Grammar December 21st, 2001 @ 11:25 pm PST
“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 […]
verbalIQ October 18th, 2001 @ 11:02 am PDT
I just took a verbalIQ test that I found at leuschke.org. 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 August 20th, 2001 @ 2:04 pm PDT
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 February 20th, 2001 @ 3:07 am PST
A participial phrase at the beginning of a sentence must refer to the grammatical subject. This is one of my favorite rules. Well. Not really. But I think every high school student should be required to read (and memorize) William Strunk, Jr.’s Elements of Style. I don’t know how you could have possibly made it […]
The English Language October 25th, 2000 @ 9:16 am PDT
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 August 4th, 2000 @ 2:54 am PDT
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 […]
Writing March 22nd, 2000 @ 9:30 pm PST
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.