Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Top 10 Grammar Tips for Back to School

Back by popular demand, and just in time for school, here are some grammar tips. 

10. If you want to write the word that expresses the idea you are excited, and it rhymes with the word day it's spelled y-a-y. Yay! You'll never get it wrong again!  

9. Conversely, if you want to write the word that is a synonym for yes it's written yeah

8. What if you want to react to the cutest kitten video on YouTube? Don't write awe. That means you have great reverential respect for the cat. Instead, write aw. It's probably okay to add another w to make it aww in informal writing. 

7. Breaks are things you take when you're tired of working. Brakes are things you press when trying to avoid a car accident. The mistake happens more often than you think (in my own unscientific study, twice as many people in court wrote breaks over brakes. I choose to believe it's due to stress and not because we live in a nation of dolts)

6. When the last word in your sentence ends in an italicized word, the period shouldn't be italicized. Only people like me will notice, but still, let's try to clean it up. 

5. It's beck and call, not beckon call

4. Integritous? Good for you, but it's not a word.

3. Multiple different is almost always redundant. It's best to avoid. 

2. To the lawyers and bureaucrats out there, stop saying prior to when you can just say before. As has been pointed out by people smarter than me, "one should feel free to use prior to instead of before only if one is accustomed to using posterior to for after." (Theodore Bernstein)

1. Most thats in your writing can be removed. When proofreading your work (like you always do), take that out of the sentence in your mind. If removing that doesn't change the meaning of the sentence, just take it out. Your writing has just improved!