Wordplay is a blog project featuring posts from students enrolled in ENG 320 Grammar and Linguistics (Fall 2019)
The Dog Days Aren’t Over
In the last blog, we did cover many of the bad habits that we face as young writers; however, there are still tons of bad habits that are yet to be broken. We are only human after all. Well, some of us are anyways. Snow & Zero also have some bad habits that they need to kick, so this should work out quite nicely. So, to hit the ground running:
-According to an article by Authority Pub the 6th Common Grammar Mistake that Kills Your Writing Credibility is:
Misplaced Or Dangling Modifier
First of all, what on earth is a dangling modifier?! I know we’re all thinking it! The article breaks it down as, “A misplaced modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that is improperly separated from the word it modifies or describes. Sentences with this error can sound awkward, ridiculous, or confusing. A dangling modifier is a word or phrase that modifies a word not clearly stated in the sentence.”(Authority Pub) Now if you’re not one for instructions, here are some examples to show rather than tell.
Incorrect: While catching snowflakes on the porch, a bee stung Snow.
Correct: While catching snowflakes on the porch, Snow was stung by a bee.
This is an easy mistake to make because we often write so quickly that the sentence makes sense in our minds, but not quite so much when putting pen to paper. One solution for this bad habit is a peer editing method. Have someone, absolutely anyone, read your paper over. Ask them if anything sticks out, or if something doesn’t make sense. Still unsure? Ask another person! You can never be too thorough on a proof read. If you don’t have anyone to ask, or you don’t feel comfortable sharing your writing yet, put it aside for a day or two, let the words flow from your mind, and then pick it back up and try reading it to yourself aloud. Sometimes the best thing we can do is to give ourselves a break. Which is exactly what Snow will be doing for a while after that sting!
Another set of bad habits that we make in grammar are a series of small quips that we acquire over time. These are the grammar pet peeves that will get you trouble where it counts!
According to an article by Steve Shannon, the 4th Most Annoyingly Bad Grammar Habits We Wish Would Stop is:
Personally, when I hear “I seen”, I think of nails on a chalkboard. Eek! It’s okay! We all fall into these habits. Often times because of our surroundings, and hearing these phrases regularly, we associate the common phrase in our vocabularies. There is hope, though! Let’s take a second to break down the difference between “seen” and “saw”. According to an article by Writing Explained, “Seen is the past participle of the verb see, and it is used to form the perfect tenses: present perfect, past perfect, etc.” Whereas, “Saw is the past tense of the verb see. It forms the simple past, which is used to express an action that has started and finished at a specific time in the past.”
Incorrect: I seen Snow eat the entire box of doggie biscuits.
Correct: I saw Snow eat the entire box of doggie biscuits.
Also Correct: I have seen Snow eat an entire box of doggie
biscuits, and then throw up on Mom’s rug.
Another pet peeve of grammar according to Grammarist.com:
I Could Care Less
“When people say I could care less, they usually mean they actually could not care less, or, more precisely, that they don’t care. Considered logically, being able to care less means one does care to some degree, while being unable to care less means one cares very little if at all.” (Grammarist)
Incorrect: Mom said to get off the recliner, but I could care less.
Correct: Mom said to get off the recliner, but I couldn’t care less.
Also Correct: Mom said to get off the recliner, but I don’t care.
-According to the article by Authority Pub the 9th Common Grammar Mistake that Kills Your Writing Credibility is:
Most people don’t have a complete understanding as to what a run-on sentence is. They usually just think of a really long sentence that rambles. This article explains it as, “A run-on sentence occurs when you connect two main clauses with no punctuation.” (Authority Pub)
Incorrect: Zero tried to eat the spaghetti from the stove but Mom caught him.
Correct: Zero tried to eat the spaghetti from the stove, but Mom caught him and bopped his nose.
Don’t chase your tail in circles trying to figure this all out in a day. Baby steps, and some positive reinforcement go a long way!
“15 Common Grammar Mistakes That Kill Your Writing Credibility.” (2019, September 24). Retrieved from https://authority.pub/common-grammar-mistakes
Grammarist. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://grammarist.com/usage/could-care-less
“Seen vs. Saw: What’s the Difference?” (2017, April 19). Retrieved from https://writingexplained.org/seen-vs-saw-difference
Shannon, Steve. (2017, September 17). “Annoyingly Bad Grammar Habits We Wish Would Stop.” Retrieved from https://97zokonline.com/annoyingly-bad-grammar-habits-we-wish-would-stop
All photos by Ashley Fattig
Ashley Fattig is a senior at CSC. She is originally from Alliance, NE, but chose CSC because of the affordability and distance from home. She currently studies General Business with a minor in writing, and works at First National Bank of North Platte and would like to pursue mortgage banking after graduation.