Grammar Hammer: A Look Back

I had the startling realization that it is already mid-way through 2013. I started writing for Grammar Hammer in mid-November, 2012 and as the daughter of a newspaper publisher and the granddaughter of an English teacher, I take great care in the posts I write and hope my late father and late grandfather would be proud of my carrying on the tradition of writers in our family. I have over six months’ worth of posts to consult when I start to compose the next post (may I be struck by lightning if I should repeat myself without having something materially different to say on the topic). Two key things I’ve learned since taking on this assignment:
  • Grammar matters. Each week I get a few emails in response to my posts, always thanking me for carrying on the grammatical torch (hey, we word nerds need to stick together).
  • Grammar stumps me at least once a week. I’ve got a running list of books I consult when it comes to writing these posts and making sure I’m correct on my grammar rules. The good news? I learn something every single week.

By far, the two most popular requests I get involve “affect/effect,” which I covered back in November (link to article here) and “me/myself/I,” which I covered back in January (link to article here). Otherwise, the suggestions I get from readers are for words that trip you up when you’re writing — when to use who/whom, who’s/whose, them/they/those, etc.

The most interesting posts I’ve written didn’t really have to do with subject verb agreement or whether ending a sentence with a preposition would land me some time in the grammatical slammer. I had a lot of fun researching the genesis of “begging the question,” grammar rules in poetry, and whether or not someone could or couldn’t care less.
I also have a nice supply of other suggestions that will keep me writing for the foreseeable future, but I’m sure there are more out there. What needs to be brought under my grammatical microscope?
A complete archive to my posts can be found here - and keep the suggestions coming!
Have a grammar rule you’d like me to explore? Drop me a line at catherine.spicer@prnewswire.com.
Author Catherine Spicer is a manager of customer content services at PR Newswire.

One response to “Grammar Hammer: A Look Back

  1. Greatly appreciate your posts…

    Couple follow-on ideas

    · Would be great to hear how you approach those times when you are stumped… the books or sites you reference, when you refer to them, why you refer to specific ones, etc.

    · Maybe even a summer reading list

    Thanks,
    Jeff

    Jeff Miller
    Manager Communications & Development

    JBT Corporation
    E: jeff.miller@jbtc.com
    P: +1.312.861.6461 | M: +1.312.607.4395
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    Chicago, IL | USA | 60602

    http://www.jbtcorporation.com

    This communication (and/or the documents accompanying it) may contain confidential information belonging to the sender or intended recipient. The information is intended solely for the use of the individual or entity named above. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or the taking of any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited. If you receive this communication in error, please notify us immediately by telephone to arrange for the return of the documents.

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