After 20 years of teaching academic writing to both native speakers and English language learners, I can attest that at some point, just about everyone asks me why, or even whether, grammar matters. There is more th… Learn more.
First, a grammar quiz. Which of these sentences do you think begins the Eric Carle classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar? a) A little egg lay on a leaf in the light of the moon. b) On a leaf, in the light of the… Learn more.
As you begin reading this article, you may be wondering how a mere mortal dares to ask a question like the title. Because you think that the evolution of the rules governing the use of French is the sole responsibili… Learn more.
I’m a cognitive psychologist who studies language comprehension. If I see an ad for a vacation rental that says “Your going to Hollywood!” it really bugs me. But my collaborator, Robin Queen, a sociolinguist, who… Learn more.
One of the commenters on “Dumb Copy Editing Survives” last week said something that worried me. My topic was the contrast between sentences of the sort seen in [1a] and [1b] (I prefix [1b] with an asterisk to indicat… Learn more.
Mention an interest in grammar education to most people and they will assume you are concerned about incorrect use of English. What concerns me, by contrast, is the incompetence of those who pontificate about it and … Learn more.
It’s got an all-star cast: Steven Pinker of Harvard, John McWhorter of Columbia, Geoffrey Nunberg of Berkeley, Noam Chomsky of MIT, Adele Goldberg of Princeton, Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty, Brad Hoover of Grammarly… Learn more.
It isn’t easy to admit being wrong in front of thousands of readers, but Ben Yagoda took it on the chin. He had written a sentence containing this clause (which I mark with the asterisk that linguists use to signal… Learn more.
I’ve been browsing through 19th-century grammar books. Yes, on purpose. On my desk is an 1846 copy of The Principles of English Grammar; Comprising the Substance of the Most Approved English Grammars Extant, Wit… Learn more.
When a friend in his thirties came up to me at a party the other day and said, “I have a question about fun,” I knew he wasn’t going to ask about whether the word could be used as an adjective. That would be like a… Learn more.