I am looking for three things here: 1) Some kind of drill, preferably in game format but anything good will do 2) tools to run my writing through to catch my errors and 3) generic reference materials. Online resources are strongly preferred, in part because I get sick when I handle books and papers too much. [more inside]
posted by Michele in California
on Sep 20, 2014 -
I'm interested in learning about the details of English grammar and usage, and also maybe in picking up some prescriptions or guidelines for writing well-styled/balanced prose (a la Strunk & White, though my understanding is that there's potentially a great many schools of thought to look at here). The kicker: my academic background is in math and computer science, including the very formal reaches of things like logic, formal languages, etc. Is there any way that this stuff can help me learn that stuff? [more inside]
posted by karo
on Sep 18, 2014 -
Is there a concise term that signifies the difference between phrases such as "not all dogs are brown" and "all dogs are not brown"? [more inside]
posted by komara
on Sep 10, 2014 -
I'm looking for related resources (online & offline) for improving my writing skills for everyday work. [more inside]
posted by chrono_rabbit
on Jul 20, 2014 -
I'm teaching high school-level English next year for students who need a high level of academic support and I want the class to be both highly engaging and content-rich.
If you were a kid who LOATHED writing for school, struggled with boring English classes, or can remember what elements you truly enjoyed in your high school English class, what advice would you pass my way? [more inside]
posted by kinetic
on Jul 17, 2014 -
"Can you use the Flesch Reading Ease Formula with a one-word sentence or a phrase that isnt a complete sentence? Such as a multiple choice answer on a test.
posted by Postroad
on Jun 24, 2014 -
I've recently noticed an irritating trend in English-language writing: sections that really should be written in the past perfect tense are instead in the simple past tense. I've seen this more in American English than in British English, but that might just be confirmation bias. Is there a reason for this, for example a new style of teaching in schools or universities? And is it really new, or am I just looking for things to get annoyed about? [more inside]
posted by daisyk
on Dec 14, 2013 -
I just had someone tell me that it is correct to close a letter with “Signed, [Mr. Letter Writer].” It’s the use of the word “Signed” that I find strange and just wrong. I have never in my life seen this and am having a hard time believing it is acceptable. Can anyone enlighten me?
posted by Dolley
on Dec 13, 2013 -
1)I should be going. 2) I shoud get going. 3)I should go. Please tell me the difference of the nuance between the three. Thank you.
posted by mizukko
on Oct 23, 2013 -
I couldn't answer this when my Polish friend asked me why the letter changed sound, does anyone else know?
posted by dash_slot-
on Aug 12, 2013 -
In athletics, do events named "boys 100m" or "girls javelin" have an apostrophe? That is, should they rightly be "boys' 100m" and "girls' javelin"? It seems that the standard usage for grownup events is "men's" and "women's", but I'm unsure. Opinions?
posted by Jehan
on Jun 11, 2013 -
I learned English as a second language (native is Finnish). The emphasis in school was on vocabulary and very basic grammar; we did not to my recollection deal with stuff like passive voice etc. So in terms of writing in English, much of my "voice" has developed simply from what sounds right inside my head. However, I've been told that the way I write is overly complicated. Is this so? [more inside]
posted by Unhyper
on May 22, 2013 -
Alright all your grammar masters. My wife is foreign and she announced "It work." when I rubbed her shoulder and fixed her pain. I corrected her by saying "It works." to teach her well. She then proceeded to explain to me the English of "plural" with adding an "s" to the verb. Is this correct?
