Back to school style: grammar and punctuation

It’s back to school time: some are stocking up on school supplies, others are having nostalgic flashbacks to the fall Sears catalogue, and many are busily cramming in all they meant to do over the summer, but didn’t quite accomplish. Here at Words in Place, we are celebrating back to school with a review of the best grammar and punctuation sites. Read on for the amusing and informative.

Apostrophe Abuse
Jaw-dropping real-life abuses of the apostrophe are catalogued. It’s brilliant.

Apostrophe Catastrophe
Another amazing blog dedicated to apostrophe abuse. Come to the Psychic Fayr’e! Alway’s be prepared! Taxi’s line up here!

The “Blog” of Unnecessary Quotation Marks
You can scroll through the examples. I am still pondering what it means to “Get Double Meat.”

The Diacritics
There are thoughtful accessible posts about random linguistic matters. How many unintentional puns do you hear in a day? Is it euros or euro?

Grammar Girl
In addition to authoring several readable books on grammar, and maintaining a website featuring quick and dirty grammar tips, Mignon Fogarty has a Facebook page, and if you “like” it, you too can get tips in your newsfeed on very important grammar matters—such as when to use myself, and when to use me.

If you’re wondering if I should have used catalog versus catalogue above, they have a post on that. This is a wonderful site which covers everything from grammar and usage to style. They have a special section for users for whom English is not a first language. Also, they link to grammar games. Seriously, grammar games.

How to Write Badly Well
There are entertaining videos instructing you on how to write not very well at all. Run by UK poet Joel Stickley, the blog is a wonderful archive of insanity.

Mr. Verb
This is a series of blog entries where various authors deconstruct bad writing and speech by people who sometimes should know better. It’s light reading for academics, with a bit of academic politics. Posts have titles like “Mountain Man Linguistics” and “Gothica Bononiensia.”

Oxford comma

The Proper English Foundation
A brilliantly satirical site. I particularly like “People who have made slight grammatical errors and must be imprisoned.” Those cited include Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Teachers.

Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar
Subtitle: “An online journal in which members of The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar document their noble efforts.” Examples include a Craigslist advertisement: “Exp’d, Loving, Conscious [sic]  Nanny Available.” Quips the SPGG, “Unfortunately, we’re only in the market for an unconscious nanny.”

Throw Grammar from the Train
Informative and witty posts about genuine slippages in language. Can you refer to someone as “that” for instance, or must you use who? (Asks “the person that wrote this post.”)

..and the obligatory Buzzfeed link, “19 jokes All Grammar Nerds Will Appreciate.”


One response to “Back to school style: grammar and punctuation

  1. Nadine Gingirch

    I have heard that there is a movement to get rid of the apostrophe and it seems to be working. Then again, go to Beechwood Zehrs to see that they sell “razor’s” (and shouldn’t it actually be “Zehr’s?).

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