Monday, November 1, 2010

Mother May I?


May I?  Might I?

What's the difference? Which is used when? It seems that may provides a stronger possibility of something happening than might does. Brian Klems of Writer's Digest outlines the finer points in the Questions & Quandaries post May vs. Might. Good thing. We might have been wandering around wondering if we may use might. Or vice versa.

Reign it in?

Here's another sticky one, deftly answered again by Brian in Reign vs. Rein. Does the king reign his horses with leather reins? Thankfully, the answer's supplied, along with an easy mnemonic to help remember.

Writing Right

Find yourself derailed by long winded phrases? Need help with commonly misspelled or misused words? Do you know what Puffspeak is? Nikola Hartmann's guest post at Pen and Prosper helps us out of that ditch.

It's so nice to have great resources! What trips you up and sends you looking for help? What are your favorite grammar resources?

Happy writing!

Blessings,
Karen

Photo credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1082427

36 comments :

  1. I liked this post a lot. It gets harder and harder to find accuracy, what with texting and social media dominating our modes of discourse. Thanks for posting it.

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  2. Reign and rein has mixed me up before. If I"m not sure of something - I stay away from it!

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  3. I get confused with reign and rein too.
    I use this site a lot: http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/index.htm when I'm not sure of something.

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  4. You might be right, thanks for shedding some light. :O)

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  5. Samuel,
    Thank you! I agree, I think things are getting diluted. I'm all for a relaxed mindset, but good grammar is taking a backseat.

    Lisa,
    You are welcome:)

    Laura,
    I know what you mean! I've rephrased and rearranged to avoid trouble spots. :)

    Jennifer,
    Thanks so much for the link! Will check it out.

    Diane,
    Ah, I didn't know that you were a poet! :)

    Blessings all,
    Karen

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  6. Oh, I need all those links. Thank you! :)
    Good week to you.
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

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  7. I used rein a lot in these novels I'm writing, because they deal with horses.

    My trouble is lie/lay. UGH, I'll never get that one. :) Great links, Karen.

    Oh, and LOVELY new pic. :)

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  8. SO, so fun, Karen!!! I've missed stopping by!
    Just did a reedit of the Galley Proofs. Yes, I've never heard of it, either.
    Kept getting tangled by that and who and which.

    Yikes!!!
    Patti

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  9. I like creative writing prompts and the thesaurus. Okay, so these aren't grammar, but they certainly spice up my writing.

    Happy Monday!

    Your mocha buddy

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  10. Hi Karen .. I know I type and the wrong choice comes out .. usually theres and theirs .. not sure why .. but it does .. I know perfectly well ..

    But thanks for the reminder of Writers' Digest again .. cheers Hilary

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  11. Hi Karen .. and I spelt Writers .. wrong .. Writer's Digest ..

    and I cannot find the RSS button their site - it's so busy .. frustrating to say the least!

    Had to correct my obvious error! Enjoy the week .. Hilary

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  12. Jules,
    Glad they might be helpful! I think we all need to brush up from time to time.

    Robyn,
    I thought you'd have a handle on rein! :) And the lie/lay issue, as much as I know about it, I still run up against which to say when sometimes.

    Patti,
    Good to see you! You're almost there, aren't you? Yes, those three tangle me too sometimes.

    Rhonda,
    Oh, I think these are helpful tools too! Where would we be without them? :)

    Hilary,
    You know, I do that too sometimes with their and there. Even though I know, it just pops out for no apparent reason! :)

    Blessings all,
    Karen
    http://karenelange.blogspot.com

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  13. Helpful, thanks. And a new picture!

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  14. Love these helpful grammar tidbits! I struggle with affect and effect! Thanks for sharing some great tools. Have a blessed week! Love your new profile pic! :)

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  15. Wonderful links! I have grammar questions all the time so this is really helpful. Thanx Karen!

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  16. Karen:
    Thank you for the link to Nikola's guest blog entry. I learned about Puffspeak. (And, yes, I have been guilty.)

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  17. Thanks for the link, Karen. I refer to the dictionary a lot when I am confused.

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  18. Warren,
    You are welcome! Yes, figured it was time to update.

