Sunday, March 4, 2012

National Grammar Day - Tips, Myths, Books, and More!

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NATIONAL GRAMMAR DAY
Sunday - March 4, 2012

Today is National Grammar Day. A day to speak well, write well, and help others do the same. In honor of the occasion, here are some quick grammar tips:

Grammar Girl sheds light on the subject in "Ten Grammar Myths Revealed."

You can also find grammatical enlightenment in Write it Right! Gotham's one-day intensive offered on March 9 and 31 in NYC.

Read on for more grammar tips and to learn about four excellent grammar guides.


10 QUESTIONS FOR THE WRITER
Expert Answers to Your Questions on Grammar, Punctuation, and Craft

Every two weeks Gotham's Brandi Reissenweber answers questions submitted by readers of The Writer magazine. Here are ten questions that she's recently answered:


Q: What's the difference between lay and lie? The answer


Q: How do I know when to capitalize titles, like those of family members, political offices, or rank? Does "mom" get capitalized? Does "president" always begin with a capital letter? I've seen these words both ways. The answer


Q: I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't know the true distinction between "there," "their," and "they're." I mess these up often enough that I could use clarification. The answer  The answer


Q: Which is correct: "six or ten-day trip" or "six- or ten-day trip"? The answer


Q: Where do you put the apostrophe and "s" when you want to show two people own something? For example, is "Linda and Carl's home" or "Linda's and Carl's home" correct? The answer


Q: When a character asks a question, does the question mark go right after the question, or at the end of the sentence after I indicate who said it? The answer


Q: This sentence has a question in it: "I wondered if she'd ever take me seriously?" However, I've been told it should end with a period. Why? The answer


Q. Why does the exclamation mark have such a bad reputation? When is it acceptable to use it? The answer


Q: Does fiction have to be grammatically correct? The answer


Q: How is dialogue punctuated? The answer
> Submit your questions to writingquestions@writermag.com.
> Find more Ask The Writer Q&A here.


CONTEST UPDATES

THE WRITER 2012 SHORT-STORY CONTESTIs your work ready to reach a wider readership? If so, then we invite you to enter The Writer 2012 Short-Story Contest. Here's your chance to submit original fiction on any theme that is brilliant, bold, and concise (no more than 2,000 words). Prizes include $1,000; publication in The Writer; a 10-week Gotham class; and more.

For complete rules and online entry visit The Writer Contest.

CONTEST UPDATES> Sylvia K. Burack Writing Award —For students in 11th or 12th grade. Deadline is March 15.
> YA Novel Discovery Contest —Winners announced.
> 2012 Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting —Now accepting submissions.> Final Draft Big Break Screenplay Competition —Open for early entries.
> 2011 Zoetrope Screenplay Competition —Winners announced.


THE GRAMMARPHOBE'S GUIDE TO BETTER ENGLISH
Woe Is I - Updated and Revised

Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English, by Patricia T. O'Conner, has been called "possibly the most popular book on grammar every published." Now the witty bestseller that untangled the knottiest problems in the English language is back—in a revised, expanded third edition that untangles more knots than ever.

Woe Is I provides witty, jargon-free answers to all your questions about the basics as well as the subtleties of grammar, style, and usage.

> To read excerpts from Woe Is I, click here.
> Order a copy online from IndieBound or Amazon


DAILY TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL WRITING
The Grammar Devotional

Millions of writers now punctuate properly and communicate clearly, thanks to Mignon Fogarty (a.k.a. Grammar Girl). In her first book, Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing, a New York Times bestseller, and on her weekly grammar podcasts, she has provided practical and easy-to-remember advice about writing style and word usage.

Now, in tip-of-the-day form, Grammar Girl serves up 365 lessons on language that are sure to inspire. Filled with new, bite-size writing tips, fun quizzes and puzzles, and efficient memory tricks, The Grammar Devotional gives you a daily dose of knowledge to improve your writing and also serves as a lasting reference you'll use for years to come.

The book is organized by generic weeks so you can start any time. It's meant to be read through, just like a devotional, but also includes an index so you can use the book as a reference guide and quickly find specific tips when you need them.

It may seem like a trivial endeavor, a tip each day, but at the end of a year the knowledge adds up. A year's worth of new knowledge can imbue your writing with new confidence.

> Click here to read an excerpt.
> Order online from IndieBound or Amazon.


THINGS THAT MAKE US [SIC]
A Hilarious Guide to Better Grammar

Martha Brockenbrough's Things That Make Us [Sic] is a laugh-out-loud guide to grammar and language, a snarkier, American answer to Lynn Truss's runaway success Eats, Shoots & Leaves

Things That Make Us [Sic] addresses common language stumbling stones such as evil twins, clich├ęs, jargon, and flab, and offers all the spelling tips, hints, and rules that are fit to print. It's also hugely entertaining, with letters to high-profile language abusers, including David Hasselhoff, George W. Bush, as well as a letter to—and a reply from—Her Majesty, the Queen of England.

> Read an excerpt from "Grammar for Spammers and Pop Stars."
> Order online from IndieBound or Amazon


THE GLAMOUR OF GRAMMAR
A Guide to the Magic and Mystery of Practical English

The Glamour of Grammar gives readers all the tools they need to "live inside the language"—to take advantage of grammar to perfect their use of English, to instill meaning, and to charm through their writing.

Early in the history of English, the words "grammar" and "glamour" meant the same thing: the power to charm. Roy Peter Clark, author of Writing Tools, aims to put the glamour back in grammar with this fun, engaging alternative to stuffy instructionals. In this practical guide, readers will learn everything from the different parts of speech to why effective writers prefer concrete nouns and active verbs.

> Read Chapter 1 and Chapter 2
> Buy online from IndieBound or Amazon
> Listen to an NPR interview with Roy Peter Clark.


NATIONAL GRAMMAR DAY RESOURCES

For more on National Grammar Day, including songs, videos, and tips, visit:


For a bit of fun, visit School House Rock's "Conjunction Junction."


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