Thank you all for being here today and asking great questions. It was fun. - Mignon

Here's my stuff:

My Proof: https://twitter.com/GrammarGirl/status/436559950454603777

Comments: 341 • Responses: 81  • Date: 

beiaard29 karma

I'm a linguist, and reading through your responses I'm kind of (admittedly and pleasantly) surprised that you don't seem as pedantic as most "grammar experts". What's your stance on prescriptivism vs. descriptivism?

grammargirlAMA26 karma

Thanks! I consider it an insult to be called a prescriptivist (although I understand why people could get that impression). I think both can happily co-exist. The way I think, they aren't in conflict. Language always has changed, language will continue to change, and I'm glad it does. But when people are looking to get ahead in school or at work, they have to follow the standard conventions, and I'm here to help them understand what those are. But whenever possible, I try to give people context. Ending a sentence with a preposition is a good example. I tell people it's a completely bogus rule, but that you should follow it in important situations because a lot of people in power still think it's a rule.

Divotus16 karma

Your books is to good to reed! Welcom 2 reddit! Is this the fust time youv posted at here?

grammargirlAMA16 karma

Yes, this is the first time I've posted to Reddit. My early experiences were being flamed to kingdom come because I wrote an article saying "irregardless" is a word and someone posted it to Reddit, and Reddit sending 30,000+ people to my website to hear my voice as an example of awful vocal fry. So I have to say, this experience has been a lot better!

grammargirlAMA15 karma

Ahem, cough, cough. Anyone want to talk about the fact that I make games? :-)

goofballl9 karma

Really? Could you provide a link to said games?

grammargirlAMA11 karma

Thanks. :-)

Grammar Pop is at http://grammarpop.com.

I'm currently crowdfunding Peeve Wars at http://FundAnything.com/peevewars

thoreauly774 karma

Mignon, will there be an Android option soon, pretty please?

grammargirlAMA1 karma

Sorry. I tried really hard to make the Android version, but it is not to be.

ffirestine5 karma

I loved hearing you talk about your adventures in game development on a podcast recently. As a guy who has drifted away from programming over my years of employment, it makes me want to jump back in.

grammargirlAMA7 karma

Yay! I think games are such as great way to learn. Which would you rather do? Flashcards or a game? It's an easy answer for me.

Grammar Pop is an educational game that will help you learn grammar. Peeve Wars is more just for fun. When we were test playing it, we kept joking in a funny announcer voice "No educational value!" You'll learn a little bit--mostly what other people find annoying--but it's really just fun.

grammargirlAMA9 karma

Our time is up. Thanks for being here and being interested. I'm always happy to answer questions (and do so most often on Twitter and Facebook). If you want to find me in the future, my website is a good place to start: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl

The only thing you won't be able to easily find there is my Peeve Wars project, which is at http://FundAnything.com/peevewars

cycophuk8 karma

Do you ever hate your parents for naming you after a cut of steak?

grammargirlAMA8 karma

No, I'm named after a flower called the mignonette. It's a family name.

karmanaut7 karma

Are there any rules of grammar that are slowly dying out or not being used anymore that you think are beneficial and should still be used?

(Asking on behalf of my girlfriend, who loves your site and constantly refers to it)

grammargirlAMA4 karma

Oh, thanks. Hello to your girlfriend. I can't think of anything off the top of my head.

mtthwas7 karma

What is your biggest grammar pet peeve?

grammargirlAMA12 karma

Things bothered me less and less the longer I'm Grammar Girl. I used to hate it when people used "while" to mean "although," but there's no basis for that, so I've given it up. I don't do it in my own writing, but I wouldn't correct it if I were editing.

kdemps10207 karma

I both love and hate that you mentioned that. Where I work, our style is to change "while" to "although" or "though" when appropriate. In order to keep all of the rules straight in my head, I am quite militant about it.

