Grammar Slammer

Punctuation, usage, spelling … the Grammar Slammer is keeping an eye on the way we use (and misuse!) the written word.

‘Quick, hand me a … skin covering device!’

January 2, 2020
Many purists might cling to the rule that if you’re not using Band-Aid brand bandages, then don’t call them Band-Aids. But there are many everyday items that are better known for their brand names rather than their generic names.

Choose just the right word

December 5, 2019
Learn the difference between five similar pairs of words.

Whoa, whoa … easy on those commas!

October 31, 2019
Commas are intended to help the reader comprehend a sentence more easily. Unnecessary ones are a distraction. Here are three places not to put a comma, from Barron’s Essentials of English.

Choose the right words

October 23, 2019
Here are some words that are often misused in everyday sentences.

Put your modifiers in the right spot

August 28, 2019
YOLO! That’s You Only Live Once. However, the correct phrase should be You Live Only Once. Let’s take a look at what can happen to a sentence when you move the word only around.

A helpful grammar hand from the AP

August 1, 2019
From @APStylebook, a Twitter feed run by the Associated Press, some very handy hints from recent online chats, collected by PR Newswire.

Where does the apostrophe go?

June 26, 2019
Spellcheckers don’t catch every little mistake. Until someone invents a foolproof spellchecker, we need to rely on our own skills at using apostrophes.

One word or two?

May 22, 2019
This is a little test every one should take. Or is it everyone?

Active voice vs. passive voice

April 25, 2019
Passive voice is believed by many to have no place in the professional and academic worlds, yet many people struggle to differentiate active and passive voice. Mignon Fogarty explains the differences and offers ways to easily point out passive voice.

Eliminate this wimpy word

March 27, 2019
The English language has a bounty of words you can use in place of very. Make it a point to strike every very from your prose.