Hear MY WRITING roar!!!!

[found on us4.campaign-archive1.com; by Rachelle Gardner]

“Those Annoying Exclamation Points!!!

By Rachelle Gardner on Jul 01, 2013 09:34 pm

Exclamation point

Over many years of editing books, it seems I have become a heartless eliminator of exclamation points!!! Seriously, I developed a hatred for them! People tend to WAY overuse them! Not to mention italics and bold, and that oh-so-effective use of ALL CAPS!!!!!!!

Here’s a hint to avoid coming across as amateur: Use the above devices sparingly in any writing intended for publication. (I’m being specific here, because in blog writing and emails, you’re free to go crazy. I do.)

If you tend to use a plethora of exclamation points, do a search-and-replace in your manuscript and put a period in place of every single one of them. Yep, every one. Then you can go back and add an exclamation point here and there if you really must. But I’m not kidding: VERY . . . SPARINGLY.

Same with other means of artificial emphasis: italics and ALL CAPS. Your writing should be so effective by itself that the emphasis isn’t necessary.

As for bold, don’t ever use it in running text! (It’s OKAY for headers!)

Isn’t THIS irritating??!!”

[found on http://us4.campaign-archive1.com/?u=cde4992358f2badd71896ea0b&id=016b5771a7&e=325ff0e8d3]

Punctuation Hilarity

[found on dailywritingtips.com]

“I’ve finally got round to reading Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss.

Here’s a book that is not only useful and fun to read, its phenomenal popularity carries a moral for every writer:

Don’t worry about following the market. Don’t try to produce another DaVinci Code or Harry Potter. Write what you’re enthusiastic about and kindred spirits will find your book.

Who could have guessed that a book about punctuation would hit the top of the charts?

First published in April of 2004, Eats, Shoots and Leaves spent 25 weeks on the NY Times bestseller list and by October of that year had gone back to press 22 times to bring the total of copies in print to a million. I can’t guess how many copies are out there by now.

At a bit more than 200 pages including the bibliography, this little book describes the rules that govern the use of:

    • apostrophe
    • comma
    • colon
    • semi-colon
    • dash
    • hyphen
    • period

Plenty of other writing guides exist that describe the use of punctuation symbols, but the Truss book livens the discussion by throwing in history, examples of offensive punctuation, and the cheeky attitude that any English speaker smart enough to achieve an elementary school education ought to be smart enough to use apostrophes correctly.”

[found on http://www.dailywritingtips.com/review-of-eats-shoots-and-leaves]

Pre – Positional Is Where a Preposition Lives

[found on grammar.about.com]

“Like adjectives and adverbs, prepositional phrases add meaning to the nouns and verbs in our sentences. There are two prepositional phrases in the following sentence:

The steamy air in the kitchen reeked of stale food.

The first prepositional phrase–in the kitchen–modifies the noun air; the second–of stale food–modifies the verb reeked. The two phrases provide information that helps us understand the sentence.

The Two Parts of a Prepositional Phrase
A prepositional phrase has two basic parts: a prepositionplus a noun or a pronoun that serves as the object of the preposition. A preposition is a word that shows howa noun or a pronoun is related to another word in a sentence. The common prepositions are listed in the table at the bottom of this page.

Building Sentences with Prepositional Phrases
Prepositional phrases often do more than just add minor details to a sentence: they may be needed for a sentence to make sense. Consider the vagueness of this sentence without prepositional phrases:

The workers gather a rich variety and distribute it.

Now see how the sentence comes into focus when we add prepositional phrases:

From many sources, the workers at the Community Food Bank gather a rich variety of surplus and unsalable food and distribute it to soup kitchens, day-care centers, and homes for the elderly.

Notice how these added prepositional phrases give us more information about certain nouns and verbs in the sentence:

      • Which workers?
      • The workers at the Community Food Bank.
      • What did they gather?
      • A rich variety of surplus and unsalable food.
      • Where did they gather the food?
      • From many sources.
      • Who did they distribute it to?
      • To soup kitchens, day-care centers, and homes for the elderly.

Like the other simple modifiers, prepositional phrases are not merely ornaments; they add details that can help us understand a sentence.

PRACTICE: Building with Simple Modifiers
Use adjectives, adverbs, and prepositional phrases to expand the sentence below. Add details that answer the questions in parentheses and make the sentence more interesting and informative.

Jenny stood, raised her shotgun, aimed, and fired.
(Where did Jenny stand? How did she aim? What did she fire at?)

There are, of course, no single correct answers to the questions in parentheses. Sentence-expanding exercises such as this one encourage you to use your imagination to build original sentences.”

Common Prepositions

Screen Shot 2013-06-16 at 6.58.48 PM

[found on: http://grammar.about.com/od/basicsentencegrammar/a/prepphrases.htm]

Pronouns — Good Rules & Evil Tips

[found on grammarbook.com]

“A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun. Pronouns can be in one of three cases: Subject, Object, or Possessive.

Rule 1

Subject pronouns are used when the pronoun is the subject of the sentence. You can remember subject pronouns easily by filling in the blank subject space for a simple sentence.

______ did the job.
I, you, he, she, it, we, and they all fit into the blank and are, therefore, subject pronouns.

Rule 2

Subject pronouns are also used if they rename the subject. They follow to be verbs such as is,arewasweream, and will be.

It is he.
This is she speaking.
It is we who are responsible for the decision to downsize.

NOTE: In spoken English, most people tend to follow to be verbs with object pronouns. Many English teachers support (or at least have given in to) this distinction between written and spoken English.

It could have been them.

It could have been they.

It is just me at the door.

It is just I at the door.

Rule 3

Object pronouns are used everywhere else (direct object, indirect object, object of the preposition). Object pronouns are meyouhimheritus, and them.

Jean talked to him.
Are you talking to me?

To be able to choose pronouns correctly, you must learn to identify clauses. A clause is a group of words containing a verb and subject.

Rule 4a

strong clause can stand on its own.

She is hungry.
I am feeling well today.

Rule 4b

weak clause begins with words such as although, since, if, when, and because. Weak clauses cannot stand on their own.

Although she is hungry…
If she is hungry…
Since I am feeling well…

Rule 4c

If a sentence contains more than one clause, isolate the clauses so that you can decide which pronoun is correct.




[Although she is hungry,]

[she will give him some of her food.]

[Although this gift is for him,]

[I would like you to have it too.]

Rule 5

To decide whether to use the subject or object pronoun after the words than or as, mentally complete the sentence.

Tranh is as smart as she/her.
If we mentally complete the sentence, we would say, “Tranh is as smart as she is.” Therefore,she is the correct answer.

Zoe is taller than I/me.
Mentally completing the sentence, we have, “Zoe is taller than I am.”

Daniel would rather talk to her than I/me.
We can mentally complete this sentence in two ways: “Daniel would rather talk to her than to me.” OR “Daniel would rather talk to her than I would.” As you can see, the meaning will change depending on the pronoun you choose.

Rule 6

Possessive pronouns show ownership and never need apostrophes.
Possessive pronouns: mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, theirs

NOTE: The only time it’s has an apostrophe is when it is a contraction for it is or it has.

It’s a cold morning.
The thermometer reached its highest reading.

Rule 7

Reflexive pronouns – myself, himself, herself, itself, themselves, ourselves, yourself, yourselves– should be used only when they refer back to another word in the sentence.

I worked myself to the bone.

My brother and myself did it.
The word myself does not refer back to another word.

My brother and I did it.

Please give it to John or myself.

Please give it to John or me.”

[found on http://www.grammarbook.com/grammar/pronoun.asp]