But I love that you mentioned it because I just started my first semester of grad school and discussed the differences between "while" and "although" and "because" and "since" in the writing sample for my application. I used your example (with credit, of course) of "While Squiggly is yellow, Aardvark is blue."

grammargirlAMA2 karma

:-)

Adamas_Mustache6 karma

Is it okay to use an if the word in context is pronounced like a vowel. For example is it "an NFC card" or "a NFC card."

edit: Pronunciation is En Ef Ce

grammargirlAMA14 karma

Yes! That actually is the rule. It's governed by the sound, not the letter. You can read more here. http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/a-versus-an

For some reason, a lot of people were taught this the wrong way.

croebuck6 karma

When do you know if it is appropriate to use a hyphen? For example, when would you use first-graders vs. first graders?

grammargirlAMA3 karma

I can't think of an instance in which I wouldn't hyphenate "first-graders."

Hyphens are complicated. Different dictionaries often have different recommendations about hyphenating compound words, for example. I have three different articles on my website about using hyphens: https://www.google.com/search?q=%22grammar+girl%22+hyphens&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS505US506&oq=%22grammar+girl%22+hyphens&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.4378j0j4&sourceid=chrome&espv=210&es_sm=119&ie=UTF-8

mjh846 karma

Do you think spell check on computers has dumbed down a generation, because you knew you didn't have to be perfect?

grammargirlAMA7 karma

I suppose you could make that argument. I'm bad at basic math. Is it because of calculators? I think it's really hard to draw a direct line, but it seems to make sense from a logical standpoint. I'm just suspicious of arguments that talk about how technology is hurting our kids or society because people make that argument about most new technologies.

TI_Pirate14 karma

I think it's really hard to draw a direct line

I blame rulers.

grammargirlAMA3 karma

Ha!

itsaferrari6 karma

Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?

grammargirlAMA12 karma

Ha! It's amazing how much people argue about it. I liked the Onion story depicting a brawl between people from the Chicago Manual of Style and the AP Stylebook.

itsaferrari6 karma

Grammar girl, do YOU give a fuck about an Oxford comma?

grammargirlAMA13 karma

I prefer using the Oxford comma, but I don't get bent out of shape when people don't. It's just a style choice.

morzaj6 karma

Are you on the prescriptive or descriptive side regarding the usage wars?

grammargirlAMA11 karma

I often find myself somewhere in the middle. I know a lot of people think I'm a prescriptivist because I give people advice about how to write in standard English, but I have very descriptivist leanings personally. I'm completely in favor of the singular "they," but when people come to me wanting advice on how to write for work or school or a resume, I can't in good conscience tell them to treat "they" as singular because so many people still oppose it.

Thurgood_Marshall5 karma

If AAVE became the prestige dialect tomorrow, what would you do?

grammargirlAMA10 karma

If it were the dialect expected in job applications and at school, I'd tell people to use it. (And I think I'd have a great time watching everyone lose their minds if that really happened. That would certainly shake things up, eh?)

Marble1012 karma

What do you make of the idea of teaching AAVE-speaking children in AAVE (at least in primary school) to help them develop in their native dialect? Do you think it's reasonable to bring "Standard English" to the table later in their educations?

grammargirlAMA3 karma

I would not be in favor of that. I don't see how it would help them. I don't think AAVE should be stigmatized or forbidden the way Native American languages were, but I do think that if you want to be successful in America, you need to speak Standard English, so kids should start learning it as young as possible.

I'm definitely not an expert in early childhood education though, and I recognize that this is a controversial topic.

VottoLoco4 karma

First off, I appreciate the work that you do. I follow you on Twitter and have heard you on many programs speaking about something for which you obviously have a great deal of passion.

I graduated with a BA in English and an MFA in Creative Writing. When I tell people about my education, they often respond with something like, “I better watch my grammar around you.” Frankly, while I might notice grammar and spelling errors more as a result of the volume of writing I have done, I will not point out those errors in the interest of being a polite human being. In fact, I spent very little time studying grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and others probably understand these principles better than I do.

Do you feel like your Grammar Girl persona has done more to contribute to or detract from the idea that English majors are so-called grammar Nazis?

grammargirlAMA16 karma

I HATE the phrase grammar Nazi and I don't encourage people to act that way. I've said in interviews many times that I won't correct people's grammar. I think it's rude. I had a long, weird interview on a Canadian radio station where the host said she wanted people to correct her grammar, and I just couldn't agree. People say the same thing to me (about worrying about their grammar when the talk to me or write to me) and it makes me sad.

