‘Grammar’ Category

  1. Me, Myself, and Why.

    November 7, 2012 by edotgdot

    Me or Myself?

     

    A frequently asked question and a common mistake. Many people use myself when they should simply use me. For example, in the sentence below we will examine what word to use.

    When in doubt, contact an editor, writer, or myself with any questions.

    Is this proper? Here’s a quick and dirty tip from Grammar Girl. Think about the sentence as if you are the only one in it. Remove editor and writer from the sentence above and you are left with:

    When in doubt, contact myself with any questions. (This statement even sounds off, doesn’t it?)

    Me is the appropriate word to use here. Then the right way to write the first statement is:

    When in doubt, contact an editor, writer, or me with any questions.

    Myself is a reflexive pronoun when you are the direct object of the sentence. Another great tip from University of Houston-Victoria, only use myself when you have already referred to yourself in the sentence. Furthermore, myself will be used for emphasis such as:

    I wrote this blog post myself.

    I myself do not care for foie gras.

    I saw the Grand Canyon myself and can attest to its magnificence.

    Generally speaking, myself is used much less frequently than me.

    Sources: Grammar Girl; University of Houston-Victoria; Wikipedia

     

     

     

  2. Typos & Twitter

    February 7, 2012 by edotgdot

    Has Social Media induced carelessness when it comes to spelling and grammar?

     

    How many times do you see something like this plastered on Facebook?

     

    “Your coming to Chicago this weekend?” as opposed to  “You’re coming to Chicago this weekend?”

     

    With the ability to post in a matter of seconds on Facebook and Twitter, we are inundated with typos. Does the web reveal that most people are not aware of some of the fundamental rules of English? We are not all professional editors and writers, but putting forth the best effort when making any statement should be paramount. As a stickler, I find it difficult to not ask others to correct some of the errors. (I don’t do it because I suspect it will not go over well). And when I see a mistake of my own (yes, it happens), I am no less than horrified and do my best to redeem myself.

     

    In their new book, The Great Typo Hunt, writer and editor Jeff Deck and his friend Benjamin Herson trekked across the United States in an effort to correct as many typos as possible. An admirable feat and an interesting concept, however, if readers understand the message do typos really matter? Typos matter: what you write is a reflection of yourself and to an extent, your intelligence and ability.

     

    In 1992, Vice President Dan Quayle famously flubbed the spelling of “potato” by adding an “e” on the end. The media sensationalized this seemingly innocuous event because it may have verified the opposition’s criticism and prompted others to question whether or not a man who could not spell “potato” was capable of leading the country. In his subsequent memoir, Quayle said: “It was a defining moment of the worst kind imaginable. Politicians live and die by the symbolic sound bite.’’

     

    The hard rules may not apply in the case of Social Media, yet you are still posting, broadcasting, or publishing your thoughts for the world to see. Typos happen and mistakes are not the end of the world. But being continually lax about grammar could lead to a blunder that could cost you the next job interview or even public scrutiny. The next time you are posting then, will you give it a second glance?

     

    Sources: cbcnews Canada

     

  3. Less versus Fewer

    July 8, 2011 by edotgdot

    10 items or less fewer!

     

    Less versus fewer is a common blunder.

     

    The “10 items or less” sign in grocery stores is a good and frequently used example of how to differentiate “less” and “fewer.” The sign stating “10 items or less” is grammatically incorrect. (Has a good ring to it though, marketers). The sign should be “10 items or fewer” because the items in a grocery cart are countable.

     

    For example:

    Mary has fewer apples than her neighbor Pam.

     

    Generally speaking, use the word “less” for things that cannot be tallied or for words that do not have a plural, such as:

     

    Joe has less water in his basement than Bob.

     

    For instance, when talking about time, money, and distance. One would not proclaim to have “fewer time” but rather, “less time.”

     

    “Less” is more frequently used while “fewer” falls by the wayside. Remember, if you can count it, use the word “fewer.”

     

    Sources: Grammar Girl; elearnenglishlanguage.com