To Beat a Grammarian: A Preface

Why I Want to Beat a Grammarian After finishing my first book, I quickly realized there were many things I didn’t know about writing. Clearly, I can string lines together and make them coherent, even sometimes cohesive. Yet time and time again, comments arose about my grammar. And, to be honest, I was shocked. I’ve … Continue reading To Beat a Grammarian: A Preface

To Beat a Grammarian: Ellipses

To Beat a Grammarian: Ellipses The ellipsis is a handy little tool in a writer’s repertoire, but far too often, it is used incorrectly. Personally, it is one of my favorites, added along next to the dash. It gives a little twang and uniqueness to sentences that any other punctuation mark can’t do—all things in … Continue reading To Beat a Grammarian: Ellipses

To Beat a Grammarian: Parentheses

To Beat a Grammarian: Parentheses I had a friend once, who, when writing letters to me, would add roughly a parenthetical sentence every other line. Some found it annoying. I found it refreshing. It kept me on my toes. In this way, the camp on parentheses, clearly, is divided. Just ask anyone who has ever … Continue reading To Beat a Grammarian: Parentheses

To Beat a Grammarian: Dashes

To Beat a Grammarian: Dashes With this punctuation mark, I must make a confession: it tends to be one of my favorite ones, and…I overuse it a bit. For this reason, when editing, I examine my dashes carefully. But they are so wonderful. So let’s get started. 1) Emphasis This should be clear to anyone … Continue reading To Beat a Grammarian: Dashes

To Beat a Grammarian: Commas (Adjective and Noun Clauses)

To Beat a Grammarian: Commas (Adjective and Noun Clauses) With the mention of the above two clauses, you would believe most people know when and where to put commas, but it can be deceptive. So let’s get started. 1) Adjective Clauses There are many ways to consider the comma in these situations, and for the … Continue reading To Beat a Grammarian: Commas (Adjective and Noun Clauses)

To Beat a Grammarian: Semicolons

To Beat a Grammarian: Semicolons   These are probably the least understood of punctuation marks. I see students misuse it, and well-known authors throw it about with little regard. It’s a freak in its own freak show, really, and like commas, a little knowledge can help out discerning what situations to use it in. Above … Continue reading To Beat a Grammarian: Semicolons

To Beat a Grammarian: Commas (Part Three: Myths)

To Beat a Grammarian: Commas (Part Three) Somewhere in elementary school, our brains get trained to believe commas go in certain spots or are used in certain situations. This is probably where so much of the difficulty arises. Even for well-read individuals, we take in the information passively and make wrong assumptions with no formal … Continue reading To Beat a Grammarian: Commas (Part Three: Myths)