11 Things I’ve Learned about Grammar & Spelling

  1. Everyday is an adjective. (Spell-check wants me to change “everyday” to two words. Don’t trust spell-check.)
  2. Every day is a noun.
  3. Spell-check cannot be trusted when it comes to possessive tense. It thinks every “s” should be preceded by an apostrophe. (Pet peeve alert!)
  4. Anytime is an adverb that means “at any time.” Anytime is sometimes a subordinating conjunction. When used as the latter, it generally means “every time that.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives 1926 as the year the word “anytime” came into general use. It is not found in The Oxford Dictionary.
  5. Any time must be two words when used in an adverbial phrase, such as “at any time” because “at” must be followed by a noun or a noun phrase. (Okay. I admit it. I’m lost!) Bottom line: When in doubt, use “any time.”
  6. When you have placed an apostrophe after a noun that ends in an “s” for more than 50 years, it is difficult to adopt the new practice of adding an apostrophe and an “s” in such cases.
  7. The Chicago Manual of Style is an excellent 1,000-plus-page grammar guide. It will confirm that you know how to write while simultaneously confounding you and teaching you that you haven’t mastered grammar after all.
  8. After being taught that “President” is always capitalized when naming the president of the United States of America, I learned the hard way while editing my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, for Arcadia Publishing in 2014 that The Chicago Manual of Style demands a lower case “p.” I had to swallow my pride and write “president Andrew Jackson” and president Franklin D. Roosevelt” in my postcard book. The new lower case rule will never look correct to me!
  9. The older I get, the less confident I am about spelling.
  10. I’ve learned more about punctuation by studying the craft of writing in my middle age than I learned in school.
  11. As demonstrated by The Chicago Manual of Style, there are way too many grammar and punctuation rules for the English language! I have, no doubt, broken a dozen of those rules in this list of 11 items.

chicago-manual-of-style-005

Until my next blog post, I hope you have a good book to read. (***Shameless book promotion alert!***  Have you read The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina? Ask for it at your favorite bookstore, or order it from Amazon.) If you are a writer, I wish you productive writing time.

Janet

Twitter:  @janetmorrisonbk

Facebook:  Janet Morrison, Writer

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/janet5049 (I have boards on writing, blogging, the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Great Smoky Mountains, music I like, quilting, knitting, needlepoint, crocheting, politics, health, hearing loss, Southernisms, books, authors, Scotland, faith, penmanship, dogs, Maxine-isms, genealogy, the Carolina Panthers, and lots of recipes. I invite you to follow my boards that interest you.)

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