7alex3 karma

Do you believe that bad grammar on a website or sign drives you away from an otherwise fine business? Are there any good examples you can give (trying to prove a point to a friend) Thanks!

grammargirlAMA4 karma

I hear people say it a lot online, but I don't know of any specific examples. I do recall seeing a study that typos on newspaper sites affected readers' beliefs about the quality of the publication (or maybe the reliability of the news), but I don't believe I've ever seen a study showing the companies lose business over it. There are examples of companies losing a lot of money because they had to reprint things that had errors, or losing money because of errors in contracts.

gangstamoogle3 karma

Hi Grammar Girl, thanks for taking our questions. Which is correct:

a) The Miami Heat are playing on the road tonight. b) The Miami Heat is playing on the road tonight.

grammargirlAMA6 karma

I thought I had written about this, but I can't find the article. Here's one though: http://doctorio.us/2012/06/12/miami-heat-and-oklahoma-city-thunder-compete-for-collective-plural-championship/

AP Style is to write "The Miami Heat are playing . . ."

gangstamoogle1 karma

Thank you!

Was this the article you were trying to find for me?: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/collective-nouns (The other article you gave me had a link to it).

grammargirlAMA1 karma

No, I thought I had written a piece about it when the Heat played the Thunder, but I can't find it. Maybe I'm remembering a radio interview.

lowercasejae3 karma

If you could fix one common grammar mistake every time it appeared - in public or private - with impunity, what would it be?

grammargirlAMA9 karma

Tough to choose between apostrophes used to make plurals or quotation marks for emphasis. (I know those are both punctuation and not really grammar.)

mdw8253 karma

What's your take on "try to" vs "try and"?

MiG_Eater3 karma

Whats you're bigest grammer 'gripe".

grammargirlAMA2 karma

haha

Clothedpatrick2 karma

What's your favorite breakfast cereal?

grammargirlAMA3 karma

I often have Frosted Flakes for dessert. For breakfast, I like yogurt with blueberries.

emkay9782 karma

Which style book would you suggest for website content? If book editors use Chicago, and newspapers follow AP style, which would you recommend for a company's website content? Is there an alternative option for the web?

grammargirlAMA4 karma

I like AP for online writing. I'm not as familiar with the Yahoo! Style Guide, but I imagine it is probably better since it's written with the Web in mind. BuzzFeed just released a new style guide too. I haven't had a chance to look at the whole thing, but it might be a good choice too.

emkay9782 karma

Thanks!

Here's another semi-related question for you. How do you feel about the use of different types of dashes (i.e. em dash, en dash, etc.)? Are they old hat these days and should we just be using a generic dash for everything?

grammargirlAMA1 karma

I use an en dash when it's called for, but the instances are rare. I hate seeing a hyphen used in place of a dash though.

Taxiship2 karma

Hey Grammar Girl. I just wanted to say that your website has been very helpful for my papers. Anytime I have a grammatical question, I would type it in google and your website usually comes up first. Thanks for everything!

grammargirlAMA5 karma

Thanks!

ash_eliza2 karma

Do you have any hidden talents?

grammargirlAMA6 karma

I can't think of any. I'm pretty dull! A lot of people were surprised to learn that I made my iOS game Grammar Pop myself.

Linkaboo72 karma

whats your favorite onomatopoeia?

grammargirlAMA4 karma

I'm not sure it is exactly onomatopoeia, but I really like the word "kerfuffle" because it sounds like what it is to me.

Beakersful2 karma

What do you think of Dan Brown and his use of adjectives to pack out his novels with horrible English (Brownisms,) yet the planet seems to buy so many of his books providing him with a retirement home and a place in the record books? Geoffrey Pullum is worth a listen on the subject.

grammargirlAMA4 karma

I see why people say his writing is atrocious. There was a mean, but hilarious, but mean parody of his writing when his newest book came out. But there are many examples of "poorly" written books being huge bestsellers, and when someone is that successful, they're clearly giving people what they want and there almost have to be good things about what they're doing. A good story and good writing are different things. Lisa Cron (author of "Wired for Story") has a lot of interesting things to say about this topic.

grammargirlAMA3 karma

Here's one piece in which Lisa Cron and others have some comments about "50 Shades of Grey" and writing and popularity. http://writerunboxed.com/2013/08/06/fifty-lessons-from-fifty-shades-of-grey-part-i/

PromoPimp2 karma

Hi Grammar Girl! Huge fan. I have a real life grammar question for you.