    Maria,
    Affect and effect trip me up too. Hope these links are helpful:)

    Anne,
    I know, I have to stop often and double check things.

    Cecelia,
    Oh, glad you glad you found it helpful! I think we are all guilty at times. That's what resources are for! :)

    Rachna,
    You are welcome! Where would we be without the dictionary?

    Blessings all,
    Karen

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  19. Thanks for the links. I've messed up reign/rein before and will never live it down since I'm a horse fanatic! LOL

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  20. These are great links! I still struggle with lay/lie and I've had it explained about a million times. Uggh!

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  21. The struggle for me is my growing casualness with grammar and even, (gasp) spelling, as I write on my facebook posts, and on my blog. I often forgive myself for my errors too easily.

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  22. Hi Karen -

    Love the new profile pic! Did Becky take the picture?

    I don't have a lot of problems with grammar, but fluff words sometimes find their way into my writing.

    Grammar Slammer and Grammar Girl are both good sites.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  23. Thanks, Karen, for these helpful links. I'm on my way to the Prosper one. I like that word!

    My fave grammar resources are The Little Book of Style for Christian Writers and The Elements of Style. But I rarely get stymied; grammar seems to be a gift, for which I'm thankful.

    I saw a title on a Christian writing magazine this morning that said, "Right What You Don't Know." Even the typesetters get mixed up!

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  24. Victoria,
    Uh oh, I can see why you get ribbed for that one! Oh well, we all do things like that sometimes:)

    Jill,
    Those two befuddle me too, even though I've gone over them. That's what grammar books are for, to keep us on our toes:)

    Tyrean,
    Me too. Hopefully the Grammar Squad isn't coming around and inspecting! :P

    Susan,
    Yes, she did. Handy to have a resident photographer:) I think we all let those fluff words in sometimes. I knew of Grammar Girl, but Grammar Slammer is new to me. Will check it out, thanks!

    Jeanette,
    I know, "Prosper" is one I like too:) Okay, so I'll throw my grammar questions your way. And oops, yes, I suppose the proofreaders slip up!

    Thanks and blessings,
    Karen

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  25. Thanks for the links! Crystal Clear Proofing posts tips every week on her blog as well.

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  26. Thank you for stopping by my blog! I am so blessed to discover your blog today!!! :) I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    Blessings!
    Melanie

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  27. Karen,
    My oldest daughter and I have been rolling in laughter over the proper grammar form for count and noncount nouns today, deciding whether to use least or fewest. I think I use least whether I'm using a count or a noncount noun. The grammar book's proper example turns out to be this wonderful tongue twister: fewest forests. Fewest should be used with count nouns, even if it makes me laugh.

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  28. Peeked vs. peaked. Which one is it for "He peaked my interest."? Am I even close? Piqued? You know?

    Great post, BTW.

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  29. Alex,
    Thanks for the info on Crystal Clear Proofing. Will check it out!

    Melanie,
    You are welcome; it was a pleasure. Thanks for becoming a follower!

    Tyrean,
    You know, some of it makes sense, and some just does not. But better if it makes you laugh, I suppose! :)

    Elana,
    Okay, you're making me think. Peaked is the best choice, I think, since piqued means to arouse anger, etc. Anyone? Jump in anytime!

    Thanks and blessings,
    Karen

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  30. Verbal language lives and changes, yet written language is stuck in the past. We've had to make up so many language "rules" to compensate.

    I understand the importance of written English vs. verbal English, but grammarians need to keep up with the evolution of language. We don't want to sound like Shakespeare, or worse yet, Chaucer, to the next generation.

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  31. I wish I could remember some of the mistakes my husband, the master of words, has found in my manuscript. They make me laugh when I'm reading his notes later. I'm like, "Oh, yeah, that's exactly what I meant."

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  32. Alisa,
    You have a good point! Now to balance a new way with the right things could be tricky. We could form a committee!

    Diane,
    Yup, me too! :) I need to review those two.

    Heather,
    Another set of eyes is helpful. Too bad they don't know what's going on in our heads! :)

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  33. Thanks for the links! I always appreciate tidbits to add my toolbox!

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  34. These is such a great review post. Can you post more of them? Please?

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!