Grammatically Correct by Anne StilmanHow does good writing stand out?
If its purpose is to convey facts, findings, or instructions, it need be read only once for its content to be clear. If its purpose is to entertain or to provoke thought, it makes readers want to come back for more.
Revised and updated, this guide covers four essential aspects of good writing:
Individual words - spelling variations, hyphenation, frequently confused homonyms, frequently misused words and phrases, irregular plurals and negatives, and uses of capitalization and type style to add special meanings
Punctuation - the role of each mark in achieving clarity and affecting tone, and demonstration of how misuses can lead to ambiguity
Syntax and structure - agreement of subject and verb, parallel construction, modifiers, tenses, pronouns, active versus passive voice, and more
Style - advice on the less hard-and-fast areas of clarity and tone, including sentence length and order, conciseness, simplification, reading level, jargon and cliches, and subtlety
Filled with self-test exercises and whimsical literary quotations, Grammatically Correct steers clear of academic stuffiness, focusing instead on practical strategies and intuitive explanations.
Discussions are designed to get to the heart of a concept and provide a sufficient sense of when and how to use it, along with examples that show what ambiguities or misinterpretations might result if the rules are not followed. In cases where there is more than one acceptable way to do something, the approach is not to prescribe one over another but simply to describe the options.
Readers of this book will never break the rules of language again - unintentionally.
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If our smart contributors make these mistakes, chances are you make them sometimes, too. John is the guy who always forgets his shoes, not the guy that always forgets his shoes. The word currently is virtually always redundant. Can you tell this is one of my pet peeves? Instead of starting a sentence with There is , try turning the phrase around to include a verb or start with you. For example, replace the sentence above with Start your sentences in a more interesting way.
On the other hand, making some grammatical errors just makes you look bad, and hurts your effectiveness.
a river rules my life
Want to add to the discussion?
What is grammar? Should I use a or an before this word, acronym, or initialism? How do I indicate possession when something belongs to two people? Is it "between you and me" or "between you and I"? Why do I sometimes hear constructions like needs washed or needs looked at? Why do I sometimes see are with company or team names, as in "Apple are announcing a new iPhone"? Why don't some contractions work in certain places?
Today guest-writer Bonnie Trenga is going to tell us how one little comma can change the meaning of a sentence. Well, you can write the sentence either way. There is no right or wrong here. If you want to emphasize your thought, you can add the comma to slow the sentence down. If no emphasis is necessary, then no comma is necessary. I however prefer ketchup.