posted by usermac
on Feb 25, 2013 -
I need to address a formal letter to five recipients of different rank and gender at once. How? [more inside]
posted by Nameless
on Sep 14, 2012 -
Poor understanding of grammar might cost me my job. Can anyone help an audio-typist fight back? [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Jun 28, 2012 -
Sources explaining why you shouldn't put a comma after the year when a date is used as an adjective? [more inside]
posted by flod logic
on May 16, 2012 -
Can you help me explain how and when to use articles (a/an/the) to a non-native English speaker? [more inside]
posted by shortyJBot
on Nov 7, 2011 -
So, this is a a little embarrassing. Apparently, I know nothing about the rules of grammar and English composition. Obviously, I have some of the basics of writing down (you can read this right?), but I don't know any of the terminology and nitty-gritty details about how sentences are constructed in English. I need help with resources to quickly catch me up to all the other kids in my Advanced Composition class. [more inside]
posted by runcibleshaw
on Sep 7, 2011 -
Taxonomy (or just a list) of English grammatical constructs suitable for use as a checklist for a second language learner? [more inside]
posted by amtho
on Apr 26, 2011 -
I'm a native speaker of English and I feel like my poor English grammar is degrading me. [more inside]
posted by sanskrtam
on Apr 3, 2011 -
Why is the sentence "Let's read, Freedom
by Jonathan Franzen." incorrectly punctuated? [more inside]
posted by rinosaur
on Feb 9, 2011 -
I'm teaching a humanities course at an open-admission college. The students are extremely poor writers, and have almost zero knowledge of English grammar. This semester, I want to help them avoid comma splices, since that's one of the top three issues I see in their papers (spelling errors and sentence fragments being the other two). Can you help me design a lesson/activity to help them? [more inside]
posted by philosophygeek
on Jan 11, 2011 -
When a sentence uses more than one object, how are objective pronouns used with them? Common sense would say that they are only relevant to the direct object, but what if I want to refer to the indirect object? Hardcore grammar-mining ahead! [more inside]
posted by Senza Volto
on Jan 8, 2011 -
Is there any graduate program that emphasizes writing skills (in English) while providing a rigorous education in grammar, literature, and related languages (i.e. Latin), without focusing on literary criticism, but rather on writing itself? More after the jump. [more inside]
posted by Nebula
on Jan 8, 2011 -
English language filter: Do all nouns have a plural form? If not what is an example of a noun with no plural form?
posted by West of House
on Dec 16, 2010 -
"Best" and "worst" experiences involving grammar and learning grammar? I think we were asked to write this to increase empathy, but I can't think of anything with any emotional weight, so I thought I'd ask for your experiences. Please answer especially if you had a difficult time with grammar. [more inside]
posted by amtho
on Jun 8, 2010 -
What's the term for the use of a product name as a singular noun (like iPod), and why do companies do this? [more inside]
posted by tmcw
on Apr 4, 2010 -
Why do we precede acronyms starting with the letter U with 'a' instead of 'an', e.g. "a USB key" or "a UFO"? Acronyms starting with a consonant are frequently preceded by "an" because consonants' names have a different spelling than the letters themselves, e.g. M as em and H as aitch, therefore "an HIV outbreak" or "an MRI". However, U's name is spelled u, and acronyms that start with other vowels are preceded by 'an', e.g. "an ABC license".
What's the deal?
posted by BigSky
on Feb 12, 2010 -
GrammarFilter: Is the phrase "I will trade you.." often misused, or is it a perfectly valid usage that drives me crazy? [more inside]
posted by mikeh
on Jan 11, 2010 -
Can I use "Me either" in place of "Me too" in response to this statement..."I can't wait to see you!"? Please explain.
posted by likeapen
on Jan 8, 2010 -
Yet Another English Grammar Question: Which is correct? Based on my facial expression right now, you would think I [were/was] excited
. The former sounds wrong, but reading about subjunctive moods makes me think it's right. Does it matter whether I intend to imply that I was not in fact excited?
posted by phrontist
on Nov 23, 2009 -
GrammarFilter: A friend and I have been discussing this construction: "would have had to go" vs. "would have had to have gone." It seems they are both correct and are almost always interchangeable, so it would seem the former, simpler version is preferable. Thoughts, explanations, examples otherwise? Are they both correct? [more inside]
posted by Badasscommy
on Oct 26, 2009 -
Tell me everything you know about this sentence construction:
"Are you finished your lunch?" [more inside]
posted by peep
on Oct 22, 2009 -
Grammarians: Is it OK to take liberties with the word "win" when publicizing a contest or draw? [more inside]
posted by wackybrit
on Oct 5, 2009 -
Please hope me with this seemingly-basic English grammar/spelling question! Which is correct: "long-sleeve t-shirt" or "long-sleeved t-shirt"? Is there supposed to be a hyphen between "long" and "sleeve(d)? [more inside]
posted by radioamy
on Oct 2, 2009 -
So which sentence is proper English grammar:
"If you eat like Bob and me, you will be healthy."
"If you eat like Bob and I, you will be healthy."
posted by 256
on Aug 14, 2009 -