File Extensions

I have had recent questions about how to do file extensions when they are said by themselves without the full file name. First, I would say that they should be done consistently. Though I do not know that there is a “rule,” I would recommend that they be transcribed as they look in the file name. …It was a .jpg …

Consistency for Numbers

Great seeing so many “old” familiar faces at DRA. Wow. It has been a few years. Glad to see you thriving in this wonderful field. There was a recent discussion on numbers and their form within a sentence. Overriding all the rules for numbers is the rule for consistency: If there are numbers that measure the same thing or the …

DRA Convention in CA

Looking forward to seeing my DRA friends in Newport Beach this weekend. Come by the booth to see me. Good news: My new word pairs book is just around the corner — last-minute proofing! How many more newscasters are going to say …less seats… or …less schools… or …less states…? Yikes! Happy punctuating! Margie

Oh, Dear. It Is Tough to Listen Too…

As heard on a news show on TV. Can we say misplaced modifier?? …a meeting of the man who shot Bin Laden and 11 members of Congress… Happy punctuating! Margie

From a Reputable Internet News Source…

Oh, my.  We are losing the battle, I do believe. …extremely rare occurance… Though there are no rules for ance versus ence, one would think that the more common words would be spelled correctly. While I am here, I just want to remind you that I am starting my series of punctuation seminars on March 2. Check out all the …

A Fine Point of Grammar — “Is” or “Are”?

This sentence is from an English exam: “Kay is one of the women who (is/are) (inferring/implying) that from what she read. So let’s first say that speakers and writers “imply” and readers and listeners “infer.” So that answer is INFER. The verb form you are looking for is in a dependent clause here; it is not the subject and verb …

When the “And” Is Missing

Put a comma before the and because there is an independent subject and verb after the and. …I was driving northbound on Madison, and I turned left onto Rourke. …Rachel went to the hospital, and she spoke with the doctor. No comma before the and in these sentences because there is not an independent subject and verb after the and. …

“Fewer” and “Less”

As I get ready for tomorrow’s grammar review for the CSR/RPR English test-takers — grammar is really my secret passion, my favorite!! — I thought I would review a very common grammar rule/mistake. Use fewer to modify something you can count. …fewer choices… …fewer seats… …fewer books… Use less to modify something that you cannot count. …less space… …less cooking… …

“Not” Versus “But Not”

There is a comma before but when there is an independent subject and verb after. …was here, but she could not stay long… …was here but could not stay long… …wrote her, but I wasn’t sure of her position… …wrote her but wasn’t sure of her position… A contrasting element begins with not, never, seldom, or rather. A contrasting element …