Grammar Essentials for your Writing Toolbox
Greetings from the Grammar Patrol.
We’ll be wending your way with occasional blog posts here at Take the Leap to help you navigate the slippery slope of English grammar. Both of us taught for years and are now writers, with thirty plus books between us, including our two popular grammar guides, Nitty-Gritty Grammar and More Nitty-Gritty Grammar. For close to twenty years, we taught writing and grammar basics through San Diego State University Extension, accruing a big collection of grammar-related syndicated cartoons from Calvin and Hobbs to Zits. You might as well have fun while working on rusty grammar skills.
We’re grammar geeks. We love what Stephen King, in his excellent On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, says:
You’ll want grammar on the top shelf of your toolbox and don’t annoy me with your moans of exasperation and your cries that you don’t understand grammar. You never DID understand grammar. And you flunked that whole semester in sophomore English.
King’s implication—get over it. Just learn it. Grammar is a key writing tool.
We’ll cover common bloopers in our upcoming grammar blogs. You’ll discover . . .
• Why you say “Here’s a picture of George and me” (not “of George and I”).
• Why “Hopefully” is used only when there’s someone actually hoping.
• Why people wince when a physical therapist says “Lay on your side.”
• Why juries cringe when a closing argument starts “Between you and I . . .”
• When to use which and when to use that . . .
• Why Calvin and Hobbs and Zits are in italics!
. . . and how to space those dots (ellipses) and what em and en dashes are and much more.
Meanwhile, join the Grammar Patrol and be on the lookout for bloopers like these:
Share the bloopers you spot or hear in the comments box.
Here’s to great grammar,
Edith Hope Fine Judith Pinkerton Josephson