theemdash: (Editing)
[personal profile] theemdash2007-10-16 11:36 am

[sticky entry] Sticky: Queries

Comment here with any questions you have about writing, grammar, and language. Please also let us know if we have permission to use your name when one of our Fandom Grammarians answers your question in one of our weekly posts.

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You can also submit your questions by emailing fandomgrammar@gmail.com
randi2204: (guitar gods)
[personal profile] randi22042017-07-17 06:15 pm

Commonly confused words – ground vs. floor

Welcome back, grammar fans! [community profile] fandom_grammar has a lighter schedule during these summer months, but fear not, we still have interesting grammar issues to discuss!  Today we’ll be talking about a couple of words that are very commonly used in place of each other.  Ground and floor aren’t exactly the same thing, and we’ll get into their differences with some help from the characters of Sherlock.

Are you sure you don’t mean the ground floor? )
traycer: (Default)
[personal profile] traycer2017-07-03 10:57 am

ANSWER: Toe the line vs Tow the line

Someone wanted to know, is it toe the line or tow the line?

Let's discuss this with help from the people of Stargate Command.

Read more... )
mab_browne: Alpine scene and flowers from a painting by Rebecca Osbourne (Default)
[personal profile] mab_browne2017-07-02 07:47 pm

Editorial - The Riot Act

When I was a very young grammarian, my mother would proclaim her readiness to read the riot act if her children got too rowdy, or too lazy, and I remember my baby-nerd delight when I found out that the Riot Act was once a genuine regulation. Ella Morton's 2014 article in Slate gives an overview that's the subject of our Fandom Grammar editorial today.
Reading about the Riot Act )
randi2204: (ga - living hard)
[personal profile] randi22042017-06-26 05:45 pm

Say What? Never put off until tomorrow... & Procrastination is the thief of time

Welcome to another Monday, and another Say What?.  As much as we try to complete things in an expedient fashion, sometimes the evil of procrastination takes hold and we’re left scrambling at the last minute.  Therefore, without delay, we’ll be looking at never put off until tomorrow what you can do today and procrastination is the thief of time, with some timely help from the characters of Jodi Taylor’s Chronicles of St. Mary’s.

I’ll get around to it… eventually. )
whymzycal: night drips in through a window (night floods in)
[personal profile] whymzycal2017-06-19 07:24 am

Answer: Is it "drips and drabs" or "dribs and drabs"?

Happy Monday, grammar fans, and welcome to today’s post, in which we answer the question, “Is it ‘drips and drabs’ or ‘dribs and drabs’?” with a little help from the characters of Sherlock )
green_grrl: (SG1_JDWhat)
[personal profile] green_grrl2017-06-16 09:48 pm

Editorial: 14 wonderful words with no English equivalent

This Friday editorial is fun, plain and simple. The staff of The Week compiled 14 wonderful words with no English equivalent, and the headline is entirely accurate.

For all that James Nicoll's joke is true—English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary—there are still so many concepts we don't have words for in English. Sometimes these are locally influenced, such as distinct terms for snow in Inuktitut or for sweet potatoes in Hawaiian, but other times there are new ways of looking at life that other languages bring to the fore by naming them. How many of these words do you want to kidnap? )
mab_browne: Text icon - 'Mostly Harmless' on dark green background (Mostly Harmless)
[personal profile] mab_browne2017-06-12 05:06 pm

Say What? Reap What You Sow/Marry In Haste

In today’s Say What, we’re looking at two sayings very different in association and history: as you sow, so you shall reap and marry in haste, repent at leisure. Separated by time and their sources they might be but they share a unitary thread – that of consequences. The Guardians of the Galaxy will supply our fannish examples.
On with the post )
traycer: (Default)
[personal profile] traycer2017-06-05 12:05 pm

ANSWER: Off vs Of

[livejournal.com profile] minesomine asks: When do you use "off" versus "of", and how do you remember the difference?

With examples from The Dresden Files

Off vs Of - Moving onward... )
chomiji: Tenpou from Saiyuki Gaiden. with the caption Not necessarily by the book (Tenpou - Not by the book)
[personal profile] chomiji2017-06-03 10:31 pm

Editorial: Shibboleth. Casuistry. Recondite.

Just look at those words! Aren't they wonderful? And as readers who consume a wide variety of literature, we recognize them, don't we? Of course we do!

A more difficult question is "Do we know exactly what they mean?" For my part, I'm not ashamed to say "not exactly, no."

These sorts of words are what author Seth Stevenson calls "bubble vocabulary." In his 2014 Slate article Shibboleth. Casuistry. Recondite., he takes a look at these words at the very edges of our vocabularies and suggests some strategies for attempting to employ them.

