Jul 08, 2013

Grammar Hammer: A Look Back

I had the startling realization that it is already mid-way through 2013. I started writing for Grammar Hammer in mid-November, 2012 and as the daughter of a newspaper publisher and the granddaughter of an English teacher, I take great care in the posts I write and hope my late father and late grandfather would be proud of my carrying on the tradition of writers in our family. I have over six months’ worth of posts to consult when I start to compose the next post (may I be struck by lightning if I should repeat myself without having something materially different to say on the topic). Two key things I’ve learned since taking on this assignment:
  • Grammar matters. Each week I get a few emails in response to my posts, always thanking me for carrying on the grammatical torch (hey, we word nerds need to stick together).
  • Grammar stumps me at least once a week. I’ve got a running list of books I consult when it comes to writing these posts and making sure I’m correct on my grammar rules. The good news? I learn something every single week.

By far, the two most popular requests I get involve “affect/effect,” which I covered back in November (link to article here) and “me/myself/I,” which I covered back in January (link to article here). Otherwise, the suggestions I get from readers are for words that trip you up when you’re writing — when to use who/whom, who’s/whose, them/they/those, etc.

The most interesting posts I’ve written didn’t really have to do with subject verb agreement or whether ending a sentence with a preposition would land me some time in the grammatical slammer. I had a lot of fun researching the genesis of “begging the question,” grammar rules in poetry, and whether or not someone could or couldn’t care less.
I also have a nice supply of other suggestions that will keep me writing for the foreseeable future, but I’m sure there are more out there. What needs to be brought under my grammatical microscope?
A complete archive to my posts can be found here – and keep the suggestions coming!
Have a grammar rule you’d like me to explore? Drop me a line at catherine.spicer@prnewswire.com.
Author Catherine Spicer is a manager of customer content services at PR Newswire.

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