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By June Casagrande | February 3, 2010
Grammarphiles should not marry people from Massachusetts. I know. Don?t get me wrong. I?m not down on Massachusetts folk. On the contrary, I believe they have much to teach us about sports as religion and how not to be bound by conventional interpretations of the letter R. These gentle, pale people make excellent partners for many. But for a grammarphile, a Massachusetts mate is just too risky. That?s because, though many members of this North American species speak perfectly lovely English, a small percentage of them have no use whatsoever for past participles.
NEWS
November 5, 2013
D angling participle. Now that I have your attention, I'd like to talk about dangling participles. This most famous of danglers is must-know stuff for any self-respecting smarty-pants. Not because the concept will help your writing all that much. Many people write just fine without the first clue what the term means. Instead, the value of learning about the dreaded "dangling participle" is that you to get use the term "dangling participle," which in my experience is one of the best ways to win an argument, clear a room or intimidate just about anyone.
NEWS
By JUNE CASAGRANDE | November 22, 2006
There's a tweed-clad fanny in my face. An aspartame-sweet flight attendant is cooing an insincere welcome to a passenger. And my boyfriend, Ted, is telling me I should have hauled my hefty copy of "Garner's Modern American Usage" onto this Boston-bound flight. Welcome to "Syntax on a Plane," a grammatical thrill ride in which our brave columnist/heroine must race against time to beat a deadly deadline while simultaneously surviving a shortage of overhead compartment space. I'll do that by recapping some of the grammar and style basics I've already committed to memory.
NEWS
April 12, 2006
I try to avoid grammar jargon in this column. And, as you might guess, one of three possible explanations applies. Either 1. I'm too modest to flaunt my dazzling expertise. 2. I don't want to turn off readers with a lot of mumbo jumbo. Or, 3. I don't know anywhere near as much about this stuff as I should and I'd rather not call attention to this fact. Take your pick. But sometimes knowing a little jargon is actually helpful. For example, consider the word "walking" in the sentence, "Walking is great exercise."
NEWS
By JUNE CASAGRANDE | April 25, 2007
I got an e-mail from Martha in Venice, Fla., who touches on one of my favorite questions. No, not whether my cats are the cutest in whole world or just in the Western hemisphere. (Answer: the world.) No, not whether "The Simpsons" writers are getting way too wacky in their story lines. (Answer: yes.) No, not whether the creators of "Lost" have figured out that they don't have to come up with plot explanations as long as they keep coming up with reasons to show Sawyer shirtless. (Answer: Who cares as long as they keep showing Sawyer shirtless?
NEWS
By June Casagrande | June 6, 2007
Mary met the man she loved on the job. This sentence should raise an important question in your mind. No, not, "Is it really possible to meet people anywhere but the Internet?" but, "What, exactly, is Mary's job if she gets to love a man while on it?" Welcome to the wonderful world of misplaced modifiers, a place where grammar packs more laughs than CBS and ABC primetime combined. For example, do a Google search for "misplaced modifiers" and "funny" and you may learn the following fact: "Nearly 600,000 men get a vasectomy in the United States each year."
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NEWS
November 5, 2013
D angling participle. Now that I have your attention, I'd like to talk about dangling participles. This most famous of danglers is must-know stuff for any self-respecting smarty-pants. Not because the concept will help your writing all that much. Many people write just fine without the first clue what the term means. Instead, the value of learning about the dreaded "dangling participle" is that you to get use the term "dangling participle," which in my experience is one of the best ways to win an argument, clear a room or intimidate just about anyone.
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NEWS
By June Casagrande | February 3, 2010
Grammarphiles should not marry people from Massachusetts. I know. Don?t get me wrong. I?m not down on Massachusetts folk. On the contrary, I believe they have much to teach us about sports as religion and how not to be bound by conventional interpretations of the letter R. These gentle, pale people make excellent partners for many. But for a grammarphile, a Massachusetts mate is just too risky. That?s because, though many members of this North American species speak perfectly lovely English, a small percentage of them have no use whatsoever for past participles.
NEWS
By June Casagrande | June 6, 2007
Mary met the man she loved on the job. This sentence should raise an important question in your mind. No, not, "Is it really possible to meet people anywhere but the Internet?" but, "What, exactly, is Mary's job if she gets to love a man while on it?" Welcome to the wonderful world of misplaced modifiers, a place where grammar packs more laughs than CBS and ABC primetime combined. For example, do a Google search for "misplaced modifiers" and "funny" and you may learn the following fact: "Nearly 600,000 men get a vasectomy in the United States each year."
NEWS
By JUNE CASAGRANDE | April 25, 2007
I got an e-mail from Martha in Venice, Fla., who touches on one of my favorite questions. No, not whether my cats are the cutest in whole world or just in the Western hemisphere. (Answer: the world.) No, not whether "The Simpsons" writers are getting way too wacky in their story lines. (Answer: yes.) No, not whether the creators of "Lost" have figured out that they don't have to come up with plot explanations as long as they keep coming up with reasons to show Sawyer shirtless. (Answer: Who cares as long as they keep showing Sawyer shirtless?
NEWS
By JUNE CASAGRANDE | November 22, 2006
There's a tweed-clad fanny in my face. An aspartame-sweet flight attendant is cooing an insincere welcome to a passenger. And my boyfriend, Ted, is telling me I should have hauled my hefty copy of "Garner's Modern American Usage" onto this Boston-bound flight. Welcome to "Syntax on a Plane," a grammatical thrill ride in which our brave columnist/heroine must race against time to beat a deadly deadline while simultaneously surviving a shortage of overhead compartment space. I'll do that by recapping some of the grammar and style basics I've already committed to memory.
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