teachers to take off points when a student uses “there” instead of “their.” I want college professors to demand error-free papers, even from Physics majors. And I want my kids to write lovely postcards all the way from New Zealand without grammar mistakes.

I guess I am a bit of a writing snob. But I’m a snob who appreciates how hard it is to put words to paper, so keep writing. But proofread your work, okay?

(How about you?  When it comes to writing errors, do you correct friends and family, or do you let it go?)

 

 

Friday’s Fun Find: Grammar Comics at The Oatmeal

How to use a semicolon, the most feared punctuation on earth.So I’ve started this post several times; I’m trying to come up with an intro to The Oatmeal and Grammar Comics and the semicolon. But I don’t have time to figure out all the mysteries of the universe, including what The Oatmeal is, so I’m moving on.

Personally, I know how to use a semicolon. Maybe you do, too. Maybe you don’t have a clue. Either way, you’re going to laugh out loud when you read How to Use a Semicolon. Same goes for 10 Words You Need To Stop Misspelling or The Three Most Common Uses of Irony.

Well, really, you’re going to laugh out loud at whichever Grammar Comic you read this Fun Friday, which is pretty much the point of Fun Friday.

I have no idea what the point of The Oatmeal is. (But there are posters of the Grammar Comics; slap the semicolon one on your classroom wall and your ninth graders will think you’re the coolest teacher ever. For, like, the first day.)