Today is the day to celebrate grammar. Get out your Strunk and White, undangle those participles, rejoin those infinitives and get your good grammar groove on. (Or should that be “get on your good grammar groove,” so as to not end the sentence with a preposition?)
(And yes, I’m sure true grammar lovers are shocked — shocked! — that there is no serial comma in the second sentence in the above paragraph. Sometimes more modern writing conventions, or the Associated Press Stylebook’s punctuation edicts, trump those old-school grammar rules.)
In honor of this day, maybe we should talk about the subject of grammar. In this day of text msgs, telegraphic tweets and the death of the serial comma, what constitutes good grammar?
Or maybe we should air our pet grammar peeves? Here’s one of mine:
Confusing less and fewer. Grocery stores do this all the time with their “10 items or less” signs. Here’s an easy way to remember which is which:
If it’s stuff you can count, use fewer. As in: “I have fewer than 10 items in my shopping cart — that is, if my six-pack of light beer, which contains fewer calories per serving than regular beer, counts as a single item — therefore, I shall check out via the ’10 items or less’ lane.”
If it’s stuff you can’t count or quantify, then use less. As in: “I am less drunk than Bob, even though he drank fewer beers than I.”
If that isn’t clear enough, consult Grammar Girl’s tip on the fewer/less conundrum.
And tell me:
- How do you plan to celebrate National Grammar Day?
- What is your pet grammar peeve? (Limit two or
lessfewer per commenter, please.)
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