OK. You’ve received a digital hand slap from your online English instructor, or the teacher at your school 'bled all over' your report in red ink. The comment was something about needing 'parallel structure' on your lists. What in the world is parallel structure ? It’s a fancy way to say the structure of those lists must ‘match.’ Check out this example … [Read more...] about WHAT is ‘parallel structure’ ?!
I read an article about a gentleman who said “Yes” to teaching a Sunday school class, but quickly realized he didn’t like it. At all. Although he hated disappointing his pastor, it was time to fess up. The minister helped find a better 'fit' for his parishioner, and Jim moved happily - and successfully - in a different direction. Thaaat’s not right … The … [Read more...] about Comma Conundrum
In early 2016 - you may recall with great trepidation - the series Downton Abbey ended its run on PBS (the Public Broadcasting System in the United States). And lo! there was an outcry in the land! Whether it's Downton Abbey, Victoria, or Poldark, if you watch a lot of PBS, do you find yourself repeating Brit-speak? Or is it just me? Oops! Not too long … [Read more...] about Brit-speak: is it just me?
“I’m correcting your grammar in my head.” Oh, how I wish I had bought that sign for my office, just to start each day with a grin ... or a grumble, depending on the situation. Here's one of the 'grumbles': Over the past couple of decades, I have become alarmed with the decline in Americans’ grammar. Many schools have curtailed training in our nation’s … [Read more...] about ‘Him,’ ‘Me,’ and ‘I’: Grammar Check
“What did I say? Did I start that sentence ... with ... ‘actually’?” Not Kathie York, the grammar doyenne! Surely not. Unfortunately, Mrs. York’s Mr. York – with a twinkle in his eye because he’d caught me in a word-filler faux pas – corroborated it: “Yes, you began that sentence with ‘actually’.” I’ve been known to start over to say things properly. It … [Read more...] about ‘Actually’ + ‘Literally’ = Yikes!
As you might imagine, I get a lot of questions from people concerning writing and grammar. Tidbits, here and there. Nothing formal. I decided to pop three items into this post: "So … what the heck do 'i.e.' and 'e.g.' mean?" "Have the semicolon rules changed?" “When does 'its' have an apostrophe?” "So … what the heck do 'i.e.' and 'e.g.' … [Read more...] about Helpful Tidbits from the Writing World