Category : Grammar & Style

10:54 am , March 14, 2012 0

I am a fan of the serial (Oxford) comma because it clearly distinguishes the difference between the first object, the second object, and the third object. I am not alone in my preference; Chicago and The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation strongly recommend use of the serial comma. The Associated Press and newspaper publications, such as The New York […]

10:28 am , February 22, 2012 0
Posted in: Grammar & Style, Tips

After publishing my “affect” vs. “impact” post, I received a few comments from people who weren’t sure when to use affect or effect. (I purposely avoided this before because it’s a widespread topic.) For the most part, it can be easy to determine.  Affect often functions as a verb and effect generally is used as a noun. […]

10:26 am , February 15, 2012 1
Posted in: Grammar & Style

Grammar Girl recently wrote about this, but it’s something I’ve been running into with my work so I thought I’d address it too. The word impact has taken on the meaning of “to influence” in the way the verb affect often does. According to Grammar Girl, impact is often used this way in business jargon, […]

10:28 am , February 1, 2012 0

I have been running into loose to mean lose a lot lately. But loose and lose are not the same thing. Loose often is used as an adjective to mean “not rigidly fastened” or “not tight-fitting.” Lose (when confused with loose) often is a verb meaning “to miss” or “to suffer deprivation.” When determining which word to use, I start with lose then consider […]

10:28 am , January 25, 2012 0
Posted in: Grammar & Style

One of my favorite singers, Sara Groves, has a song titled “It’s Going to Be Alright.” This dynamic editor nearly had a conniption fit when she first saw it. The proper use of all right has been drilled into my head like I’ve been in an English language military. Unfortunately, the use of alright has become so […]

9:58 am , January 18, 2012 0
Posted in: Grammar & Style

Even though I’m an editor, I won’t pretend I don’t have my grammar troubles. Who and whom along with lay and lie are the two big pairs. They never cease to make me stumble each time I come across them. But I’ll tackle lay and lie another day. Who and whom are pronouns. It’s important […]

10:54 am , January 4, 2012 1
Posted in: Grammar & Style

Determining subjects, predicates, and objects are important for me as an editor. I need to make sure that authors consistently express complete thoughts so their readers aren’t left with any questions about what they’ve read. Let’s begin with subjects and predicates. A subject is something (person, place, thing, idea, pronoun, or action) that functions as […]

10:06 am , December 19, 2011 0
Posted in: Grammar & Style

Most native English speakers can identify a sentence based purely off of intuition. In fact, you intuitively know that you’re reading a sentence—a group of words (often with a subject and a predicate) that come together to express a complete thought. A sentence leaves little to no questions unanswered. Fragments, however, do not express a complete […]

10:55 am , December 12, 2011 2
Posted in: Grammar & Style

When my pastor used the word disinterested to mean “not interested,” I corrected him after the service. I was convinced that I had the definitions correct, however, I took care to look up the definitions of each word and was surprised by what I discovered. According to Merriam-Webster, uninterested was the word that initially meant impartial, […]

10:25 am , December 9, 2011 2
Posted in: Grammar & Style

Considering that English is quite an old language (Ye Olde English) and even the rules of American English have changed since colonial times, there are some basic, long-held grammar rules that are currently inflexible. (I say “currently” because many of these rules may not apply 300 years from today.) During the coming weeks, I’ll cover some […]