Wrestling with bubbles …  )
chomiji: Tenpou from Saiyuki Gaiden. with the caption Not necessarily by the book (Tenpou - Not by the book)
[personal profile] chomiji2017-05-29 10:58 am

Say What? All things come to he who waits / Hope springs eternal

Anticipation, sang Carly Simon: It's keeping me waiting.

Today's Say What? features a pair of sayings that go well with Simon's famous song. We'll explore them with the help of Gansey III's crew from Maggie Stiefvater's Young Adult series, the Raven Cycle.

We can't wait! )
randi2204: McCoy with all the things he says he's not in TOS (star trek - mccoy is not your)
[personal profile] randi22042017-05-22 04:31 pm

Answer: Moot

We were asked, What is the origin and correct usage of “moot?” Moot has a variety of meanings, so correct usage can be a bit tricky.  Let’s dig right in with some help from the characters of Star Trek.

Who gives a hoot about moot? )
whymzycal: A ladybug on a leaf (ladybug)
[personal profile] whymzycal2017-05-19 08:55 am

Editorial: 10 Things People Once Complained Would Ruin the English Language

In February 2015, io9 writer Lauren Davis tackled a list of “10 Things People Once Complained Would Ruin the English Language,” a fun article that explains 10 things that grammarians and other language lovers used to freak out about. Unsurprisingly, it’s easy to see parallels between past concerns and the language worries of today. Spoiler alert: English hasn’t been ruined yet, and it probably won’t be. )
ariestess: (harbor seal -- from meathiel)
[personal profile] ariestess2017-05-15 09:25 pm

Say What?: All this and heaven, too. / The devil looks after his own.

For this week's Say What? adventure, we're going to look at a couple of seemingly biblically-inspired sayings, with the help of our friends over at with the help of our friends over at Once Upon a Time )
ariestess: (TFO beauty -- from theonlyspl)
[personal profile] ariestess2017-05-08 06:29 pm

Answer: Do appositives always need punctuation?

Today we're going to look at this anonymously asked question, "Do appositives always need punctuation?" with the help of our friends from Ghostbusters.

Do appositives always need punctuation? )
green_grrl: (SG1_JDWhat)
[personal profile] green_grrl2017-04-24 05:49 pm

Answer: "one and the same" or "one in the same"?

English is full of phrases that get sprinkled through conversation. We pick them up, use them, and don't think too hard about them until we have to write them down. Then we realize we're not quite sure what the exact phrase is. [personal profile] lauramcewan asked us about one of these: "Is it 'one and the same' or 'one in the same'?" When spoken, the phrase tends to sound like "one 'n' the same," so it is understandably confusing.

Unlike some other usage questions, there is only one right answer here. I'll illustrate with the Avengers. )
whymzycal: sequin stars (stars)
[personal profile] whymzycal2017-04-10 07:29 pm

Answer: When do you use "you and I" vs. "you and me"?

Hello, fellow grammar fans! Today we’re going to explore the question posed by [personal profile] wanted_a_pony: “When do you use ‘you and I’ versus ‘you and me’? Are there differences in American and British English?”

Let’s find out the answer with a little help from the characters of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. )
randi2204: Seven together riding off into the sunrise (GotC) (mag7 - silhouette seven purple and gold)
[personal profile] randi22042017-04-03 04:27 pm

Say What? Better to light a candle... & Man's reach exceeds his grasp

It’s that time again – Say What? is back!  Today we’ll be taking a look at a couple of sayings that give some insight into both hope and reality.  Let’s get right into better to light a candle than to curse the darkness and man’s reach exceeds his grasp, and we’ll be enlisting the characters from the Magnificent Seven movie to help.

Reach for the candle but don’t grasp the flame. )
randi2204: (sven)
[personal profile] randi22042017-03-27 04:29 pm

Commonly confused words – shutter vs. shudder

For today’s edition of [community profile] fandom_grammar, we have a pair of words that are quite commonly confused, particularly in scenes where you definitely wouldn’t want them to be confused.  Let’s tackle shutter and shudder, with some help from the characters of Voltron.

I shudder to think of closing the shutters. )
green_grrl: (SPN_JAhee)
[personal profile] green_grrl2017-03-24 08:30 pm

Friday Funnies: A Tense Situation

I, N, and G say that E and D have been known to take action in the past

A Tense Situation by John Atkinson

I can't resist a little verb-al humor. (Personally, I think E and D should be a little more worried about I, N, and G, as they like to be in the middle of the action, right now!)

See Fandom Grammar's parts of speech: verbs: tense tag to learn more about these rascals.
chomiji: Tenpou from Saiyuki Gaiden. with the caption Not necessarily by the book (Tenpou - Not by the book)
[personal profile] chomiji2017-03-20 09:15 pm

Commonly Confused Words: Allude / Elude / Elide

Today's set of easily confused words is as mellifluous as it is puzzling. We'll try to clarify the situation with the help of the Knight of Lost Words, October ("Toby") Daye, and her friends.

All right, let's go! )