Posts about “grammar”


“Grammatical English is now the near-exclusive province of the middle-aged and elderly because it hasn’t been formally taught in most schools … for about thirty years. Knowledge of the mechanics of how words, clauses, and phrases are hooked up to form sentences and paragraphs has been withheld from most children for such a long time


I just took a verbalIQ test that I found at My overall score was a depressingly low 87%. I did well in the Reading Comprehension and Anagrams sections. I had never seen an Anagrams section on a standardized test. It’s an interesting concept, although I think it’s really just another form of a vocabulary

Top Ten

I laughed out loud at #4 on the list of Top Ten Ways to Torture Your Professor: Hold fast, to your belief that, liberal and seemingly-random, use of, commas in term papers, makes you look, real smart.

Elements of Style

Writing well is easier with help

The English Language

The English Language

I really get aggravated when people try to argue their way out of what are really meaningless mistakes by saying that the English language is flexible and there aren’t any hard and fast rules and who cares if they’ve spelled something incorrectly because it doesn’t matter as long as you get it and blah, blah,

Hate Me for This

A quick lesson on it’s versus its: it’s is a contraction of the two words “it” and “is”; if what you are trying to do is say, “it is,” and you want to do it without using that pesky middle i, use it’s its is possessive; try to think about how neurotic you would be

I am also reminded that there is a reason why I don’t like reading run-on sentences. Why do I continue to write them? Control… I must learn control.

What Is This? is the personal weblog of me, David Vincent Gagne. I've been publishing here since 1999, which makes this one of the oldest continuously-updated websites on the Internet.

A few years ago I was trying to determine what cocktails I could make with the alcohol I had at home. I searched the App Store but couldn't find an app that would let me do that, so I built one.


You can read dozens of essays and articles and find hundreds of links to other sites with stories and information about Ernest Hemingway in The Hemingway Collection.