Although it has been a couple of weeks since Warren Beatty’s February 26 Oscar flub, I’m still seeing advice about how he should have handled it. This hit my email box from a newsletter I subscribe to that offers tips and advice for speakers: ContinueLike it? Share it!
I love writing, rewriting, and rewriting a sentence or paragraph until it says exactly what I want it to say in the manner I want to say it — commas, em dashes, capital letters, italics and all.
It’s comforting to know that I’m not alone.
In celebration of March 4 National Grammar Day 2017, I offer this selection of thoughts by like-minded people who agree: Yes, grammar still matters.
“Your grammar is a reflection of your image. Good or bad, you have made an impression. And like all impressions, you are in total control.”
— Jeffrey Gitomer, American author and business trainer Continue
About a year ago, I posted a blog describing semicolon use. I explained that a semicolon joins two independent clauses — in other words, two complete sentences.
When the semicolon is used correctly, both the clause that precedes it and the clause that follows it have a subject and a verb: ContinueLike it? Share it!
A reader weighed in on exclamation points in my recent blog on pet peeves:
“The exclamation point is overused to the point it has lost its intent in the communication I read.”
What is the intent of an exclamation point? ContinueLike it? Share it!
Lie vs. lay is one of our most confusing word choices.
You might want to lie down when you finish reading this blog, but I’m going to lay it on you anyway. I’m counting on my examples to help you make the right choices. ContinueLike it? Share it!
Although it’s catchy, I clicked on the link to see if the errors — you instead of your, no capital Y, and a comma where none is needed — were intentional as a means to attract attention or whether they truly were oversights.
When I read further, I decided they had to be oversights, as these faux pas were only the beginning. ContinueLike it? Share it!
However, it was disconcerting to see a recent blog — apparently fairly popular — that praised a resource published in 1926 and “lightly revised” in 1965. 1965? That was 50 years ago! ContinueLike it? Share it!
If so, you’re not alone. So does spellcheck.
This sentence, with the name changed, is from a letter I edited recently for a client:
Charles Smith excelled at his duties while he worked with my team, both as a volunteer and as a paid staff member.
Spellcheck suggested this change: ContinueLike it? Share it!
Combining a question mark with an exclamation point yields the interrobang, a form of punctuation that has been around since 1962 but has yet to really catch on.
Consider how it would sound if you were to speak the following requests. You likely would not raise your pitch at the end as you do when you ask a question. You really are not asking someone to do something to which they have the option to reply yes or no; you are making a request that you expect to be met.
May I ask you to please return my call before 5 o’clock.
Will everyone without a ticket please contact the box office by Friday noon.
Could you please send me a list of your core competencies.
Here are four more examples that imply query, but as indirect questions they don’t require a question mark. Contrast them with the true question that follows each: ContinueLike it? Share it!