When using the word historic with an article in front of it, occasionally I'll see people use "an" (as in "an historic day for...") instead of a. I've noticed this several times in well-respected newspapers, books, and newscasts. Do you have any idea why they use an and not a? The rules seem to favor a.

grammargirlAMA6 karma

I have a post about this topic: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/a-historic-versus-an-historic

Because "a" versus "an" is governed by pronunciation, it gets tricky because on the East Coast, some people pronounce "historic" as "istoric."

urko372 karma

When spoiling the big dramatic moment in a television show, should you refer to the reveal or the revelation?

grammargirlAMA6 karma

Hmm. Either sounds fine to me.

jonilacroix2 karma

What would people be most surprised to learn about your life outside of Grammar Girl?

grammargirlAMA6 karma

Hmm. It may surprise people that my favorite things to read are sci-fi, fantasy, and post-apocalyptic YA lit. I read a lot of highbrow stuff in college, but now when I read for pleasure, it tends to be genre fiction.

jonilacroix2 karma

Thanks for the response! I am a copy editor at a small publishing company in New Hampshire and constantly use your website to teach grammar to my coworkers. Keep up the great work!

jonilacroix1 karma

Does it bother you to read a book for pleasure that has terrible grammar, even if that's the writer's style?

grammargirlAMA1 karma

I get annoyed when I read self-published books that have lots of punctuation errors.

mtthwas2 karma

When starting a sentence with a word such as iPod, iPhone, or eBay how does one handle capitalization?

grammargirlAMA6 karma

I just looked this up the other day, and now I can't remember. I usually go to great lengths to rewrite the sentence to avoid the problem. I believe it may be a style issue that different publications handle different ways.

wont_eat_bugs2 karma

Do you have a simple trick for remembering when to use 'affect' or 'effect'? Please don't give me the parts of speech definition because it makes about as much sense to me as purple + orange. Is there a word I can substitute in to see if I'm using the correct one? Thanks!

P.S. I find your website invaluable and refer to it frequently. You are a godsend!

grammargirlAMA6 karma

Here's an example:

The effects were amazing. [Note the "e" at the end of "the" and at the beginning of "effect."]

The song [the] affected me. [The "the" in that sentence doesn't make any sense at all, so you know you want the word that doesn't start with "e."]

My whole article on the topic is here: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/affect-versus-effect

grammargirlAMA3 karma

The trick I use personally is to think of a big black raven on a fence because "raven" has "AVEN" in it, which stands for "affect verb effect noun," which is right about 90% of the time.

But, if that doesn't work for you, another way is that if you can put "the" (or an") in front of the word and it doesn't sound completely weird, you usually want "effect," and you can think of the "e" at the end of "the" as butting up against the "e" in effect.

[deleted]2 karma

[deleted]

grammargirlAMA3 karma

I think this is what you mean: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/apostrophe-catastrophe-part-two

It's a style choice. You can write "Kansas's statute" (Chicago style) or "Kansas' statute" (AP style). This is another thing that is a style, but a lot of people were taught is a rule.

[deleted]3 karma

[deleted]

grammargirlAMA7 karma

Ha! I often use analogies about clothes. When I'm talking about text messaging, I tell kids you wouldn't wear a bikini to school, right? Well, it's the same thing with language. You shouldn't use "LOL" in a school essay. The sixth graders I talked to last week thought the "bikini to school" thing was hilarious.

sushimustwrite2 karma

What rules of grammar do you find yourself breaking/bending most often?

grammargirlAMA19 karma

I'm often tempted to break the singular "they" rule. We've been writing the final rules for my card game Peeve Wars and you get sentences such as "When a player draws a card, he or she must decide whether to put it in his or her army or discard it." Ugh! So awkward. Last week we spent at least 10 minutes trying to rewrite a rule so we didn't have to use three instances of "he or she."

