Category: grammar fun

Track Your Dialect

The New York Times recently published a little quiz that can tell where you grew up based on your answers to questions regarding the words and phrases you feel comfortable using. You can see below, the quiz nailed where I…

The very model of an amateur grammarian

You may have heard Gilbert and Sullivan’s Modern Major-General (it starts at about the 1:10 mark.) But have you seen The very model of an amateur grammarian « The Stroppy Editor?

The Secret Life of Pronouns–Blog Prompt #7

At some point over the weekend, I stumbled across a discussion of James W. Pennebacker, the author of The Secret Life of Pronouns. I didn’t get the whole interview, but Pennebaker’s theory seems to be that how we use language…

Active and Passive Voice

Okay. Because you all seem to think that Grammar Girl is all smart and sassy and her explanation of active and passive voice was so much better than mine, here you go. Take your Grammar Girl; I don’t care. By the…

Can You Tell One Rogue from Another?

Not all vagabonds are created equal. Some travel in pairs, some steal horses, some steal from the disabled. Fortunately, British writer Thomas Harman studied vagabond-ology back in the mid 1500’s and provided us a with a list of the various…

If I Was a Rich Man . . .

Notice anything incorrect about the title of this post? If so, you’re probably wondering why our discussion of verbs did not cover the subjunctive mood. My answer is that, for the purposes of this class, we won’t be discussing the…

Metaphor

We often discuss metaphor in the context of a writer’s voice, but metaphor also reflects the way we think. The metaphors we use to describe certain concepts, activities, etc. both reflect and affect the way we think about those concepts,…