Streamlined Life: When Bad Grammar Happens to Good Bloggers

English is not my native tongue and unconsciously, for the longest time, I had been using that excuse for not publishing what I write online or offline. I used to fear that my grammar will screw up and my friends  who happen to be mostly excellent writers will laugh at my writings.

When you make a typo or a slight grammar glitch in blogging, that's forgivable, but when it's done over and over again... Dear, it ain't cool anymore.  One of my friends told me that she don't write because she lacks cohesion in organizing her thoughts.  I guess we have our own "stupid excuses", yes? Julien Smith said it perfectly:

"Ask yourself out loud: What am I afraid of?

I guarantee that when you do this, when you say it out loud and listen to the answer, your answer will sound stupid. Because most of our issues are pretty stupid."

So what's the antidote for stupid excuses? Doing something about the thing you are afraid of once and for all! That's the short story my friends, how one day I found myself reading a copy of Ann Batko's "When Bad Grammar Happens to Good People". The book happens to be exactly what I need and just I had suspected, the topic on tenses is the toughest, at least for me. 

I'm going to share 5 of my highlighted notes from the book. Bear with my geekery, friends, this is good for you, I promise. Note: Wording for notes 1-4 were rephrased by me.

1.  Don’t Say: Yes, this is her; who’s calling? 

Say Instead: Yes, this is she; who’s calling?
Why? If a finite form of the verb "to be"(like "is") is followed by a pronoun, that pronoun should be subjective (I, you, he, she, it, we, they).
2. Use the "m test" when deciding who or whom. 
Example: Is the present for them? 
You won't say, "Is the present for they?", right? So the correct question form is "Whom is the present for?"
3. Don’t Say: This is a problem for Ellen and I to solve. 
Say Instead: This is a problem for Ellen and me to solve.
Why? When confused with I & me, try taking out the other person. You won't say, "This is a problem for I to solve.", right?
4. Use which in a clause not essential to the meaning of the sentence. Use that in a clause essential to the meaning of the sentence.
Examples: Sharon is the one that I’m going to marry. 
The car, which had been stolen only an hour before, was found stripped down to its frame.
5. The principal parts of “to burst” are—get this“burst,” “burst,” and “burst.” 
It bursts today, it burst yesterday, it will have burst by tomorrow. 

There are so many gems in the book. Make sure to read it, too, when you chance upon a copy.


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