Thurgood_Marshall7 karma

But singular they has been around for at least 500 years.

grammargirlAMA8 karma

I know. As I said somewhere else in this AMA, I support using "they" as singular. I want it to be accepted as the standard, but it would be crazy to use it in the rules for a game about grammar peeves unless I were using it ironically, and people never get it when I try to do that. One of my first posts to promote Peeve Wars said "This is literally the most unique game you'll ever see." A few people got it, but mostly I just got angry comments.

tetuphenay2 karma

You can always go with "When players draw their cars..."

I can't stand the sound of pronoun disagreement, but "he or she" gets so ugly after repeated use that I've just started making all generic subjects groups.

grammargirlAMA4 karma

We did that whenever possible, but in certain cases it just didn't work because it had to be one player taking the action. (The rule I used as an example here isn't a real rule. I can't remember the exact wording off the top of my head.)

Killer-Barbie1 karma

I'm so excited for this game

grammargirlAMA1 karma

Thanks! I am too. I can't wait for people to play it!

Lindata2 karma

Hi Grammar Girl! Thanks for the many helpful tips!

What is your favorite grammar/style book? One that you think everyone should have at their desks at work?

grammargirlAMA3 karma

It depends on where they work! Book editors need Chicago, newspaper editors need the AP Stylebook, and so on. I like Garner's Modern American Usage and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary of English Usage. Both are very comprehensive and give different perspectives.

ash_eliza2 karma

What’s your favorite part about being Grammar Girl?

grammargirlAMA5 karma

I'll cheat and say two things. First, I love hearing that I help people. People will say I helped them pass a class or an editing test to get a job, and that's really rewarding. Personally, I love that I get to learn new things all the time.

jij_sock_puppet2 karma

Why is your enemy Grammar Maven?

grammargirlAMA8 karma

Because the Grammar Maven is snotty, condescending, and self-important. I hate how people use language to try to make themselves feel superior.

iupvotedachshunds2 karma

First, I love your blog, and I'm excited for your game to come out! I was wondering whether "Warm regards," or "Warm Regards," is correct in the closing greeting of an email. Thanks for doing this!

grammargirlAMA5 karma

I believe I'd lowercase "regards." (I'll try to look that up after the AMA though because I'm not certain if there is a rule.)

iupvotedachshunds1 karma

Yay! Any preference in regard to capitalization in opening greetings (e.g., "Good Morning Squiggly")?

kdemps10202 karma

My husband does that all the time. I hate it. I think "Good morning Squiggly" or "Good morning, Squiggly." is correct, but I don't know the reason behind not capitalizing "morning."

grammargirlAMA5 karma

I don't see any reason to capitalize "morning" either. Sometimes I think people think of greetings like this as some sort of headline because they're at the top or the beginning.

ksalley2 karma

Ms. Fogarty, I'm a big fan and I appreciate what you do! What would you say is the most misunderstood grammar "rule"? Something people commonly get wrong or misquote.

grammargirlAMA7 karma

The "rule" that you can't end a sentence with a preposition is bogus. You can read more here: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/ending-a-sentence-with-a-preposition

tal9732 karma

How do you feel about using 'oneself' in everyday conversation?

grammargirlAMA6 karma

Funny that you should ask because I did a Skype visit last week with a 6th grade class that had won a Grammar Pop contest, and one of the kids asked me that. I was surprised a 6th grader had even heard the word "oneself." It seems terribly formal to me. I imagine someone on Downton Abbey using it.

reallydumb4real2 karma

Hi Grammar Girl. Big fan of the podcast and the blog. I've got a couple questions.

1) What made you get interested in grammar initially?

2) Do you think that grammatical correctness can sometimes impede (instead of enhance) effective communication? If so, what is a good balance between the two?

3) Despite not making grammatical sense, I've always thought that the phrase "could care less" is proper due to a combination of sarcasm, irony, and how idioms work. What does Grammar Girl say on this topic?

Thanks again for this AMA!

grammargirlAMA5 karma

Thanks!

