Category: Grammar Guy

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Column: On the evolution of language

Question: “Jordan, I was tempted to write you after your comments on ‘may’ vs. ‘can’. I didn’t, but your comments on ‘snuck’ and ‘sneaked’ have tipped me over the edge. I know English is...

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Column: Sneaking into the language

Question: “I was corrected the other day at the office when I used the word ‘snuck.’ My co-worker insists that the correct past tense of ‘sneak’ is ‘sneaked’ – but that sounds so weird...

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Column: Is it can or may?

Question: “Dear Grammar Guy, my friend has an obnoxious habit of ‘correcting’ me (and everyone else) anytime I use ‘can’ when he thinks I should use ‘may.’ I’d love a column about this to...

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Column: An argument with impact

I will admit, I was not aware of the furor surrounding the word “impact” until I sat down to look for column ideas this week – but boy oh boy, are people passionate about...

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Column: Sailing to the Grammar Isles

Question: “I have a Facebook friend who constantly mixes up ‘aisle’ and ‘isle’ in his posts. Can you write a column I could (subtly) link to him?” Answer: The grammar confusion I can address...

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Column: Who owns the market, after all?

Question: “Greetings! I always enjoy your column and now I have my own grammar question for you. The Carmel Farmers’ Market staff has been having a lively discussion about the correct punctuation for the...

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Column: How shall we slay thee?

“Why does the media keep using the word ‘slain?’ Why are they sensationalizing this story? It was just an accident!” Admittedly these questions weren’t really posed to me, but I’ve decided to co-opt them...

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Column: Free rein or free reign?

Question: “Dear Grammar Guy: I got burned the other day trying to use the expression ‘free reign’ – or, rather, ‘free rein,’ as one of my friends snidely pointed out. Which is the correct...

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Column: Talking about yourself

I was recently tasked with giving an impromptu lesson on pronouns, and I thought that you, my dear readers, should enjoy the benefits of my grammatical ranting. The topic of the day: Reflexive pronouns;...