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Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips For Better Writing By: Mignon Fogarty.

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1 Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips For Better Writing By: Mignon Fogarty

2 Quick & Dirty Overview A quick (and entertaining!) read: Catchy titles/subtitles Interactive voice Breaks subject matter down in a way that makes sense Relates to the everyday grammarian Gives the reader good and bad examples Lists common errors Offers interactive element (podcast) Ties into how people communicate today (Internet Intervention) Overall, it makes a traditionally “boring” study not so boring!

3 Grammar Girl’s Dirty Words - Common misuses of everyday words and phrases - Memory tricks to help remember correct word choice - Can you decide which is correct…?

4 BACKWARD/S A. WVU is infamous for its backwards ways. B.WVU is infamous for its backward ways. B is correct. Backward is always used as an adjective. However, they are interchangeable when describing a verb. Ex. They moved backwards. They moved backward.

5 BAD vs. BADLY Do these two sentences have the same meaning? A.I smell bad. B.I smell badly. No. In A, “bad” is an adjective. “Badly” is an adverb describing “smell.”

6 Between vs. Among Is this sentence correct? -Larry had trouble deciding between Bud Light, Coors Light, and Miller Lite. No. Between is used for 2 things. Among is used for more than 2 things.

7 Between vs. Among Example suggested by Grammar Girl to help you remember: Squiggly dreaded choosing between the bees and the tweens.

8 Bring vs. Take Choose the correct sentence A.May I take you to the party? B.May I bring you to the party? A is correct. Grammar Girl Tip: Ask people to bring things to the place you are, and you take things to the place you are going. The person asking is/will be at the destination.

9 Different From/Than Which sentence is preferred? A.Jim is different from the rest. B.Jim is different than the rest. A is preferred. Grammar Girl Tip: “Different” has two f’s and only one t, so the best choice is the one that starts with f.

10 Everyone vs. Everybody Which sentence is preferred? A.Everyone in Chapel Hill was shocked. B.Everybody in Chapel Hill was shocked. Either is correct! Both words mean the same thing.

11 Further or Farther? A.How much further do we have to swim? B.How much farther do we have to swim? B is correct. Grammar Girl Tip: Use farther with physical distance. Use further with figurative distance.

12 Lay or Lie? A.Lie down on the couch! B.Lay down on the couch! A is correct! Lay requires a direct object and lie does not.

13 Grammar Girl Tips For Lay/Lie: -You lay something down. People lie down by themselves. -Both Eric Clapton’s “Lay Down Sally” and Bob Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay” are wrong. They should be “Lie Down Sally” and “Lie Lady Lie.”

14 Set vs. Sit These follow the same rules as lay/lie. Set requires an object, while sit does not. -Sit down! -Set a coaster down!

15 A Few More Tips -Don’t use the words deceptively or inflammable, as they lead to confusion. -I.E. = In other words E.G. = For example

16 A Few More Tips -Less vs. Fewer The grocery store sign should say “10 items or fewer” because items are individual. Less is for mass nouns. -Graduated vs. Graduated From -A school does the act of graduating: -VT graduates thousands each year. -Students are graduated from a school: -Thousands graduate from VT each year.

17 Punch Up Your Punctuation! Ties words together Provides your reader with “hints” to help them read

18 Exercise: How well do you know your punctuation? T/F: You need to type two spaces after a period? What’s wrong with this sentence? Squiggly’s favorite Thanksgiving dishes are: rolls and cranberry sauce. T/F: There is a difference between a hyphen and a dash.

19 Name the grammatical error in the following sentence: Squiggly ran to the forest, Aadrvark chased the peeves. “…” is called what? T/F: The following sentence is correct. Banana’s are $1.50.

20 Which sentence is correct? a)We went to Bob Jones’ house. b)We went to Bob Jones’s house. T/F: You should put yourself last in a list of people out of politeness.

21 BIG & TALL: Capitalization Here are a few quick & dirty tips when it comes to capitalization…

22 Proper Nouns: Nicknames Which sentence uses correct capitalization?? 1.Did you call Aunt Mathilda? 2.My Aunt Mathilda called after dinner. # 1 is correct Quick&Dirty Tip: Because “Aunt” is being used as part of someone’s name, it is capitalized. Otherwise, it is usually lowercased.

23 What’s Your Degree? Which sentence uses correct capitalization?? 1.I have an undergraduate degree in English. 2.I have an undergraduate degree in Biology. # 1 is correct. Quick&Dirty Tip: Because “English” is derived from a proper noun (England) it is capitalized. Words such as “biology” or “math” are not derived from proper nouns so they are lowercased.

24 What’s Your Department? Which sentence uses correct capitalization?? 1.The Department chairperson just won the World of Warcraft pumpkin-carving contest. 2.The Department of Computer Gaming issued an announcement. # 2 is correct. Quick&Dirty Tip: Because “Department” is part of the exact name of a specific department, it is capitalized. When it is used generically as a common noun, it is lowercased.

25 Titles 101 Quick&Dirty Tip: It is Recommended to Capitalize the First Letter of Prepositions Over Three Letters Long, and Every Noun, Verb, Pronoun, Adjective, Adverb, and Subordinating Conjunction. Is this title correct? “Grammar Girl’s: Quick and Dirty Tips For Better Writing” “For” should not be capitalized because it is a preposition that is only three letters long.

26 Titles 102 Which sentence is correct? 1.Dallas, President of Seattle, came to dinner. 2.We invited President Dallas to dinner. # 2 is correct. Quick&Dirty Tip: Because “President” is part of Dallas’ official title, it is capitalized. In the first sentence, “president” is being used as a descriptor and should be lowercased.

27 God Bless Grammar Fill in the blank with either “God” or “god”: 1.Christians believe ( ) is omniscient. 2.Stories about the Greek ( s) provide great inspiration. 3.The ( ) Apollo is often shown playing the lyre. God god Answers: God, gods, & god Quick&Dirty Tip: “God” is capitalized when it is in reference to the name of one specific god. When it refers to multiple gods or is used as a descriptor, it is lowercased.

28 Which Way?? Which sentence uses correct capitalization?? 1.He moved from the South to the Midwest. 2.Go South until you reach the mall, then head West. # 1 is correct. Quick&Dirty Tip: When you describe a specific place like “South Korea,” capitalize direction names. When you describe a direction like “He’s from southern France,” lowercase direction names.

29 Quick & Dirty Review Takes a not-so-friendly subject and makes it one with a user-friendly text Thus, the focus in the classroom should be to incorporate that same sort of feeling for our students Would recommend this book to future English teachers, English students, grammarians and non-grammarians alike who are interested in learning quick & dirty rules to help better their grammar!

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