Wednesday, October 31, 2012

31 Days: Day 31 — In which I sink to new late-post lows.

Yes, I've procrastinated almost as long as I can and still call it today.

We made it! Thirty-one long days of learning to use better grammar. If I'm exhausted, I know you must be ready for a grammar vacation. And I don't blame you, so go ahead! End your sentences with prepositions! Dangle your participles! Use their as a singular pronoun! Just warn me so I can look the other way.

Before we finish up, let me just throw a couple more no-nos in the ring.

Reflect back. Never say this. When you RE-flect, you look back. So if you reflect back, you look back back. It's like saying ATM machine or PIN number. Don't.

Very unique. Do you know what unique means? It means one of a kind. How can something be very one of a kind? There are no degrees of uniqueness. Something is either unique or it is not.

I could care less. Really? How much less could you care? What you mean is I couldn't care less, as in, it's not possible for me to care any less than I do right now.

Close proximity. This is another reflect back. Proximity means closeness. Lose the close and just say proximity.

Data. The word data is actually the plural form of datum. One datum. Two data. It only sounds ridiculous to you because it is almost never used correctly. The data are proof.

Media. Media is also a plural word; the singular is medium. One medium, two media. When we speak of "the media," we're including TV, radio, newspapers, and others. There are many. The media are liberal.

One last nugget:

Ad nauseam. Do you see how that last word is spelled? N-A-U-S-E-A-M. I can't remember the last time I saw this word in print spelled correctly. It's not ad nauseum. It's ad nauseam.

And now the grammar queen is shutting down and heading to bed. Thank you for spending 31 days with me, listening to me rant about silly mistakes and give long, drawn-out explanations of stuff most people don't care about. My hope is that after 31 days of reading this, you've learned at least one thing you didn't know before or you are at least more confident in what you already knew. Grammar matters!

Be thankful ~


Anonymous said...

Thank you for one last excellent read. Get lots of rest and feel better soon.

Now to figure out what you talk about when you're not teaching us grammar! =)

Kayla said...

I learned a lot that I didn't know. I can only hope that I actually retain some of your little nuggets of grammar wisdom.

Anonymous said...

I won't be able to thank you fully for the articles on your web-site. I know you'd put a lot of time and energy into all of them and hope you know how much I appreciate it. I hope I could do the same for someone else sometime.

Laree said...

I just wanted to drop you a quick little note and thank you for your series. I bookmarked your link at the first of October from the Nester's site and just read through all of your posts. I must admit, I felt rather pleased with myself because I knew most of the mistakes you mentioned! (and thank you for the "unnecessary quotation" part. Those drive me nuts!)

I did learn some things too (like why I can never spell prerogative correctly!) I really enjoyed this.