Grammar Wednesday!

More commonly confused words (because I can’t come up with anything better)!

Sight – vision; The sight of clowns makes her tremble with fear.

Site – location or position; The sign marks the site of an historic battle that took place there during the Revolutionary War.

Cite –  quote or document: You must cite the sources you used for your research in the MLA format.

Capital – seat of government, an upper-case letter, or financial resource;  The capital of Massachusetts is Boston OR You must use a capital letter for proper nouns OR The company didn’t have the capital to buy a larger store.

Capitol – the actual building in which a government body meets; There was a rally at the capitol a few weeks ago to protest immigration policies.

Lose – to misplace or not win; She tends to lose small things in the depths of her gym bag OR The team expects to lose today’s away game, but hopes to win tomorrow at home.

Loose – not secured; I don’t like to leave my hair loose if all the car windows are open.

Stationary – not moving; Camouflage only works if you’re able to stay stationary in the woods.

Stationery – writing paper; The invitation arrived on lovely, embossed stationery.

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11 Comments

Filed under Grammar

11 responses to “Grammar Wednesday!

  1. I always mix up Capital/Capitol (at least I know so I can look it up). I never knew Stationery was spelled Stationery. Cool – I learned something new today.

  2. YAY, Saintseester!!! I do Grammar Wednesdays to try to teach folks a little something, NOT, as one would guess from the last few outings, to start raging arguments. The arguments are FUN, don’t get me wrong, but I’m really not out here just pickin’ fights for the hell of it…

  3. Wouldn’t your life be more interesting if you picked fights just for the hell of it? 🙂

  4. Here’s a question for you, oh Jedi Grammar Master…..

    Why do we have SOOOOOOOO many ways to cite resources?

    I spent all of my junior/senior high days dutifully memorizing the MLA format. Then I go to college, declare my major as Psychology and discover that along with that declaration I was agreeing to a whole NEW method of citation!!!!! What the?!?

    Why can’t we [the people of Western Civilization] pick ONE way to cite things and call it a day?

  5. CTG, I don’t have to go looking for fights, it seems. They find me ALL on their own. I fear my readership is FAR smarter than I, and are not afraid to call me on it. Over and over…..

    Cassie – I KNOW! I have a HUGE confession to make here; I never bothered to memorize a citation format. I look it up EVERY SINGLE TIME. I mean, sure, I’ve got the basics memorized, but I never go by my memory – I’m always consulting a guide or some such. It just seemed such a waste of good brain cells – something to which you can now attest, it seems…

  6. It’s convention gone mad, Cassie. Not only do different universities have their own citation methods (usually based on other universities’ methods) but occasionally individual departments and schools within that university will require different notation.

    It’s very irritating.

  7. IRT Jangari:

    I know! The Psych and Ed depts here at Tiny Christian U only accept APA on for classes applied to your major.

    The English department??? Strictly MLA.

    And all the Bible departments use Turabian.

    BOOO!!! This nuttiness must STOP!

  8. Is IRT ‘in reply to’? I thought the international standard was ‘Re:’
    Wishydig has a post talking about such acronyms…

  9. Ahh, good post. I always get the last two wrong.

    Yeah, talking about folks who want to fight you; I’m not certain of the motivation. Some people just HAVE to be right and choose Grammar policeing as their vehicle.

    Some folks are simply effed off that some of us want them to follow certain rules.

    *shrug* I don’t know. Some bloke over on my blog just told me I was rude to blog about bad grammar.

    It’s a pity I don’t plan to stop any time soon! 😉

  10. What is your opinion of the serial comma?

    In journalism writing, we are taught that “this, this and that” would not take the comma before and (the exceptions to this rule are when an item in the series contains an and or when the series would be confusing with out one).

    In composition writing, we are taught that a series of items takes the comma before and. Is this rule an always in composition writing?

    Are you aware of a reason for the difference between AP style and composition rules? I have always told students that the rule originated back when news was printed on type-set and a comma took up the same space as any other character so they took them out when they could (the “they” being the AP Style gurus)… I kind of made this up–an educated guess.

    Any insight you have is appreciated!

  11. The answer to your question is that, like so many other grammar “rules,” the serial comma convention has been opened up to personal preference. It is completely correct to put the comma before the final ‘and’ in a series, and it is completely correct to leave it out except, as you noted, if the final item contains an ‘and,’ for example;

    My youngest daughter only eats chicken nuggets, Granny Smith apples, graham crackers, and macaroni and cheese.

    My opinion (and it is ONLY my opinion, not hard-and-fast rule) is that the comma goes before the final ‘and’ in a series, and that’s what I teach, but I don’t mark students’ papers wrong if they leave it out. I’m not aware that it’s always that way in composition, but it’s always been that way in MY classroom. I think it’s funny that there’s a sort of blood feud between AP and composition on this. Funny how worked up we all get about grammar conventions.

    Finally, I don’t know if your typeset answer for the omission of the comma is correct, but it certainly SOUNDS plausable. I kind of like it, actually….

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