Monday, May 25, 2009

How are your sentences?

It's sad how many of the students and writers I work with will confess to not being sure about their grammar. I guess this attitude comes down to the way it was taught (or not taught) at school because most of the uncertainty seems to come down to a fear of getting things wrong. There's no feeling that grammar is a tool for us to use. If anything, it has become a monster we're almost frightened of!

When I tell certain students that grammar is fun, they look at me as if I'm mad. When I go on to tell them, grammar is your best friend, they are definitely looking for the door.

Well, hurrah, I've just found a new superhero for you ...

... meet Grammar Girl.

I'm loving her free podcasts because she proves me right.

Grammar definitely is fun. Did you really think all those dudes on the train were rocking away to the music coming through their headphones? Nope, I predict that they're just really really enjoying hearing about conjunctions.

You can even get a free daily grammar tip to cheer up your inbox.

The book I go back to again and again myself is the one I used at journalism school, but it's just been updated. It's English for Journalists by the sublimely named, Wynford Hicks. I promise you - if you're scared of grammar, or even a little bit unsure, you will have a new best friend. Grammar Girl isn't your friend, she is your punctuation goddess... and we all need one of those!


SueG said...

There's nothing better than sitting around a fire, a glass of wine in your hand, staring deep into the eyes of your favourite semi-colon! But seriously folks....grammar rocks!

Sophie Playle said...

Great link. I am a fan of grammar... that sounds like a strange statement. But some people really don't use it to its full potential!

Gemma Mortlock said...

Thanks for the post! It's great to know i'm not the only one who finds grammar a little daunting. I'm definately going to check these tips out.
Thanks again!

Annie said...

Always enjoy reading your blog, so I have givenyou an award - details are on my blog.

Anonymous Bosch said...

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jem said...

When I first took a writing class I was so worried that I couldn't be a writer because I wasn't sure of the proper names for different types of words, nouns, adjectives etc and I was terrified of colons and semi colons. My tutor told me not to worry, that he wasn't sure himself and that he found that a dash often sufficed! I'm still writing based on that bit of advice and I don't think it's held me back so far!