November 24, 2013 § 8 Comments

My first and only grammar post seemed to hit a good nerve, so I’m back with a few more suggestions for those looking for a quick tip or two.

Stick around. You’ll learn a lot.

If you write, stop using a period after every word in a phrase or sentence for dramatic purposes, e.g., “That clown just spit on me. Spit. On. Me.” It was fun at first, but now everyone is doing it. It now annoys me. Stop. Doing. It.

If you write, stop using exclamation points excessively. There is no need to do this! Unless a character is screaming “Fire!” or something equally urgent, stay away from exclamation points after every sentence or, even worse, multiple times after one sentence!!!!! See what I just did there? So ridiculous!

If you write, stop using the phrase “Let me explain,” before you explain something. No need to beef up an explanation with a pre-explanation explanation. Just start explaining. If you write your explanation effectively, your smart readers will figure out what you’re doing.

If you write, stop using “could care less” if you mean you don’t care at all because this means you do care a little bit (you could care less than you already do). Instead when your accomplished, non-materialistic main character is told she looks like Paris Hilton, have her roll her eyes and say “I couldn’t care less.”

If you write, stop capitalizing everything. Unless a common noun comes at the beginning of the sentence, there is rarely a need to capitalize “Cat” or “Best New Product Ever” or “I HATE EVERYONE.” If you do, I will assume you have a pet named Cat, that the name of your new product is Best New Product Ever, and that you are yelling at me. BE NICE!!!!

My old reference books may not have these rules in them, but they should

My old reference books may not have these rules in them, but they should

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