Style and grammar, or why lots of things aren’t ‘wrong’

Originally posted on Grammar Monkeys on June 4, 2012. What do we talk about when we talk about grammar? Strictly speaking, grammar is the unique patterns of a language, the system of how speakers can put together words and sentences. Grammar encompasses morphology (how to form words), syntax (how to form sentences) and semantics (what words…

The year in typos (or should we say “typo’s”)

Originally posted on Grammar Monkeys on Dec. 31, 2011. I’ve been taking pictures all year of errors I’ve spotted “in the wild” — on signs, in stores and other places out and about. Most were the “grocer’s apostrophe” — using an apostrophe to make a plural. But there were a few other types, and a…

When spell-check won’t help: How typos sneak into writing

Originally posted on Grammar Monkeys on Oct. 18, 2011. (Revised from a guest post originally written for Voxy.com that also appeared on Ragan.com) Writers and editors have a lot to juggle in making prose presentable: big-picture items like accuracy, clarity, flow and structure, as well as details like grammar, spelling, punctuation and word choice. Details…

Corrections with a smile

Originally posted on Grammar Monkeys on July 26, 2011. I ran across an interesting post over the weekend that asks: “Why do people hate on those of us who know grammar? Why is it insulting to have your language skills corrected?” The author, Claiborne L., a professional writer and editor, makes some excellent points in…