Grammar: It’s Important!

Posted by March 8th, 2012

Book Country Twitter Chat (March 1, 2012)

Every writer needs to know the basics. That’s why Grammar gurus Mignon Fogarty, Patricia O’Conner, and Stewart Kellerman gave us a little lesson.

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Most people don’t like it. Some people are obsessed with it. But all writers need to know it….Grammar. It’s not just for copyeditors! Incorrect grammar and punctuation can change the meaning of your words. It can change everything.

That’s why we asked Mignon Fogarty (@GrammarGirl) and the writing duo Patricia T O’Conner and Stewart Kellerman(@Grammarphobia) to join us for a Twitter chat and talk about some common grammar mistakes and answer your grammar questions.

To give you a little background on our experts, Mignon is the founder/host of “Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing.” She does posts, podcasts, the works to help people improve their writing by going back to the basics. Patricia and Stewarthave co-written a number of beloved writing guides, including the Grammar “bible” Woe is I and writing guide Words Fail Me.

Here’s are some of the chat’s highlights (You can view the entire transcript using the link following):

@GrammarGirl: Subject-verb agreement is impoartant and can be tricky. For example, people get confused by joining words such as “in addition to.” It can  make a subject sound plural when it’s not.

@Grammarphobia:  [There’s] nothing wrong with using a preposition at the end of a sentence. That’s a notorious myth.

@JonathanDalar: I always think of semicolors as dividing joined sentences of similar thought; it seems to work well for that.

@GrammarGirl: Sometimes a sentence needs a “that” to avoid a misreading: Aardvark maintains THAT Squiggly’s yard is too large.

@Grammarphobia: Creative writing doesn’t justify limp, flabby writing.

@asalinguist: My students constantly say “amount” intead of “number of” something for count and non-count alike

@GrammarGirl: I met someone once who worked on Word’s grammar checker. He said he was sorry.

@grammarphobia: Punctuation is supposed to make reading easy and writing more natural. Lack of punctuation can be bewildering.

If you missed the chat or want to remind yourself, we’ve posted the entire transcript as a PDF document here. The PDF will open in your browser and you’ll be able to save it to your computer if you like. You can also get to know your fellow genre fiction lovers by clicking directly on their Twitter handles.

Remember though that the chat appears from newest to oldest tweets, so start at the end of the PDF and work your way up to page 1.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this lively discussion!

REMEMBER: Book Country Twitter chats occur every other Thursday night from 9-10 pm EST. Just use the hashtag #bookcountry to participate or follow along. Topics are announced in advance in the Book Country Discussion forums, so be sure to take a look! And follow us on Twitter: @Book_Country.

 

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