Grammar Guide

FWJ Grammar Guide for Professional Writers

Steven Pinker on What Our Language Habits Reveal

Steven Pinker on What Our Language Habits Reveal

I’ve heard it said more than once that grammar and learning the intricacies of a language can be boring. I guess it’s safe to assume that you don’t think the same way. (At least I hope I am right!) Earlier this week, I was working on another piece about TED talks. I don’t know if you’re familiar with TED, but the premise is to invite select speakers to speak to a limited audience, with the condition that the talk is focused on something inspiring related to the work the speaker has done. Since its inception in 1984, TED has grown [Read more…]

The Case of the Dangling Participle

Dangling Participle t-shirt

Yesterday, I came across this photo of a t-shirt I wouldn’t mind wearing. I actually found it really funny, so I shared it on our Facebook page. (If you don’t visit it regularly yet, I suggest you do!) The ensuing discussion from our readers inspired me to write a quick post for the Grammar Guide. What is a dangling participle? To make it simple, let’s take a look at a few sentences. Looking around the kitchen, the shelves needed to be restocked. Starving like a lion, the pot roast disappeared within a few minutes. An untrained eye may take a [Read more…]

Texting and Grammar: Is There Really a Correlation?

Texting and Grammar

Ever since SMS or texting became commonplace, complaints about its many adverse effects have come up. I am sure you have experienced meeting with people face to face, only to have some (many?) of them stare and fiddle with their phones the entire time. You may have even been guilty of this now and then. There is also the issue of grammar and how it has degraded, thanks to texting. Without putting too much thought into the matter, it is easy enough to understand how texting may have contributed to poor spelling and improper grammar. After all, it can be [Read more…]

Writing Using the Present Perfect Tense

Present Perfect Tense

Those of you who have been following us for a while might know that I used to work as an English teacher. Some of you might even have been in the same profession in the past. While I do love writing day in and day out, I do miss teaching at times – especially when I see humorous images like the one above. Ah, the present perfect tense. It sure did bring many an ESL learner to his knees. (Either that or the learner simply killed me in his mind.) While the infographic offers comic relief to English teachers and [Read more…]

What Do Frankenfood, Guyliner, and Whovian Have in Common?

Frankenfood

I don’t know if you’ve checked the Oxford Dictionaries Online (ODO) lately, but they added new words in May, and boy, did I have a blast going through the list! To be honest, of the three words I used in the title, I am (was) familiar only with the last one. Just in case you felt lost while reading the title of this post, let’s take a quick look at the definitions of these now officially recognized words. Frankenfood refers to genetically modified food and is used in a derogatory manner. If you steer clear of anything remotely related to [Read more…]

Idioms That (Might) Have Been Victimized By Advances in Technology

Idioms lost to tech

I love idioms! I speak only two languages fluently, but I do have a proclivity for learn idioms in other languages. That’s not to say that I remember all of them, but idioms are a wonderful way of gaining insights to a culture as well. We have a lot of English idioms, and many of them are inspired by technology. The thing is, we all know very well that technology advances very quickly. Many things we considered hi-tech as kids may not be “extinct” and unknown to today’s children. What happens to the idioms tied to tech then? Last month, [Read more…]

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