Tag Archives: Grammar Rules

Grammar Police

I meant to start this article earlier, but I was too busy on my Facebook page taking The Ultimate Grammar Quiz. (If you have a Facebook account, click here to take the quiz.) Got an A+! Yes! Not a surprise, considering my friends call on me to proofread everything from documents to Dear John letters […]

That Which Is Correct and That Which Is Not

By Jay Hodges A common assumption writers make is that that and which are interchangeable. They are not. That is a defining or restrictive pronoun, which means that the information following it is necessary for the sentence to make sense. Which is a nondefining, or nonrestrictive pronoun, which means that the text following it adds […]

Scorn, Snobbery, and Self-mutilation: Hypercorrection and You

By Erin Nelsen Have you ever tried so hard to not screw up that you actually sabotaged yourself with your own effort? In writing, this is called hypercorrection—the fear of error that leads to error. Hypercorrection leads to nasties such as My friend whom for My friend who Between her and I for between her […]

Sound-alikes That Make You Sound a-Stupid

By Meg LaBorde, Lari Bishop, Erin Nelsen Authors, emailers, bloggers, and writers of all kinds: are common mistakes making you look like a dum-dum? In our lovely English language, phrases sometimes take an ugly turn when sneaky homophones or sound-alikes get involved. For instance, have you ever offered to flush out an idea for someone? […]

Lies Your English Teacher Told You

By Erin Nelsen Picture the worst English teacher you ever had. The one who made you diagram sentences and say “May I” instead of “Can I” and never, ever laughed, even if you packed five vocabulary words into one demonstration sentence. The one who made you read The Scarlet Letter. The one who told you […]