A blog subscriber wrote to ask about whether, wondering if there is a difference between whether and whether or not.
What a coincidence that I had looked this up not long ago! As I often say, if you have a question about grammar, there probably are others who have the same question.
The answer to this query is not straightforward or absolute. The broader question is when should you use whether, when should you use if, and should you ever use whether or not? Here are explanations and examples. Continue →
Knowing how I follow developments in the grammar universe, a colleague sent me a recent article from The Economist, a British publication with international coverage and subscribers.
Started in Scotland in 1843, The Economist now claims a reputation for “a distinctive blend of news based on fact, and analysis incorporating The Economist’s perspective.”
The change in The Economist’s style guide that warranted my colleague’s attention relates to the use of infinitives. The editors have declared — at long last — that infinitives may indeed be split. Continue →
What is grammar? It encompasses the words you choose, how you string them together, and how you punctuate them to give them meaning.
To recognize National Grammar Day, which this year falls on March 4, the following post examines 11 sentences that demonstrate why grammar matters. I point out the grammatical errors in each and offer a suggested rewrite.
I discussed the difference in a February 15, 2015, post that followed the Super Bowl that year. Because I always ask new blog subscribers how they found me, and because I continue to get mentions of that optimum versus optimal post, I’m covering the topic again. Continue →