Category: grammar

Half Off Copyedits for NaNoWriMo Winners

As a little bonus incentive, I’m offering a limited number of NaNoWriMo 2018 winners a discount on copyediting your new novel. I’ll give you time to flesh it out and clean it up first so the discount will be applied in 2019.  

Self-driving Cars and Avocado Toast: Welcome to AP Stylebook 2017

These are the days that we grammar freaks live for!* The Associated Press Stylebook 2017 is shaking things up with 200 changes, some of them major changes. The internet (lowercase i) is buzzing with venom as traditional grammarists duke it out with progressive grammarists, using well-written and carefully punctuated insults, while trolls stoke the fire with deliberate misspellings. It’s a maaaaaad house!

Why did it take nine years to get serious about my own writing?

My son, always looking for ways to earn a few extra dollars to fund his science projects, emerged from his (laboratory) bedroom as I emerged from my Writing Zone. We met at the (writing fuel) coffee pot, and he began his proposal.
“I see you’re making money,” he started.
“I’m not making money,” I answered.
A sound caught in his throat, as if this unexpected answer…

When and When Not to Hyphenate

Do you know why high-heeled shoes get a hyphen, but running shoes do not? Why the president-elect gets a hyphen, but the vice president elect does not? What if I told you that the white-and-gold dress was also blue and black? Some people think hyphenating is random, that whatever looks right is right. Sorry, but no. We have rules. We can’t just let people hyphenate all over the place, willy-nilly. But I’ve got your back. I’ll walk you through this.

Avoiding Bias when Writing Descriptors

One of the biggest changes to American English in recent years is an emphasis on persons first. That is, we no longer define human beings by their descriptors. I’m not talking about Political Correctness. I’m talking about grammar.

Top 10 Perfectly Nice Words that Sound Offensive

Peace, writer peeps! Last month’s crazy response to my using a single word (shh…it was feminist) got me thinking about David Howard, and the trouble a single word made for him. In February of 1999, David Howard, an aide to Washington DC’s then-mayor Anthony Williams,…

Functional Shifting in Grammar: Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Hi Writer Peeps! Today’s blog is about words and phrases that usually identify as one part of speech, but step out and play another role from time to time. I like to think of these as “transgrammars.” Other grammarians–stuffy sorts–call them functional shifts. The…

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