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Grammar Guru (Geek?)

August 23, 2012

The Daily Post at WordPress.com is a blog you may have noticed– it’s an official blog from WP itself, published daily with the stated purpose of inspiring bloggers to, well, post every day. Today’s post is “Feature on Grammar Blogs.” Now, I have ruminated much about what “theme,” if any, jasonwrites.com should have. I don’t want to be strictly a grammar blog, but I like to write about it sometimes. So, as this is the first week of school– not only of 113 or so bright-eyed seventh-graders, but also for the first class of a new graduate program I’m going to try– I have fallen miserably short of posting daily. In fact, it’s been a week.

To rectify this, I can offer a dose of “edutainment,” making learning fun, or making fun of learning– one way or the other. I’m curious (though this would require comments, which are like rare diamonds around here) what grammar issues I should discuss. Here are possibilities…

  • Singular “they”
  • Whoever vs. Whomever
  • I vs. me
  • The Oxford comma
  • Active vs. passive voice
  • Adjectives vs. adverbs 

There’s many more but I need to leave in half an hour to get to school, so I would love to hear thoughts. Well, I wouldn’t love to hear thoughts– telepathy would really get old quickly, especially if the minds you’re surrounded by are all 12 years old. I would love to read your thoughts on these grammar matters.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. August 23, 2012 8:50 am

    The on I asked you you last week comes to mind. Whoever vs Whomever.

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  2. August 29, 2012 5:41 pm

    I actually have two, two degrees in English (channeling my inner count). My degrees weren’t in grammar, though. Still, it’s unbelievable how bad grammar can get – and still get published. In books (50 shades, Twilight, etc), newspapers (especially local) and definitely on the Internet. Of course, I claim my bad grammar is my “literary style”. By the way, how do you teach middle schoolers and keep your sanity? I have one middle schooler, and she drives me crazy.

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    • August 30, 2012 6:33 am

      I love my seventh graders. They keep me young. I’m not saying they’re not exasperating at times but, I taught high school for one year, last year, and overall I prefer the younger energy to the older apathy. The thing about grammar is that it’s fine to break the rules once you actually know them and are consciously choosing to, so it is, as you say, a matter of individual style, for effect, rather than just ignorance and bad, bad writing.

      Thank you for ALL your comments and time here yesterday, I promise I’ll be visiting you ASAP 🙂

      Like

  3. September 18, 2012 6:15 pm

    def bring bk the oxford comma!

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  4. Fantelius permalink
    September 25, 2012 8:50 pm

    By regarding usage as the creater of rules (grammar), and trusting clarity as the supreme guide, we can usually find our way in the jungle of written communication. Singular “they” for instance has been used by many of the most renown English writers, but many authorities have claimed that’s it’s incorrect. It’s not. It’s a rule without legitimacy in usage.
    Language is constantly changing. “Whomever” is perfectly correct for everyone living in the 19th century. It’s all but dead today except in the minds of some grammorticians (grammar + mortician).
    A little poem by Dartwill Aquila from the year 2000:

    Big words for fools, tricky words for clowns
    empty rules under a rusty crown
    mumbled facts under proper nouns.
    Smart money says, they’re going down
    a new English has come to town.

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    • September 27, 2012 9:03 pm

      I agree that language is an evolving, organic phenomenon. As much as I can get a kick out of playing the stickler, I realize that something like singular “they” is here to stay. But there are still guidelines, if not rules, for using grammar in a way that makes prose efficiently enjoyable.

      Like

  5. September 27, 2012 2:20 am

    What about how to pronounce “pronunciation”?
    Thanks for visiting my blog

    Like

    • September 28, 2012 8:21 pm

      And thank you for visiting mine. Well, pronouncing would require some video, or at least audio, blogging. I’m not sure the world is ready yet 🙂

      Like

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