Many writers were weirdos in high school, the kids who got their high underlining the noun once and the verb twice. I hated dissecting stuff, (Sorry, Dad, you probably figured out I wasn’t really sick that day you dissected frogs in your Biology class) but enjoyed tearing apart a sentence and diagraming it. I didn’t even ask why we had to learn it. I did it just because I could.
We weirdos also did our homework in study hall, duh, so we could read for hours at home. We even liked helping others with their homework. We also were slightly obsessive about grades. If we received an A-, we didn’t see the “A” we saw the “-“.
Now the stakes are higher. We aren’t writing for a tired teacher with too many papers to grade, so will skim ours and give us an “A”, we’re writing in public. We’re writing blog posts, social media blurbs, articles, and books. Those grammar rules so articulately spittled by my teachers in high school slowly decayed into blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah in my brain.
I’m forgetting. It’s easier to restructure my sentences than try to use a semi-colon. What if I use it incorrectly? Would it effect my blog stats or ruin the affect of my social media presence if I used affect/effect incorrectly? Answer me now, are you dying to get to the comment section to correct me?
I know some of my readers hang on the edge of their seats, bite their nails to the quick, writhe in agony, and pace the floor waiting for another Cool Tool to inspire their writing and make them geniuser, or would that be more genius?
Today, I introduce my new BFF, a girl who made being smart totally cool. She critiques my writing, reminds me to use visuals , and smiles at me all the time. We’re just like this. Yep, there’s nothing better than a BFF, even when you’ve been out of high school for, well, a few decades.
So, here is my secret grammar weapon Cool Tool, Mignon Fogarty, The Grammar Girl.
Actually, she’s not really my BFF, we’re only Facebook friends.
Well, not exactly Facebook friends, because she didn’t like me back, but I liked her. But, I’m pretty sure if we’d ever had study hall or English class together we’d be BFF, even though I’m old enough to be her teacher.
She combines English Teacher and Social Media to take the pain out of learning to whom we could affect with our improper language and punctuation, usage and not make the mistakes our English teachers warned us of.
(Click on graphic to find article.)
Doesn’t your heart pound in admiration and envy when you hear someone correctly use whom? Now I can speak English betterer!
The one we wish everybody would read, the tutorial on apostrophes and plurals.
Seriously, peoples, get those apostrophe’s and plurales straight!
Endless worksheets didn’t eliminate the need to review those simple punctuation rules.
If you’re a Word Nerd, her articles about the origination of words are worth losing sleep over. (Note to self – Check her website to see if we can end a sentence with a preposition yet.)
She defines Ghost Words as “words that weren’t real to begin with—they came about because of an error or misunderstanding—but they made it into the dictionary anyway.”
And since we’ve outgrown passing notes, you can sign up for her newsletter.
If you keep up with the modern generation, check out her podcasts. Now my daughter has a brilliant substitute teacher for her homeschool English course.
If you miss homework, buy her books.
Make sure you add the Grammar Girl to your Cool Tools Toolbox. She’s your grammar’s BFF.