Saturday, April 7, 2012

Good Grammar

My son, a high school senior, asked me to proof read one of his AP Literature papers. Sure. No problem.


... until he questioned the grammar changes I'd made with a red pen ...


At a writer's conference I went to in 2010, an agent said that THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE by Strunk and White was highly recognized and referred to in the publishing industry.

So, I use it and refer back to it regularly. I also google grammar issues and if I can find two or more educational sites that agree upon a grammar standard, I go with that.

What book of rules or internet resources do you rely on for good grammar?

Or were you simply born a grammar expert?


Editorial Note: Please consider giving a book or a buck to the BOOK DRIVE FOR TEENAGERS! If everyone from the AtoZ Challenge gave a single dollar ... we'd have a huge donation for this high school library. My goal is to donate 500 books (plus monetary contributions). So far we've raised $50 and received 12 books!

Yes, I'm going to keep reminding you for the ENTIRE month of April. Because I'm PUSHY like that. And it's a GOOD cause! Please pass the word and let's hit the goal before the end of the month! To easily donate, just click the "DONATE" button on this blog's side bar. THANKS!! :-)  



  1. Hi Margo, I have a few grammar books on the bookshelf, but I normally rely on my own knowledge :)

    This is me, Duncan D. Horne, visiting you from the A-Z challenge, wishing you all the best throughout April and beyond.

    Duncan In Kuantan

  2. Editors and agents constantly recommend Strunk & White. Although, there are a couple of artificial rules of grammar floating around that are not true rules. For instance, it's actually okay to end a sentence with a preposition, such as, "A preposition is an appropriate word to end a sentence with."

  3. Elements of Style. I like being confident about my comma placement. I bought a copy for my neice - she was not excited. Not even a little. :)

  4. I had to re-learn a whole load of grammar when I started writing. For example, at first I couldn't figure out punctuation around dialogue at all, and it was utterly random until I researched and re-learned the rules.

    I rely in (confusing and contradictory) Internet searches, advice from critiquers, and good ol' Strunk & White.

    I do have a rather detail-obsessed mind, so once a rule has taken root it's there to stay, and prose that doesn't conform looks immediately wrong to me.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Yes, Elements of Style, too, though I do love to read Eats, Shoots & Leaves:)

  7. I are a natural grammar type. Elements of Style works well, or The Canadian Press Style Guide. I don't end sentences with prepositions. "They" is not singular, no matter how hard you try to bend the language.

  8. Tonja's comment just cracked me up :-)

  9. Hi Margo .. I do it by instinct - my education must have been good, but I am completely stumped by grammar and wish I understood it.

    I go with what feels right and am never sure why! I use ellipses a great deal in my blogging and when I type letters out to family and friends re my Mama ... (an now!) but constrain myself when I type formal letters ... thankfully!

    I do have books - but I'd rather do a course sometime ..

    Happy Easter and cheers Hilary

  10. I think I'm naturally okay with grammar. My editor changed a few things around, but admitted that was her personal preference - I conceded half, rejected half... just to be fair. Those ellipses puzzle me a bit though, I've read elsewhere this weekend that spacing is debateable!

  11. Grammar is like breathing to me---it's always been easy. But I have googled some things that's for sure! And way to go with the A to Z... You're nailing it! ;)

  12. I don't own a book of grammar. I have been known to go on line if I have a question. Having a friend dubbed the Comma Queen helps, too.


  13. Aloha Margo

    Thanks for stop by my blog and to be leaving a comment

    although I sures not agree that gra,mmer is to important,

    I fell like my wrote is strong enough to be liked by gents