I chose grammar for my podcast for a couple of reasons. First, I was a working writer and editor with an English degree, and I couldn't believe they didn't teach me all these rules I needed to know in college. I was constantly looking things up in style guides. Second, I saw my editing clients making the same mistakes over and over again, so I thought people might appreciate some quick and dirty tips.

grammargirlAMA5 karma

I think people can end up with terribly awkward sentences when they try to follow "rules" such as "don't end a sentence with a preposition." I wouldn't not write or say, "On what did you step?" I'd write or say, "What did you step on?"

grammargirlAMA5 karma

"Could care less" bugs A LOT of people. I wouldn't say it just because I wouldn't want to deal with the ire, but there's at least one linguist who believes it came about because people were using it ironically. It reminds me of how "egregious" evolved over time: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/how-egregious-went-good-bad

jhuebert2 karma

Hi Mignon. You are the best! That being said, even LeBron misses a shot once in a while. When are you going to set the record straight on the useful, logical, consistent use of "these ones" ("of the indicated subset", as opposed to "the whole group" more likely indicated by the use of plain, "these").

grammargirlAMA5 karma

I'm e-mailing myself this comment to follow up on it. I see that my blog post on the subject is very short.

baptizedbycobalt2 karma

I've never been able to understand proper usage of 'whom'. Is there a simple way to understand when to use 'who' vs. 'whom'?

grammargirlAMA7 karma

imbpine2 karma

I'm so glad you did this AMA. Thank you. Do you think English grammar will begin to evolve at an accelerated pace now that everyone is so influenced by social media and bloggers? (Evolve might not be the best word for this question)

grammargirlAMA3 karma

It might. It seems as if there's a tendency to always think that the time you are living in is experience more rapid change than ages past. It may be that the changes are just more obvious. I was just looking at a study done by Andrea Lunsford at Stanford that shows that the number of errors in student papers hasn't gone up since the 1980s, but the type of errors have change. "Wrong word" is now the number one error, whereas before comma errors were the top problem. Maybe people notice a wrong word more than they notice a missing comma, so it seems as if writing is getting worse.

imbpine1 karma

I have to look up that study. I can't help but wonder if the comma errors are indeed being missed in favor of word correction.

ffirestine2 karma

Over the past few years, in conversation I have noticed more use of the possessive overkill "Your guys' <whatever>" or "Your guys'es <whatever>." Why do you think it's become insufficient to say "Your"?

grammargirlAMA9 karma

When I was in college, I worked as a hostess at a restaurant, and I always used "y'all" or "you guys" when addressing a group because saying "you" or "your" felt like you may be addressing the person you were looking at when you said it instead of the whole group. I wish English had a better word for such situations. (Of course, the need for such a word is why we have all the regionalisms that do it.)

Annekilla2 karma

[deleted]

grammargirlAMA4 karma

"He and She" are subject pronouns, and "him and her" are object pronouns. That description often doesn't help people because they don't remember the difference between a subject and an object. This is my best article on the topic (despite the weird title): http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/does-the-olympic-theme-song-%E2%80%9Ci-believe%E2%80%9D-have-a-grammar-error

wont_eat_bugs1 karma

What's your favourite collective noun, like a murder of crows? A pandemonium of parrots. A business of ferrets.

grammargirlAMA2 karma

Oh, they're all so great! I saw a page from a design firm that had made a bunch of posters of each of these. I'll try to find it after the AMA and post the link. I can't say that I have one favorite though.

sapost1 karma

I don't have a question, but I do want to thank you for the work that's gone into your website. My college writing center uses it often, especially for students whose first language is not English. Your examples in particular are awesome: informative, comprehensible, and just funny enough to be interesting for frustrated writers.

Thanks!

grammargirlAMA2 karma

Thanks! I always like to hear that people find my work helpful.

Choralone1 karma

Hi GG.. you are awesome.

Do you speak, read, or write any languages other than English?

grammargirlAMA2 karma

Thanks! I took German in high school and still have rudimentary skills, but I doubt I could hold a conversation or even get around well in the country.

grammargirlAMA2 karma

I wish I were fluent in another language! Taking language classes is always something I think I'm going to do "next year."

