Browsing All posts tagged under »grammar«

Seven Bar Jokes Involving Grammar and Punctuation

November 8, 2012 by


1. A comma splice walks into a bar, it has a drink and then leaves. 2. A dangling modifier walks into a bar. After finishing a drink, the bartender asks it to leave. 3. A question mark walks into a bar? 4. Two quotation marks “walk into” a bar. 5. A gerund and an infinitive […]

This is Not a Picture of a Cat (Dead or Alive)*

September 24, 2012 by


I don’t know what it is but I can’t spell when I’m asleep. Or, not can’t spell. I get words mixed up. Mostly homophones like ‘retch’ and ‘wretch’ and ‘through’ and ‘threw’. The sort of distinction that’s obvious, but that my unconscious mind is apparently incapable of making. It also happens if I’m composing and […]

I Know It When I See It?

August 15, 2012 by


I never came across formal grammar in school until I started learning a foreign language. And then it was like ‘these are verbs, these are adjectives, and this is the wacky way they use them in French’. I was never taught English grammar in school. Of course, that doesn’t mean they don’t teach it. My […]

A Few Biscuits Short of a Cookie Jar

July 30, 2012 by


Me: I hate my book. It is a travesty made of terrible writing. Arkem: That’s not true. Me: How would you know? You haven’t even read it. Arkem: Well it doesn’t sound like it would be true. Me: That is a terrible basis for an argument. I have apparently developed a brand new habit of […]

The Monster is a ‘Who’

July 27, 2012 by


So I’m running a spellcheck in Word, partly because I think it’s funny, partly because it never hurts to have another set of eyes, even if they belong so a literarily questionable piece of computer software. Mostly this leads to me hitting the ‘ignore’ button repeatedly and occasionally muttering, Word, what are you thinking? You […]

Who Needs Sleep? You Can Describe it to Me Some Time.

June 29, 2012 by


“There is an old saying that those who eat toasted cheese at night will dream of Lucifer. The author of Wuthering Heights has evidently eaten toasted cheese.” — from a review of Wuthering Heights in 1848  So lately I’ve been dreaming even more than usual (which is also code for sleeping even less than usual), […]

Things You Do Not Realise Until You Start Proofreading Epic Documents

April 26, 2012 by


There are some words where the addition or subtraction of the letter ’s’ makes no difference whatsoever to the meaning, or validity of spelling but makes you look like a right goof if you do it inconsistently. There are way more differences between AUS/UK and US English spelling than you would give credit for. And […]