Grammar, It Ain’t That Hard, Right?

Is grammar dead? Read any number of internet articles, including those written by journalists and professional writers, and you just might think so. In a previous article, I criticized the overuse of the word thing. It is supplemented far too often as a noun where a more respectable and appropriate noun would do. Grammar clarifies both our writing and our thinking. They are forever joined together; the more clear and precise our thinking, the more clear and precise our writing. Hence, a better story or article is the result of that positive relationship. The lazier our thinking is, logic dictates, then the more muddled our writing is. As writers, we want to inform and/or entertain our readers, so doesn’t it make sense to keep our words as precise and concise as possible?

I was (un)fortunate enough to have been sent to a private Catholic grammar school for eight (long) years. I have vivid memories of nuns with their rulers and clackers, kept at the ready for any expression of unacceptable behavior, including mistakes in grammar when called upon to read (yes, out loud) or conjugate (yes, out loud). The following is an excerpt from a funny and informative grammar book, Who’s (…Oops!) Whose Grammar Book Is This Anyway? by C. Edward Good. The scene is eerily familiar to me (my comments are in parentheses):

“Up front, under the watchful eye of Miss Hamrick – our no-nonsense English teacher – Billy Wombie tries to diagram a sentence on the chalkboard. Momentarily uncertain where to put the prepositional phrase, he regains his composure and finishes with a flourish, smirking at Damron, the troublemaker in back taking aim with spit was in cafeteria straw.

Miss Hamrick spots him. “Up front with you, Damron. On your feet. In front of the class.” (I have similar embarrassing memories.)

“All right, Damron. Now perhaps you can help the class with verb conjugation.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Damron dutifully responds.

“Good. Now conjugate the verb to ride in the third person.” (How many of you have done this or can do this now?)

Third person?” Damron groans. He knows what will come. (I’m groaning, too, I’ve been here.)

“Third person. That’s right, Damron. No go ahead.”

“He rides, he rode, he will ride…”

“Damron, be fair. Include all third persons.” (Still following?)

“He/she rides…”

“No, Damron. Don’t forget to include it.” (Sheesh. You getting this?)

Beads of sweat forming on his troubled brow, Damron begins, “He/she/it rides, he/she/it rode….”

The class erupts, delighting in Damron’s pronunciational discomfort.

“He/she/it rides, he/she/it rode, he/she/it will ride, he/she/it has ridden, he/she/it had ridden, he/she/it will have ridden.” (I still don’t know how to use all but the first three; better read more of the book.)

“Very good, Damron. Now the progressive tenses.” (Huh? Don’t remember those…)

“He/she/it is riding, he/she/it was riding, he/she/it will be riding, he/she/it has been riding, he/she/it had been riding, he/she/it will have been riding.” (I give up.)

Grammar, a forgotten relic of the past? Nowadays, schools aren’t offering it in their English classes. Why not? As you can see above, it’s vital to understand the tenses and which one to use. I, for one, will be reading more of this delightful book so I can be more like Miss Hamrick. Sheesh.

 

good grammar

 

 

Tips to Boost Your Blog

This is a good article so I thought I’d share it with you…have to click on the link to read the whole article, as there is no Share button.

70 quick tips that will boost your author blog


Our guest blogger today is Federica Auletta, a communications assistant at
Market Inspector, a business-to-business digital marketplace for businesses and institutions in Europe. The company makes it possible for businesses to compare quotes and offers from different suppliers. The article and helpful infographic that follows provide useful information for author bloggers with a wide range of experience. 

70 quick tips that will boost your author blog

By Federica Auletta

Any author can blog, but only a lucky few are successful at it. As a matter of fact, there are hundreds of millions of blogs available on the web, but the majority of internauts know only about a handful.

With that in mind, you might wonder how some bloggers drive tons of traffic to the blog on their website. Market Inspector has created an infographic (below) with 70 proven tips to help authors like you start or promote a successful blog on your site.

1. Search engine optimization – SEO

There are likely several key factors that influence a website’s search result rankings. No one is fully aware of how browsers classify pages, since these algorithms are kept a secret.

What is certain, though, is that some criteria have been identified: blog updates, the use of links, content relevancy, spam level, and domain authority are just some of the specifics that help optimize a page.

2. Attitude

Even behind a monitor, a personal approach always matters. The first rule for effective blogging is commitment. Perseverance and expertise are keywords when it comes to starting or managing a blog.

It’s important that the blog page is updated with unique content at least once a week. You want readers to anticipate your posts, so the only way to gain more traffic, better visibility, and returning visitors is to be a consistent blogger.

Read it all here