Grammar Repair Shop

Redundant redundancies

September 1, 2015 Categorized in: Grammar Repair Shop

Here are some common redundancies that you should exterminate completely (redundancy intended) from your writing and speech.

Lie/Lay/Lying/Laying

September 1, 2015 Categorized in: Grammar Repair Shop

Lie is an intransitive verb (one that does not take an object), meaning “to recline.” Its principal parts are lie, lay (past tense), lain (past participle) and lying (present participle) …
Take this 10-question quiz to see if you’re a grammar ace.
Using a word incorrectly can harm your image, writes Jeff Haden for LinkedIn. These common words can trip up even strong writers.

Which words do you misuse?

June 1, 2015 Categorized in: Grammar Repair Shop

You may think you know what these words mean, but is it possible you’re mistaken?
Grammar is full of rules, and those who know them sometimes like to call out those who don’t. But some oft-stated rules are really just myths, as grammar blogger Mignon Fogarty writes at Mental Floss.
Once you’ve learned all the basic rules of English grammar, you’ll find there are almost as many exceptions. Grammarly Director of Communications Allison VanNest explains some words that act in ways you might not expect.
At one point during his webinar on proofreading and editing, Fred asked attendees to quickly read nine sentences to see if they could pin down what was wrong with them. Surely you can spot all the errors, right? Let’s find out.

Do you use poor word choices?

March 25, 2015 Categorized in: Grammar Repair Shop

Using incorrect terms or made-up words can make your speech and writing sound ridiculous and unprofessional. Grammarly’s Allison VanNest reviews several common errors to avoid in your communications.
Can you switch between first (I or we) and third person (he, she or they) in the same paragraph? Writing coach Lynn Gaertner-Johnston says you can, as long as you allow clarity to be your guide.
Getting your words right makes a good impression, but part of knowing the rules means knowing when it’s OK to break them. Lin­­guist Steven Pinker, writing in The Guardian, offers eight grammar rules that you can bend once in a while.
Weird Al Yankovic made grammar funny with his “Word Crimes” parody of Robin Thicke’s hit song “Blurred Lines” and its accompanying video this summer. Weird Al brought up some good grammar points that are important for everyone to remember, says News to Live By Managing Editor Danny Rubin.

Banish unnecessary prepositions

August 26, 2014 Categorized in: Grammar Repair Shop

Many writers develop their own quirks and styles over time, and it’s possible to identify their writing just by the words and phrases they use. One common style quirk is using prepositions too much, especially the word “of,” says Grammar Girl blogger Mignon Fogarty. “Overusing it can make your writing sound passive and fussy.”