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Grammar and Spelling

Being a language teacher, I am obviously interested in grammar. I know that the word grammar chills the blood of many people, as they entertain thoughts of struggling with grammar in school. But honestly, vocabulary alone is not enough to allow us to communicate our thoughts so that others can comprehend them. We cannot just string words together with no order. To quote William B. Bradshaw, "Grammar, regardless of the country or the language, is the foundation for communication — the better the grammar, the clearer the message, the more likelihood of understanding the message's intent and meaning. That is what communication is all about."

This is particularly true in writing, where the clarifying impact of vocal intonation is missing. Let me demonstrate....

Lets Eat Grandma

I'm sure that Grandma would prefer clearer communication that would help her avoid being the victim of cannibalism. There would have been no problem when the suggestion of eating was said aloud, but the written form needs to reflect that pause, hence the comma.

This next one on punctuation is a bit more subtle.

Woman Without Her Man

Some people are insistent on the use of the final comma in a series, sometimes called the serial comma [1] or the Oxford comma. This next pair of sentences was submitted by a colleague on Facebook, showing the confusion that can occur through the omission of the final comma.

1. I would like to thank my parents, Oprah Winfrey, and Bill Clinton.
2. I would like to thank my parents, Oprah Winfrey and Bill Clinton.

I know that lots of allegations have swirled around our former president, but that was a new one to me!

Another problem in written communication is misspelling. There is much that could be said about misspellings, in all their various manifestations, but I'll demonstrate it today with just one.

Awsome Tattoo

For Pete's sake, if you're going to get something as permanent as a tattoo done, by all means choose a tattoo artist who can spell!

I love the following picture!

Cannot Eat Homework

I'm sure that not all of us teachers will dog you till the end of your days. But, just so you know, how relentless some of us "grammar Nazi" teachers can be....

Bad Grammar Prepay

Did you readers spot the ironic grammatical error in the final line of the picture above?

I hope their are'nt to many misteaks, bad grammer and mispelings in this here post!

There Their They're


"Christian liberty is the freedom to discipline myself to be flexible for the sake of the gospel." — JD Crowley


I don't have a solution, but I do admire the problem.