tagged with: Grammar

I never knew there was a day to celebrate grammar, but I’m sure you can think of any topic and there’s a day for it. I don’t always pay attention to these special days, but this one caught my eye, since as an author, grammar, good grammar, is what I live by. So, I checked this article in The Write Life written by Kathryn & Ross Petras.

The article has to do with whether it’s correct to start a sentence with “because.” Since it’s something that has bothered me a little, I looked at the examples they gave us and decided to compare them with the way I use “because” in my own books.

According to The Write Life , you can start a sentence with “because” but you must do it the right way. “Because” is a subordinate conjunction, meaning it connects two clauses, a subordinate clause and the main one.

They give this example:“Because I’m confused, I’m reading about starting sentences.”   Correct, as long as you don’t split it in two. Then the first clause becomes a fragment.

Another example: You can start a sentence with “because” in dialog. “Why can’t I stay out late?” “Because I say so.”

Or if you’re using it conversationally, as happens in a lot of modern novels.

A quick search in my first novel Coming Out of Egypt revealed 41 instances of the word “because.” So,
I’ll let you be the judge. Look at my samples and see the ones you think and the ones you think may be questionable then drop me a line with your opinion.

  • She’d gone to the hairdresser yesterday only because she had to look presentable for work.
  • “I will give my mother only the fish broth because she can’t eat no dumplin’.”
  • “Because Marva said so …”
  • Because of the state of decomposition of the body, the ceremony was short.
  • Some women stay with a man because they can’t do any better.

Want to know more about Coming Out of Egypt? Just click on the link or you can check out the special deal on my Smashwords page at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/angie6 and use the coupon code WK23D to get your 75% discount. To find more great deals on books go to

If you prefer, you can get Coming Out of Egypt paperback now at the reduced price of $9.95. Use this link.

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This is my G post in the A – Z challenge, which should have been posted yesterday, but I was so busy, I forgot, even thought I’d written it the day before.

Computer software, such as Microsoft Word, has made the task of writing much easier. You can cut and paste, find and replace words, use highlights and perform other tasks. The spell checker and grammar checker are two tools that a lot of writers depend on.

However, like the spell checker, the grammar checker can mislead you, if you’re not careful, into thinking your work is perfect when it is not. The web is full of sites offering free grammar checking software, so I decided to play around with a few of them to see how helpful they are. I tried the sentence below to see what the results would be.
The children ran to there mother to complain that the boy had loss his money.

Spellchecker.net – a spell checking and grammar checking site – highlighted the errors like this: The children ran to there mother to complain that the boy had loss his money.

Wonderful, I thought. I’m on to something, but then the solutions were as follows: to mother there and there to mother. The explanation? Split infinitive.

For the same sentence, Language Tool Style and Grammar Checker came up with “No rule matches found in text.” I’m not sure what that is supposed to mean. Are there errors or not?

Microsoft Word did slightly better. It bluelined there, but left loss.

I hopped over to Grammar Slammer. This is an English grammar tool supported by Windows. It gives you a 21-day free trial and costs $49.00. The site does not say if that fee is annually or if it’s a onetime fee.

There’s also Grammarly which gives you a 7-day free trial and charges $29.95 monthly. For a small fraction of that cost you can purchase Elements of Style by William Strunk and E. B. White from Amazon.com, or get it on your Kindle for even less. This book has been around for a long time and is one of the best resources a writer can turn to for help with grammar. I tried the same sentence with Grammarly, but didn’t get any results.

Relying on grammar and spell checkers can be, well, unreliable if you’re trying to put your best work out to the public. If it doesn’t matter to you whether you write your when you mean you’re, then go ahead. But if you take pride in your work, you would be better off enrolling in a grammar course or investing a small amount of money in a good grammar book.

Stephen King, American author best known for h...
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As writers, I believe we owe it to ourselves and our profession, (yes, writing is a profession) to strive for excellence. We cannot be content with just slapping something out on our keyboards, posting it somewhere and smacking our lips, thinking we have done our duty. We need to make sure that anything we sign our names to bears the mark of excellence.

Where would the world be if we never had a Beethoven, a Mozart, a Dickens or a Wouk? Would we have even known the meaning of the terms “creativity”, “artistry”, “genius”? The world will always make room for excellence, but will be indifferent to mediocrity and sloppiness.

Everyday I read things in print and online written by seasoned writers that make me shudder. Some of them have clearly not been proofread, while others are just habitual errors some writers make. This one is a comedy of errors, you might say, although it’s not funny: The prices of shoes varies dependant of where you but them from.  This one is from an ad: Very interested in how your marketing.  From another ad: You can make your own decisions and place your bid. Then set back and wait.

Avoiding these errors can be very easy if you would only take the time to carefully proofread your work before clicking the submit button. Or, better still, have someone else check it for you. If you are a beginning writer, you may be able to conceive plots that will make Stephen King blanch with fear, but unless you can master the basics of grammar and structure, you will be missing the mark. There are many books on the market that will teach you all you need to know to make your writing flawless.

One of my favorites, and I daresay the favorite of many, is The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr and E.b. White. In just 85 pages, the writers cover  such topics as punctuation, grammar, composition, commonly misused words and expressions and Style. Another gem,  Grammatically Correct by Anne Stilman deals with the same areas, but in greater detail. There is also a section on Spelling. If you prefer, you can always take a course at your local college or online. But make sure it’s a reputable site.  Whatever you do, don’t stop writing. The more you write, the more proficient you will become.

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