Friday, September 5, 2008

Some thoughts on grammar, style and punctuation

A few thoughts on mastering grammar, posted today for my writing class.

If you produce writing with grammar, style and punctuation errors – resumes, cover letters, reports, press releases, papers -- you come off as ill-educated and unprofessional. Spellcheck won’t catch everything.

( I say this knowing my emails are full of typos. Proofreading is key and I have a bad eye for it.)

When I was first relearning this stuff, I found it tedious and confusing. So, I looked for a couple of different books for grammar wisdom. Considering different explanations of the same concept – like when to use I v. me – helped me get my head around it. (That might be a cliché.)

Here are a few grammar books I like:

Old school
The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White.

A charming, if dated, book.

New School
Woe is I : The grammarphobe's guide to better English in plain English / Patricia T. O'Conner,

Fun with grammar.

When Words Collide : A media writer's guide to grammar and style / Lauren Kessler, Duncan McDonald.

Lots of people like this one. I have not used it.


Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
by Mignon Fogarty

Saw this animated show on TV this summer but have not checked this book out.

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