Friday, May 12, 2017

Grammar questions?

Hey, everyone,
I'm getting together some grammar lessons-- punctuation, sentences, wording. I'd love to do the lessons writers really need. What's your grammar question? I'll put it down on my list and write up a lesson for it. (I can't help it. I love this stuff.) Post here-- and also, if you see a lot of other writers' work-- what's the biggest issue you see, even if it's not a problem for you? I have to say, dialogue punctuation. (You know- She said "you don't understand" . )

What do writers need to be reminded to check?
What annoys you or intrigues you about grammar?

I just spent about a half hour trying to explain who/whom, and privately concluded this was something (along with subject/verb agreement) I might drop if I were Grammar Goddess.



Stacy McKitrick said...

Here's my question(s): What is a restrictive clause? What does it mean, really? What makes it restrictive?

I ask this, because I have a note that says if I'm using the word "which" in a restrictive clause, I should replace it with "that." It would be a helpful note if I knew what it meant! Hahaha! :)

Eilidh said...

Comma-spliced dialogue with action tags like, He arched an eyebrow, "What do you mean by that?"

Also, maybe not grammar, but I'm seeing a lot of qualifiers recently (fairly, rather, quite), and overuse of expletive construction (there is, it is), passive verbs, and the past imperfect tense.

Coolkayaker1 said...

"It's not uncommon to see vagrants on the streets there."

"It's not irregular that they show up on a Tuesday."
"So, they show up regularly on Tuesday's?"
"Not regularly, just sometimes."

"For some CEOs, it's not uncommon to hold a meeting at noon."

I see this all the time, Alicia, in everything from newspapers to The New Yorker magazine. While traditional grammar would say that "not uncommon" means "common", in modern parlance, that seems not to be the case. For instance, "For some CEOs, its common to hold a meeting at noon" makes it sound like a frequent occurrence, whereas "not uncommon" does not imply frequent.

It's subtle, but what is proper here?

Signed, Not Uncommonly Frustrated in Philly.

Edittorrent said...

Okay, thanks!
Love that "not uncommon." Double negatives are always interesting. Let me work on those!
Will front-page the answers when I figure them out. :) You ask tough questions! I was hoping for something simple like, "How about that Oxford comma?"