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grammar | Kestrel's Aerie

grammar | Kestrel's Aerie

Tag Archive: grammar

National Punctuation Day: The Mechanics of Writing Dialogue

National Punctuation Day Today, September 24, is National Punctuation Day. I’ve written about this before, but last year’s offering was fairly broad-based. This year, I’m going to focus on an area of fiction writing that comes quite easily to some, but for many, is a labyrinth of false starts, dead ends, and forbidding alleyways. What I’m…

National Grammar Day 2011

That’s right: National Grammar Day is back! This year marks the fourth annual celebration of writing right, and is hosted by New York Times bestselling author Mignon Fogarty, better known as Grammar Girl. From the website, Language is something to be celebrated, and March 4 is the perfect day to do it. It’s not only…

Clearing Up the Confusion

Confusables Recently, the fine folks at copyediting.com began a new series of podcasts to address what they call “confusables”: those word pairs that give a lot of speakers and writers of English trouble because of their similarities in spelling or pronunciation. For example, they address discreet/discrete, disburse/disperse, loath/loathe, and inciteful/insightful. Some confusables, I’ve discussed in…

National Grammar Day: A Quiz

Believe it or not, today–March 4–is National Grammar Day. To help celebrate this auspicious occasion, and to further grammar education throughout the Internet (always capitalized, incidentally), I have combed through hundreds–maybe even thousands–of blog entries to bring you the following quiz. What you are about to see are errors of usage I have collected over the…

Two-Minute Drill: The Comma Splice

For some reason, discussion of comma splices is on the upswing lately. I’ve run across it at least three times in recent weeks; most recently, at Copyediting’s Fiddly Rules Podcast #12.1 Because it’s unlikely you visit the same websites (or subscribe to the same blogs) as I do, I thought I’d give a quick lesson…

A Pro and Con View of Language

I was talking with a friend on Saturday, and our discussion caused my thoughts to spin off on a totally unrelated tangent (although I eventually brought it back to a point we were discussing). I asked,  “Do you know why I love words so much?” And suddenly that started me off on a dissertation I…

Weekly Word Count: January 22

What Is This? Following the lead of my mentor, friend, and exemplar, Tami Moore, this is a weekly article to document progress in meeting my writing goals as described here. I set up an Excel spreadsheet to track all my work by category (blog post, copyediting work, creative writing) and item. So all I need to do…

Two-Minute Drill: Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda, and More

Wouldn’t writing in English be so much easier if we could just write out words, or combinations of words, the way they sound? Instead of typing out forget about it, I could simply write fuggedaboudit and be done. Of course, if I’m writing dialogue, I can do such things, if the character’s vernacular is such…

Passive and Possessive—Pronouns for Pros

How about some mad props for the alliterative title? Hopefully, it caught your attention and prompted you to read more. So without further ado…. First, let’s be sure we’re all on the same page with respect to what pronouns are. They are words we substitute for nouns, generally to avoid repeating the nouns each time…

Two-Minute Drill: Allude and Elude

This post is the first in what I hope will be a series of short (two minutes to read) articles highlighting commonly confused or misused words. I was reading a blog article yesterday, and the following sentence caught my eye. Then it made me grit my teeth. Fortunately, I have a dentist appointment Thursday for…

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