6 Tips for National Grammar Day

To celebrate National Grammar Day, we have an infographic on what some folks feel are advanced grammar mistakes. These grammar tips go beyond the basics because even the most seasoned writer can make a mistake. Highlights include the misuse of number and numeral and split infinitives. The English language has many obscure grammar rules that even the most veteran authors can miss.

We want to thank Instructional Solutions for working with us to create this infographic. Do you have a favorite grammar rule that is not on the list? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Use Adverbs Sparingly

National Grammar DayNext Wednesday, March 4th, is National Grammar Day, so I thought I’d celebrate by writing a post about grammar. Although it’s not really about grammar. It’s about one of those rules for good writing.

I learned a lot of writing rules back in broadcast journalism school: write short, uncomplicated sentences; don’t put more than twenty words in a sentence; write in present tense; don’t use the word “yesterday,” lest your listeners think you’re running old news; and on and on.

These particular rules are pretty much useless for fiction writing. Most novelists don’t write in present tense (although I hear it’s a thing in some circles) and nobody cares whether you mention “yesterday” in your novel or not. But among the rules that have stuck with me is this: Don’t use adverbs. Continue reading “Use Adverbs Sparingly”

Put Your Best Foot Forward on Facebook

National Grammar DayI promised the folks who run National Grammar Day (it was Tuesday, for those of you who are keeping track) that I would write a post for IU about grammar this week. And ever since then, I’ve been trying to figure out what to write about.

I mean, Cathy Speight does a great job with her grammar-related posts. She explains the rules better than I ever could. So what’s left?

I thought and thought. Nothing came to mind. I gave up and went to Facebook to kill some time – and as I cruised the various writers’ groups that I’m a member of, it hit me: I could write about grammar on Facebook!

All right, I hear you guys muttering. And don’t think I don’t see you guys way in the back who are flexing your brass knuckles and checking the edges on your knives. Just hear me out, and if you think I don’t have a point, I promise to slink away quietly and we can all pretend this never happened. Continue reading “Put Your Best Foot Forward on Facebook”

Between You and Me, Grammar Matters

If ever a genie wants to grant me three wishes, I am all set. First, I would wish to always stay at the perfect weight, no matter how much I ate. Next, I would wish for financial security, so that I could quit my day job and never have to take another one. And my third wish would be for Amazon and Smashwords to insist that every indie title be vetted by a competent proofreader before they will publish it.

I admit it: I’m picky. It’s probably because I internalized grammar and spelling rules early. Please don’t hurt me, but I was one of those annoying kids in school who always got good grades on her English papers. I was a spelling whiz, too. One of my college journalism professors gave his classes a test on commonly-misspelled words at the beginning each semester. I had two classes with him, so I had to take the test twice. When I aced the thing for the second time, he wrote on my paper, “People in radio don’t need to know how to spell!” I’m still not sure whether he was trying to recruit me for the student newspaper. (And if he was, then it’s clear that he never saw my grade in photography.) Continue reading “Between You and Me, Grammar Matters”