Sunday, 11 September 2011
Yes. I am high maintenance. Especially when it comes to grammar. I'm all for breaking the rules when it comes to creative writing - sentence fragments, word-recreation, starting sentences with adverbs ... but when it comes to basic grammar rules, I'm ruthless.
So, I am LOVING this site - The Oatmeal - which not only dedicates itself to getting the written word right, it does it with total wit, and makes it all look awfully pretty, too. I want that graphic designer on my team - NOW!
The site teaches in a really spatial way, making the 'teachings' ideal for students, too. There's also tips on such delicacies as how to use an apostrophe and semicolon, when to use i.e. and the three most common uses of irony.
Love. Particularly that tetchy topic of grammar. And just think how much more pro your manuscript will appear when you send it to a publisher, and how much more keen an editor would be to work with you, if your grammar is in tune.
a lot NOT alot
vice versa NOT vice-a versa
something NOT somethink and anything NOT anythink
it went really well NOT it went real good
don't take it personally NOT don't take it personal (adverbs without the -ly suffix modify NOUNS people, NOT verbs! ugh; this is a major peeve)
any more NOT anymore
all right NOT alright
thank you NOT thankyou
she brought the children with her NOT she bought the children with her
you can also win one NOT you can also win one, too (also AND too is a tautology)
there are myriad apps NOT there is a myriad of apps
in regard to NOT in regards to (also correct: with regard to, regarding, as regards to, please give my regards to your family)
photos NOT photo's!!!!! and bananas NOT banana's (plurals don't take a possessive apostrophe!)
1960s or '60s NOT 1960's or 60's
how-tos NOT how-to's
(can you tell this apostrophe issue really irritates me!? just because a word ends in a vowel does not mean it needs an apostrophe when it's made plural! Same with the 'ing' suffix; so you would say toing and froing, NOT to'ing and fro'ing or to-ing and fro-ing. Remember that with such a phrase, it would be in high context, so anyone reading it would understand what it means and would not read it as rhyming with 'boing'; trust your reader)
the festival is in its third year NOT the festival is in it's third year
(ahh - the possessive 'its'. An apostrophe followed by an s is an abbreviation of 'it is' - no exceptions! possessive its has NO apostrophe)
And lastly - this is not a grammar issue but it scratches at me like nails down a blackboard every time I hear it - I'm 21 years of age. What a shibboleth. Please just say I'm 21 years old. And on that note, when writing age, hyphens are only used in this form: 'she's a 21-year-old' NOT when we say 'she is 21 years old'.
Okay. Rant over. Do you have some grammar pet peeves?