Tag Archives | grammar

Beware the dastardly dangling participle

Grammar and syntax can be funny things. You can have two sentences that appear to be identical, aside from some subtle switches in word order, but they may mean very different things. Take this sentence: “Towering above the company’s production facility, our technician inspected the smokestack.” Or this one: “Born in Schenectady, the inventor’s first […]

Continue Reading

WHY AM I SUCH A FUSSBUDGET?

Ah, there’s a wonderful old word one rarely hears these days. “Fussbudget” dates back to the turn of the century (the previous turn, not the most recent one) and refers to one who gets worked up about small matters that seem to have little importance. Many people would toss matters about grammar, spelling, punctuation, and […]

Continue Reading

DO TYPOS REALLY MATTER?

As social media continues to explode, a subset of users is frustrating some posters and delighting many others. Viewed as the evil grammar police by their critics, these are the people who take time to point out grammatical and spelling mistakes in their friends’ and associates’ posts. Some of us see them as heroes. The […]

Continue Reading

THERE ARE NO RULES

I’ll often receive emails asking me about specific rules of word usage.  Or when I submit copy to a client, one of the reviewers will send it back with a comment asking whether I know the rule about something. The grammarians in the crowd will hate me for saying it, but there really aren’t any […]

Continue Reading