Sunday, September 30, 2012

31 Days to Better Grammar: Day 1


As they say in Pitaiyo, you could be anywhere else right now, but you've chosen to be here. I thank you and hope I can make it worth your while.

Anyone who knows me knows I am passionate about good grammar and proper usage, so this is an obvious choice for my first 31 Days series. No matter where you are on the word-nerd spectrum, there is always more to learn—for me too—and my hope is that we can make it painless. Whether we like it or not, we are judged by our writing throughout life, so why not put a little effort into improving it?

There are a few things we're going to cover this month: some common mistakes, a couple of resources to help you figure out the correct way to write or punctuate something if you're not sure, and we'll even throw in some Latin and Greek roots because they're so much fun. (I see the eyes rolling.) And we'll find out that semicolons are useful for things other than winky faces. You might even find yourself using them!

Also, I invite your questions. Is there a construction you always have trouble with? Do you wonder what a comma splice is? Or what makes a participle dangle? Or why you can't split an infinitive or end a sentence with a preposition? This is your chance to ask the editor. We'll separate grammatical truth from fiction and have some fun in the process.

So let's get on with it!

Since this is day one and I'm trying to keep it short (you'll learn in time that keeping it short is not my strong suit), I'll direct the first lesson toward all the young people I know and love and follow on Facebook.

Your is second-person possessive; it's the possessive form of you. It indicates that something belongs to the person to whom you are speaking. Your car. Your mother. Your lovely smile.

You're is a contraction of the words you and are. It means you are. You're lovely. You're a good friend. Notice that when you form a contraction of two words, the apostrophe is inserted where the missing letter (or letters) used to be.

Your lovely smile indicates that you're happy.

See how easy that is? Now go forth and write correctly.

Be thankful ~

ps. There are more 31 Days series going on all over the web. Find links to them all here. And if you've missed any of my 31 Days and just can't sleep at night for wondering what you missed, I'll link each day's post here after it goes live. I think. At least, I'm going to try. (Is this where the disclaimer goes?)

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8 

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11 

Day 12 

Day 13 

Day 14

Day 15

Day 16

Day 17

Day 18

Day 19

Day 20

Day 21

Day 22

Day 23

Day 24

Days 25 and 26

Day 27

Day 28

Day 29

Day 30

Day 31


Jillian K. said...


Anonymous said...

Your first post tells me you're going to be a fun 31 Dayer to follow! Looking forward to reading more.

Catherine said...

Please explain proper semi colon use. I can't promise I'll use it, but I want to know what I'm doing wrong.

Denise said...

I'm desperate to know how to use a semi-colon. And I think I use commas too much. Help!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE proper grammar and any refreshers would be greatly appreciated. I'm homeschooling my children this year and want to teach them proper English. =;)

Melinda said...

How fun! I'm looking forward to this series a great deal.

Kirby Dunton Carespodi said...

Please tell me this will rub off on a few bloggers. Oh, wait. The ones who need it won't be reading.

Donna said...

Love this. I think I use too many commas. Please help! Glad to have found you through Nester’s link up. I’m looking forward to what you have to share. I am blogging “I Wear Pink”. Please stop by.

Cheri said...

This is going to be fun! I don't consider myself part of the grammar police or anything, but I have been known to grit my teeth in frustration and threaten to poke my eye out with a stick if I have to read any more. I've stopped reading more than one blog because of poor grammar/spelling skills, though I haven't allowed myself to unfriend anyone on Facebook--yet!

But, as you say, we can always learn more, and refreshers are always helpful, so I'm looking forward to this month.

ps: I'm writing about 31 Days of the Small Screen.

Nikki said...

Can you describe how to use who and whom? Thanks.

Hannah @Supermommy!...Or Not. said...

Poor grammar is one my pet peeves so I love this idea! Thanks and I hope I'll learn something new :)