Category Archives: Grammar Tip of the Week

Sufjan Stevens Teaches Miley Cyrus About Grammar

sufjan stevens writes open letter to miley cyrus defending grammar

Those of you who know me, or who have followed Write In Color for a while, know how much I love Sufjan Stevens. From his poignant lyrics, to his lush instrumentation, he’s definitely my folk music hero. Well, today Sufjan … Continue reading

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Homonyms – The Fraternal (Not Identical) Twins of Grammar

Homonyms. You’ll know them when you see them, but not when you hear them. They are words that sound identical but have different spellings and different meanings. Think of them as the fraternal twins of grammar. There are hundreds of … Continue reading

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Your In America – Grammar in the Times of Twitter, Facebook and Texting

grammar standards for twitter, texting and social media

Ever since the rise of texting, Facebook and Twitter, hardcore grammarians have been forecasting the demise of the English language. And sometimes, it seems like they have a point. After all, how long will it be before we’re all #thinkinginhashtags? … Continue reading

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That vs. Which – Modify Your Understanding of the Relative Pronoun

when to use common relative pronouns

I’ll be the first to admit it: A lot of grammar rules seem so nitpicky or obscure that it takes a lot of motivation to learn them. (When was the last time you had to name the dative or ablative … Continue reading

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How to Use A Dash – The Grammatical Weapon of Choice

Em dash en dash hyphen cartoon

Is it just me, or has writing really started to resemble Morse Code? Lately, writers have been using dashes instead of commas, semicolons, colons, parenthesis, and just about every other punctuation mark in the grammar arsenal. It may be the … Continue reading

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How To Use A Colon And Semicolon (A Grammar Colonoscopy)

Colons and semicolons pack a lot of punch into a tiny, pencil-thin frame. Think about it: As writers, how many times a day do we rely on the colon or its laid-back cousin, the semicolon, to set off a witty … Continue reading

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Quotation Marks And Punctuation: In Or Out?

It’s the Holy Grail of grammar conundrums. It’s a debate you’ve undoubtedly had over and over with your writer friends. And most importantly, it’s one of those rules we’re just plain annoyed that we don’t understand. Does that punctuation mark … Continue reading

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Beware Of The Grammar Police: Make Sure You’re (Not Your) Using the Right (Not Write) Word

The Grammar Police

While editing recently, I came across an interesting problem: my client was using the word than every time she should have been using the word then. And you know what, this isn’t an infrequent issue. Oftentimes, our ears get the … Continue reading

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Grammar Tip: The Battle of Me Vs. I

I hate to admit it, but I’m sure I’m not alone.  Sometimes, I judge people. Oftentimes, it is because of their grammar. Or lack thereof. Here’s a great example (and my biggest pet peeve): Jack: “Why don’t you come to … Continue reading

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Grammar Tip of the Week: Active Vs. Passive Voice

An easy way to make your writing more clear is to check for instances where you are using passive rather than active voice.  If I’ve lost you already, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Active voice, the preferred choice in most … Continue reading

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