Archive | Grammar Grrrs RSS feed for this section

Breaking News: Sarah Palin’s Latest Child Is a Baby

29 Aug

While reading the Tennessean online, I came across an article about John McCain selecting Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.  The article gives a brief overview of Palin’s political/biographical background, ending with this final sentence:

She and her husband Todd Palin, have five children. The latest, a baby, was born with Down syndrome.

I find it so comforting to know that Palin’s latest child was a baby, and not, I don’t know, a chicken or an alien.  Rest assured people, the Tennessean has confirmed that Palin’s latest child was indeed a baby.  You can go back to your arguing over who would make a better president: Obama or McCain.  Thank you for your time.


“She Get It From Her Mama”

28 May

My mom sent me the following e-mail today. Now I know for sure where I get my grammar amusement from. I get it from my mama, of course.

US tourist drugged, killed by train in Rome

Published: 5/26/08, 9:25 PM EDT

ROME (AP) – An American tourist was killed by a train as he walked on the tracks in a daze after he drank a cappuccino laced with drugs and then was robbed, railway police said Monday.


This was a headline on the home page under world news. My first thought was how in the world did a train drug someone? Then I thought maybe they meant the trained dragged someone. Wrong on both counts. Thought you might find it amusing.



I love you too, Mom!

(View original post)


This just in …

Word of the Day: Ambulate

1 Apr


Function: intransitive verb
Inflected Form(s): am·bu·lat·ed; am·bu·lat·ing
Etymology: Latin ambulatus, past participle of ambulare
Date: circa 1623
: to move from place to place : walk

Why would you use the word “ambulate” when the word “walk” will work just fine, especially if you have already used the word “walk” to set up the sentence in which you use the word “ambulate”? The word “ambulate” does not add anything to your writing. I know in grammar school, we were all taught to use descriptive language and replace words like “walk” with flowery synonyms like “saunter,” “stomp,” and “lumber.” However, if “walk” works just fine and gets your point across, then just use “walk.” Don’t try to replace it with some random word that most people will have look up in the dictionary anyway. It’s pointless.
People who use unnecessarily complicated words in an attempt to come across as well-read, well-educated, intelligent, or whatever are just plain annoying, not to mention bombastic, grandiloquent, and possibly supercilious.


24 Jan

From my inbox:

Congrads on your new position as editor.

Seriously? Come on people. For clarification, this was not some casual e-mail sent to me by a friend. If it were, I would have ignored it. (After all, I don’t spell check casual e-mails I send to friends. I don’t always spell check my blog.) But it wasn’t. It concluded the opening paragraph of a well thought out 800+ word testimonial pitch (we don’t publish those anyway) sent to me by a PR representative. Sure, “conGRADulations” is cute on a graduation card … but if you’re trying to pitch a story to an editor, please use spell check. Thanks.

It might be "worth while" to learn the difference between affect and effect.

21 Jan

From my Inbox:

One suggestion I do have is to possibly get on a call with our president…He can talk about mold and its affect on allergies, and he can also provide solutions, with a VERY soft sell of our product (fact sheet attached). Let me know if that’s something worth while to pursue and I’d be happy to set it up for you (or the writer).

Manager, Marketing Communications

Is this a new cancer treatment?

4 Dec

The following sentence is from an article written by a medical professional:

More importantly, the annual incidence of osteoporosis fractures is higher in prostate cancer patients treated with surgical or medical castration when compared to those treated without castration or with normal men.

This would be better:

More importantly, the annual incidence of osteoporosis fractures is higher in prostate cancer patients treated with surgical or medical castration when compared to those treated without castration or to men with no history of prostate cancer.

Now, wasn’t that easy? My work is done.

This just in …

14 Nov

Report: Abstinence Not Curbing Teen Sex
Associated Press

Really? How is this possible? Maybe you should rethink that headline, Associated Press.