Months ago I received a Grammar Hammer suggestion to look at the difference between the words “shinny” and “shimmy.” The person who suggested this topic to me said she’d never heard the word “shinny.” I’ll confess, I hadn’t heard of it either. I wondered if shinny was an eggcorn (a word or phrase that results from […]

“The principal is your PAL!” With apologies to Ferris Bueller, that’s how I learned the difference between “principle” and “principal.” Here again, we have two words that sound the same but have two completely different meanings. “Principle” refers to a fundamental law, doctrine, or tenet. It can only be used as a noun. “Principal” actually […]

In the thousands of news releases that cross the desks of the PR Newswire Customer Content Services team on a weekly basis, placing commas outside of quotation marks ranks as one of the most commonly made errors. Though misplaced commas are not a major grammatical offense in comparison to some others we’ve seen, its frequency makes this a […]

This week’s grammar conundrum stems from someone correcting me (ME! The Grammar Hammer) when I made mention of “preventative” measures I needed to take to curtail further water damage from the gutters that are falling off of my house at the moment. Needless to say, I felt somewhat disgruntled by this remark. I courteously smiled, […]

This week’s topic explores the proper use of “like” versus “such as.” While we love to pepper our sentences with this classic crutch word, grammatically speaking, there is a very specific time and place for like. For those about to take the GMAT, this little tidbit will help you get at least one question right. […]

Don’t tell someone you are nauseous, you wouldn’t want them to agree with you.  An employee comes up to me –looking pale and visibly clammy, and says, “I feel nauseous. Ok to head out?” First of all, yes. Please go. Take your germs with you. Secondly, if you’re about to get sick anywhere near me, […]

It’s the exchange that has befuddled small children forever: Offspring: “Why?” Parent: “Because.” Sound familiar?  I heard that a lot as a kid, and you probably did, too. But what about this one? “I’m moving to Hawaii because winter.” Did the conjunction “because” just become a preposition? When did that happen? I know I may […]

This week we’re looking at the difference between the active and passive voices, and how to use (or avoid) their use. Active voice: the subject of the sentence performs the action described in the verb. Example: “I shoveled the driveway.” The subject does the action to the object. I shoveled the driveway. The benefit to using […]

Over the course of last year, our beloved Grammar Hammer tackled a host of topics, ranging from verb tenses to punctuation,  and everything in between. The most popular Grammar Hammer posts for the year focused on basics, for the most part, and here are the ten that garnered the most readers. That Which Does Not […]

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