Themagictreehouse1 karma

Hi Grammar Girl! Big fan. Thanks for your posts. I was wondering your opinion on "data is" vs. "data are". Singular or plural? I have seen it both ways and my coworkers can never agree.

Nicpulse1 karma

Good or well?

MahaliAudran1 karma

Hi Mignon, On Penn Jillette's podcast he said he's asked you about swear words and their usage before but you keep a squeaky clean image for your podcast and books. Any chance of an "Adult edition" from you?

grammargirlAMA1 karma

Ha! People joke about me doing a "Grammar Girl, After Dark" podcast, but it's never going to happen.

lenora2081 karma

When will your game be available? Do you have any others?

grammargirlAMA2 karma

Grammar Pop is available now for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Peeve Wars will be available after the crowd funding campaign reaches its goal. It's going well enough that I already have the artist making cards, so I'm hopeful that we'll get it out pretty quickly. You can see some of the cards here: https://fundanything.com/en/campaigns/peevewars/updates

WiltChamberlicious1 karma

Ahh, shoot! I'm late. Maybe you can still answer my question: what is the proper grammar for the possessive of a proper noun ending in s, such as the dog of Barbara Walters?

grammargirlAMA2 karma

It's a style choice. In Chicago style, it would be "Barbara Walters's dog." In AP style, it would be "Barbara Walters' dog." http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/apostrophe-catastrophe-part-two

WiltChamberlicious1 karma

Thank you for your reply! That makes sense too.

I intended on asking about the capitalization of "Many thanks," when signing off in an email, but you answered that earlier.

Can you explain why sometimes there's an s after words that end with -ward(s), as seen in upward, toward, and so forth?

grammargirlAMA2 karma

They tend to use the "s" forms in British English.

mjh841 karma

autocorrect is...

grammargirlAMA3 karma

often hilarious.

currentchris1 karma

  1. Do you have any tips for improving your grammar, besides reading your wonderful books and websites and your other resources? Things like reading your text out loud and reading great writers, etc.

  2. Do you know of any exercises that would help someone test their grammar skills or discover their weaknesses?

  3. Can you recommend any other sources online (in addition to your own) that you think are useful?

  4. Can you recommend any serious texts on grammar and syntax? Something that might be useful as a all-encompassing grammar bible?

  5. Do you have favorite authors for writing style / technical skill (not for their story telling or content)? Any software you like for writing and checking your work?

  6. Do you have any favorite books on the general subject of grammar, usage, writing, communicating, style, etc?

grammargirlAMA3 karma

I read all my podcasts out loud (maybe that's obvious), and when I do, I often find phrases that could sound better, so I do think reading aloud is a good way to improve your writing.

I subscribe to the online versions of both the Chicago Manual of Style and the AP Stylebook, and I use them every day. I think an important part of improving your skills is to look things up. Before I was Grammar Girl, I would often write around something when I wasn't sure of the rules. Now I look up everything, and that helps me learn.

If you want a comprehensive, academic book on grammar and syntax, you probably want the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, but I don't find it to be very useful in a practical way.

grammargirlAMA3 karma

I don't use software to check my work.

grammargirlAMA3 karma

There are so many great books on writing that it's hard to choose. I like everything by Patricia O'Connor and Bill Walsh. Roy Peter Clark has some good books out. I like Lisa Cron's Wired for Story, but that's more about content than mechanics. I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot of good books.

mjh841 karma

what do people mess up more....their, there, they're or your, you're?

grammargirlAMA2 karma

Heck, I don't know. That would be an interesting thing for an academic to study.

mtthwas1 karma

What's the most challenging part of developing a new game like Peeve Wars?

grammargirlAMA2 karma

After funding, the most challenging part is what I call the game balance. Having the right rules and the right cards so that the game goes fast and is fun. You don't want the game to have boring lulls. Fortunately, Joe Kisenwether, my friend who is going the game design, is a mathematician and a game designer, so the game required very little tweaking to make it great. We've gone through a few rounds to make it even better than it was, but it's clearly made by a professional!

<blatant promotion>Here's the URL: http://FundAnything.com/peevewars </a>