Monday, April 29, 2013

How would you like to learn grammar?

This poll is part of a series that Grammarly is running aimed at better understanding how the public feels about writing, language learning, and grammar.

Please take the poll and share your thoughts in the comments. We can’t wait to hear from you!

If you are interested in more, check out last week’s poll.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Grammar Basics: What Is Grammar Case?

Do you enjoy team sports? Some team positions carry special responsibilities. In hockey, the goalie’s job is to block the other team from scoring. In American football, the place holder steadies the football for the field goal kicker. If you imagine language as a team sport, you can think of grammatical cases as team positions. They tell you the special roles of pronouns. Only three cases are common in modern English—subjective, objective, and possessive.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Not-So-Sweet 16: Email Autonotification Hell vs. Should’ve Messaged

The Not-So-Sweet 16 rages on with this set of obnoxious inbox-stuffers. Which bothers you more, autonotification emails, or emails from coworkers who should have messaged you elsewhere? Honestly, we don’t love either.

Ready to vote to determine the next round of March MADness? We know we are!

Autonotification Email Hell

Autonotifications are sent automatically when someone updates a task, project, or chat.

Monday, April 22, 2013

How to Consistently Write Better and Faster

In this article, here’s what you’ll discover:

  • why distractions are more debilitating than you think (and what to do about them)
  • a simple four-step formula to dramatically improve your writing
  • how to crank out high-quality content in half the time by optimizing every step of the writing process from first draft to formatting
  • So let’s get started, shall we?

    Why distractions are more debilitating than you think (and what to do about it)

    Just how bad are distractions for your productivity?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Offence vs. Offense—What Is the Difference?

  • Offence and offense are both correct.
  • Offence is the spelling more commonly used outside of the United States.
  • Offense is the spelling more commonly used in the United States.

Offense is spelled differently based on where you, or your audience, are. But neither offense nor offence are wrong.

Offence vs. Offense—Which Is Correct?

In one sense, offense means an attack. But it also means an affront or insult.

This Is Why It’s Important to Track Your Writing Stats

Writing is like going to the gym—you’re excited for the end results, but it takes a lot of hard work to get there! You know daydreaming won’t get you the perfect beach bod or the next New York Times bestseller, so how do you reach your goals?

Just as tracking your fitness progress is a healthy way to stay focused and motivated to work out, tracking your writing stats is a fantastic way to take your writing to the next level!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Limericks: The Lowest Form of Poetry?

There is a well-known line, often attributed to Samuel Johnson, but preceded and followed by myriad others, that the pun is the lowest form of humor. If so, the limerick, a form of verse that depends on clever assonance and double entendre, is certainly the lowest form of poetry. In this post, we will shine a spotlight on the limerick, and see if the cockroaches scurry.

To the best of anyone’s knowledge, the limerick originated in England sometime before the fifteenth century.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Congradulations or Congratulations—Which Is Right?

  • Congratulations is correct.
  • Congradulations is a common misspelling.

When something important and meaningful happens to someone, it’s nice to acknowledge it. But before we do, we need to double-check our spelling.

Congradulations vs. Congratulations—Which Is Correct?

There’s just one way to spell it, and that’s congratulations, with a T. This word came into English from Latin, where it was formed by combining the prefix com-, meaning “with,” to the root gratulari, meaning “give thanks” or “show joy.”

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Why Grammar Still Matters in Today’s Digital Age

Guest post by Matt Banner

Today’s digital age has brought back the craft of writing, but at a cost. With the rising popularity of hashtags, tweets, emoticons, and shorthand phrases like the ever-present “LOL,” it seems like good grammar has gone out the window. At the end of the day, does grammar still matter in this digital age?

For the foreseeable future, the answer is yes. While you can’t take ten steps on the Internet these days without running into a typo-ridden blog post or a social media post that looks like Freddy Krueger took his clawed hands to the language, there’s still a place for those who hold grammar in high regard.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Scrabble Champion?

April 13 is National Scrabble Day! How can a board game become so popular that it actually has its own holiday? Those who have played Scrabble know that it’s an addictive, brain-busting game that delights word nerds and language lovers. There’s even an annual US National Scrabble Championship and World Scrabble Championship!

Conrad Bassett-Bouchard, last year’s winner of the National Scrabble Championship, won $10,000 after beating a five-time champion.

Monday, April 8, 2013

What Is a Coordinating Conjunction?

A coordinating conjunction is a word that joins two elements of equal grammatical rank and syntactic importance. They can join two verbs, two nouns, two adjectives, two phrases, or two independent clauses. The seven coordinating conjunctions are for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so.

Meet the Key Players: FANBOYS

The best way to remember the seven coordinating conjunctions is by using the acronym FANBOYS:

Thursday, April 4, 2013

3 Charles Dickens Characters You Don’t Want to Meet

The great English writer Charles Dickens is known for his well-crafted characters. While some of the characters we meet in Dickens’ novels are endearing heroes, others are sinister villains. Here are three Dickens characters you would never want to meet.

Bill Sikes in Oliver Twist A career criminal, violent abuser, and murderer, Bill Sikes is at the top of the list of characters to avoid.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

5 Best Children’s Books of All Time

Every child grows up with a certain book that resonates with him or her, but there are some books that have a reached a level of such popularity that they become staples in the childhoods of people everywhere. Reading is an important experience as a kid; it fuels the imagination and implants moral suggestions for how to deal with the world from a young age. That makes children’s books powerfully suggestive and entirely important in the life of a child.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

8 Ways to Show Gratitude at Work

As published in Glamour magazine, a little thankfulness can make you more successful at work. How so? The article reports that a study by the email scheduling app Boomerang identified three email sign-offs that result in the best response rates—thanks in advance, thanks, and thank you. If a simple email signature has such a profound effect, just think of what you can achieve with a genuine act of appreciation!

Monday, April 1, 2013

“Dear Sir or Madam”—Learn When to Use It and Some Alternatives

How do you know when to use Dear Sir or Madam or something else? When writing a business letter or email, it can be a real challenge to get the salutation right—especially for someone you don’t know or an organization you’ve never worked with. In such situations, you should err on the side of formality, but even then there are good reasons to avoid Dear Sir or Madam. Luckily, there are a number of alternatives for Dear Sir or Madam that will help you remain professional.