Welcome to your GrammarBook.com E-Newsletter.
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Recent cringe-inducers from the print media …
An upscale music venue ran ads for “An Evening With Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.” The second line said, “Formally of the 5th
Dimension.” It was only after several weeks that someone caught the silly gaffe and sheepishly changed “Formally” to
From an article about a musician: “He hardly fit the paradigm of an insecure singer/songwriter.” Why not “singer-songwriter,” with
a hyphen, instead? In recent years the slash has become all the rage, but many authorities dismiss it as a substandard option—“a mark that
doesn’t appear much in first-rate writing,” says Bryan A. Garner’s Dictionary of Modern American Usage. “Use it as a last
A columnist wrote, “It is I who is the bamboozled one.” At least he didn’t write “It is me.” But written correctly, the
sentence would say, “It is I who am the bamboozled one.” In technical terms, the relative pronoun who agrees with its
antecedent (“I”) in both number and person. If who is representing I, it must take am, the same verb that I takes.
A curious sentence about a San Francisco neighborhood: “They can kiss goodbye to Alamo Square.” No, they can say goodbye to
Alamo Square. Or they can kiss Alamo Square goodbye. They could even give the beloved locale a kiss goodbye. But
“can kiss goodbye to”?! Maybe the copyeditor was on vacation.
A world-famous writer of steamy novels fired a broadside at critics of her larger-than-lifestyle: “Reading the latest vitriolic article about the
hedge around my house, my reaction was enormous sadness.” The sentence falls apart under close analysis: it says her “reaction” can read
articles. A best-selling author who writes danglers? Say it isn’t so. She should have either replaced “Reading” with “When I
read” or changed the second part to “I reacted with enormous sadness.”
Even seasoned professionals are liable to make loopy mistakes when they don’t proofread.
Because of the E-Newsletter's large readership, please submit your English usage questions through GrammarBook.com's “Grammar Blog.”
The following are sentences recently heard over the airwaves. See if you can spot the errors.
1. “If he believes that canard, he’s grieviously mistaken.”
2. “It depends on Hillary Clinton or whomever gets the nomination.”
3. “I want to see if I have this correctly.”
Revised and Expanded Eleventh Edition of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation Now Available.
Good news: As a result of the excellent response from our readers to the pre-publication discount offer, the publisher is extending the offer until August 30! If you live in the United States or Canada, order the new edition of The Blue Book
through Wiley.com and get 30 percent off and FREE shipping. Simply go to bit.ly/1996hkA and use discount code E9X4AYY.
For those of you who live outside the U.S. and Canada, although the publisher is not able to offer free shipping, you will get 35 percent off to help offset your shipping costs. Simply go to bit.ly/1996hkA and use discount code E9X4A.
With our best wishes for good grammar,
The team at GrammarBook.com
Congratulations to Cindy Frye of the City magazine, Long Beach City College, Long Beach, California, whose endorsement was chosen by the publisher, Jossey-Bass, to appear on the back cover of the new edition. Your complimentary copy is on its way, Cindy. Thank you!
Even though the endorsements sent in by many other loyal readers were not selected, we do want to thank you for taking the time to send in your endorsements. We really appreciated it.
Changes Coming to Our GrammarBook.com Website
We want to alert all of our loyal newsletter readers and visitors to our website that, beginning this week, we will be updating the English Rules section of our website to reflect the contents of the eleventh edition of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation. These revisions will be completed in about one month.
We researched the leading reference books on American English grammar and punctuation including The Chicago Manual of Style, The Associated Press Stylebook, Fowler's Modern English Usage, Bernstein's The Careful Writer, and many others. As before, we will provide rules, guidance, and examples based on areas of general agreement among these authorities. Where the authorities differ, we will emphasize guidance and provide options to follow based on your purpose in writing, with this general advice: be consistent.
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Every year, English teachers across the U.S. can submit their collections of amusing similes and metaphors found in high school essays. Here's a selection of the best:
Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.
John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
Pop Quiz Answers
1. “If he believes that canard, he’s grievously mistaken.”
2. “It depends on Hillary Clinton or whoever gets the nomination.”
3. “I want to see if I have this correct.”
Learn all about who and whom, affect and effect, subjects and verbs, adjectives and adverbs, commas, semicolons, quotation marks, and much more by just sitting back and enjoying these easy-to-follow lessons. Tell your colleagues (and boss), children, teachers, and friends. Click here to watch.