I've been thinking about writing a post on grammar for awhile, and got a big kick out of the fact that Mer (the 10 on the 10th hostess herself!) posted about her grammar pet peeves a couple of weeks ago! As a former English major and teacher, I've always had an eye for proofreading. This does not, however, mean I never make mistakes! I don't claim to be an expert on this subject, and one of my "fears" in writing this post is that now my blunders will be even more noticeable. (And heaven forbid, there may even be errors in this post!) Regardless of all that, I thought it would be fun--and hopefully somewhat educational--to post 10 "grammar notes" today:
1. When addressing an envelope, please do not use an apostrophe between the person's last name and an "s." Instead of "the Baker's," it should read "the Bakers." I see this mistake all the time on mail I receive, and it always bothers me!
2. People seem to think it is most proper to say "I" instead of "me" when paired with another person. The way I remember correct usage is this: take out the other person's name and determine which personal pronoun is most appropriate. "Alex and I" went to the store; the chocolates were given to "Marcy and me."
3. When referring to multiple extended family members, you should always make the most important part of the phrase plural. Instead of saying "my sister-in-laws," you should say "my sisters-in-law."
4. This is a helpful explanation regarding split infinitives. I can't explain them very well myself, probably because this is an area where I often show blatant disregard for traditional grammar rules. (italics=case in point!)
5. After working in a public relations office that used AP style, I quickly adopted a new approach to capital letters. Traditionally, most job titles and college majors/school subjects are capitalized. However, in AP style, you would write, "Eric majored in math and now works as a financial advisor." I know it's hard for some people to make that switch, but it seems much more streamlined to me.
I should note that some of you have probably noticed I take certain "creative liberties" in my writing. For example, I often write my name with a lowercase "c," and I also make up words like "misc.-y" and "snuggly." Call me fickle, I guess, though of course I use these only in non-professional settings.
6. Don't even get me started on they're/there/their or then/than!
7. I remember reading a version of this list in school--it's an astute and humorous way to remember certain grammar rules.
8. One area of grammar in which I feel less confident than others: quotation marks. I'm often unsure of using them properly next to other punctuation, as in #5 above. On a lighthearted note, this hilarious blog is devoted to their constant misuse.
9. I often read paragraphs that are totally peppered with exclamation points!!!!! I find it very distracting. The point, if you will, of said punctuation is to set a statement apart. It's a matter of personal preference, I suppose, but I rarely compose two exclamatory sentences back-to-back.
10. Ive racked my brain and I can't not come up with any other grammer things that bug me, if you want to read more fun lists; click hear.