While doing research recently for an ESL student, I came across another “rule of writing”, to wit: Don't use gerunds; they make your writing weak. To qualify as a gerund a word must be: a verb with an “ing” suffix that performs the job of a noun. Take these sentences as examples: I like hiking. … Continue reading The Rules of Writing: No Gerunds?
Got a grammar question? Got a sentence that needs something, but you're not exactly sure what? Tenses don't jive? Can't tell if you need a colon or a semicolon? Well, I'm that kid in school who was always “first hand up” when it was time to diagram sentences. Yeah, a real grammar nerd. Grammar makes … Continue reading ASK GIFF: Grammar & Tenses
Today's trivia concerns some new words I've learned during my research, as well as one that's often misunderstood. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to match the words A through D to definitions 1 through 4: A. Porter B. Hogan C. Laager D. Kiva 1. A camp defended by a circular formation … Continue reading Tuesday Trivia: What’s in a Name?
Every writer and reader I know has a short (or long) list of pet peeves when it comes to language. My list, I’ll admit, is pretty long, but I’m feeling pretty focused today, so I’ll just talk about two. I see a lot of query letters and synopses on the sites I follow, and I’ve … Continue reading Grammar: Pet Peeves
“How do you know which word to use?” I’m asked occasionally. I have to admit that I looked it up every time until I had it figured out: you’re an emigrant in relationship to the country you (or your relatives or characters) come from, and you’re an immigrant in the country you choose to settle … Continue reading Emigrant or Immigrant, that is the question …