Monday, March 24, 2014

Infographic: Top 20 Grammar Mistakes in Journalism

This cool, fun-to-read graphic page from GrammarCheck summarizes the top twenty grammar mistakes journalists (and probably everyone else) make. I'm happy to share it with you, and I invite you to visit GrammarCheck,net for more infographics and blog posts about grammar.

A Wordly Mistake: Top 20 Grammar Mistakes in Journalism (Infographic)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Grammar Quotes and Jokes

Below are some of my favorite quotes and jokes about grammar. Who knew grammar could be so entertaining?

Feel free to add to this list by leaving a comment. I will update this post regularly. Make sure you come back often! For quotes about writing, please visit this post.

Grammar Quotes

“The past is always tense, the future perfect.” ~ Zadie Smith

“A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the other one.” ~ Baltasar Graci├ín

“If you can spell "Nietzsche" without Google, you deserve a cookie.” ~ Lauren Leto

“This is the sort of bloody nonsense up with which I will not put.” (regarding the rule against ending a sentence with a preposition) ~ Winston Churchill

“I love you. You are the object of my affection and the object of my sentence.” ~ Mignon Fogarty (Grammar Girl)

"Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson:  you find the present tense, but the past perfect!"  ~ Owens Lee Pomeroy

"Only in grammar can you be more than perfect."  ~ William Safire

"When comforting a grammarian, always say, 'There, their, they’re.'" ~ Unknown

Grammar Jokes

The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar. It was tense.

A synoynm ambles into a pub.

A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

A boy answers the phone. The caller asks, "Where are your parents?"
"They ain't here!"
"Come on, son. Where's your grammar?"
"My gramma ain't here neither. She's gone to church!"

A pregnant woman went into labor and began to yell, "Couldn't! Wouldn't! Shouldn't! Didn't! Can't!" She was having contractions.

Teacher: Can someone give me a sentence starting with "I"?
Student: I is
Teacher: No. Always say, "I am."
Student: All right, if you say so. I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.

It's Not Punny!

A soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.

Broken pencils are pointless.

They told me I had a Type A blood, but it was a Type O.

I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. I can't put it down.

PMS jokes aren't funny. Period.

Some people don't like food going to waist.

Never lie to an x-ray technician. They can see right through you.

The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed.

 There was a sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center that said, "Keep Off the Grass."

A rule of grammar: double negatives are a no-no.

A prisoner's favorite punctuation mark is the period. It marks the end of his sentence.

My new theory on inertia doesn't seem to be gaining momentum.

The dead batteries were given out free of charge.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Curious Case of the Semicolon

Some people have a very strong opinion about the semicolon. My husband loves it (and misuses it a lot). Others can't stand it. And some are just plain clueless as to how to use it.

Semicolon Lovers

On his website, The Oatmeal, blogger and cartoonist Matthew Inman calls it "the most feared punctuation on earth" and explains how to use it correctly, with the help of cartoons he created. He likes the semicolon so much, he even made a poster about it that teachers and grammar geeks of all sorts can buy on his siteprovided they like his particular sense of humor.

Author and physician Lewis Thomas loves the semicolon as well: "The period tells you that that is that; if you didn't get all the meaning you wanted or expected, anyway you got all the writer intended to parcel out and now you have to move along. But with a semicolon there you get a pleasant little feeling of expectancy; there is more to come; read on; it will get clearer."

Semicolon Dislikers

American novelist Kurt Vonnegut has a very strong opinion against them: "Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college."

Novelist James Scott Bell wrote an interesting blog post called The Great Semi-Colon Debate. He is clearly against using it in fiction, stating that "the semi-colon is a stone that causes the reader to stumble."

There is even a poll on about whether the semicolon is worth saving or not.

The Clueless

Some people aren't quite sure how to use a semicolon in the first place. If you're one of them, and especially if you're a big fan of British accents, I would recommend you watch this video by Grammar Monster. Another good resource to learn about the semicolon is the Grammar Book. For a one-page, easy-to-understand printout, visit ChompChomp. It's really not that hard. The semicolon is only used to link closely related complete sentences and to separate complex items in a list.


After reading all these articles and weighing both sides, I formed an opinion: the semicolon may be used (sparingly) in nonfiction, provided the writer knows how to use it properly; in fiction, it should be avoided as much as possible.

What do you think about the semicolon? Love it? Hate it? Don't care? I personally like it. It comes in handy to make winky faces. ;)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Self-Publishing and Professional Editing

Many writers are now considering taking the route of self-publishing. The competition is fierce in the publishing industry, and only a very small percentage of writers succeed at finding an agent and making it into the traditional publishing world.

This may be a very frustrating path for writers who spend months, maybe years, working on a novel, only to face rejection over and over again. Self-publishing is becoming increasingly popular, especially now that e-books are available even for young children to access, via libraries, e-readers, tablets, or smart phones.

I'm a little concerned, however, about the quality of books being self-published. Nobody is perfect, and even when reading our book over and over again several times, typos and grammar errors slip through. A second or third pair of eyes is often needed to catch everything.

This is what triggered me to start proofreading e-books for fellow writers. I just can't overlook a typo without saying anything. A published book should be totally error-free. It's only fair to the potential readers. Typos are distracting, and can often make a potential reader decide not to purchase an e-book, after reviewing the first few pages and finding typos.

Here's the catch. Writers have no money. Getting published is hard, and once published, selling enough books to make it worth all the effort is often a challenge.

No need to break the bank. PenPals aims to offer the best service, still at a reasonable cost.

Do your future readers a favor. Talk to us about what we can do for you. 

Editing Services for Everyone

Here at PenPals Editing, we combine our skills to offer the best services at an affordable price. Ask for references, browse through our sample works, or request a free consultation. Your satisfaction is our priority.

This site also offers useful information about editing, publishing, and anything related to writing, whether it be fiction, non fiction, or anything in between. You will find links to helpful sites and resources to assist you in your writing projects.

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