Authors Answer 131 – Grammatically Difficult

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

English is not an easy language. It’s said to be one of the more difficult languages because of inconsistent spelling/pronunciation rules, irregular verbs, articles, and so on. But do authors find English grammar difficult? Let’s find out!

Question 131 – Which rule(s) of English grammar do you find most difficult?

H. Anthe Davis

I had a rather substandard English grammar education — I never diagrammed sentences and I didn’t know what a gerund was until I learned about it in Spanish class.  I think it was because I went to a weird little private middle school…  But anyway, since I never got rigid training in English grammar, I really just do whatever I want, and damn the rules.  Sure, I tried reading Strunk & White and other such writing advisories back when I was still honing my craft and uncertain of my voice, but adhering to strictures just got in…

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About Thomas Weaver

I’m a writer and editor who got into professional editing almost by accident years ago when a friend from university needed someone to copyedit his screenplay about giant stompy robots (mecha). Having discovered that I greatly enjoy this kind of work, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use ever since as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom. I'm physically disabled, and for the past several years, I’ve lived with my smugly good-looking twin Paul, who writes military science fiction and refuses to talk about his military service because he can’t. Sometimes Paul and I collaborate on stories, and sometimes I just edit whatever he writes. It's worked out rather well so far. My list of non-writing-related jobs from the past includes librarian, art model, high school teacher, science lab gofer… Although I have no spouse or offspring to tell you about, I do have six cats. (The preferred term is "Insane Cat Gentleman.") I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
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2 Responses to Authors Answer 131 – Grammatically Difficult

  1. curioushart says:

    “lay” and “lie” are my stumbling blocks. I need a “by zombies” phrase to help me use the correct word. I know that laid is the past tense of lay. So I think “I laid the book on the table–not “I lied the book on the table.” Therefore I confidently lay the book on the table.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Actually, “by zombies” may be just what you need to help you remember. 🙂 Zombies have to tell the truth, ’cause they don’t have brains of their own to keep track of falsehoods, so if the action is being done TO a thing, use “lay” instead of “lie.” (I know it’s not that meaning of “lie,” but if it helps you remember which word to use…)

    I just made this up, though, so I’m not sure yet how effective it is as a mnemonic.

    Like

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