Friday, July 20, 2012

Rules Project Entry 5

Whomever vs. Whoever

After learning the difference between "whomever" and "whoever" in this class, I constantly check other people's writings to make sure that they used the correct word.  In the Wellsville Daily Reporter, I came across an article that used "whoever."

In the above image it says, "'We've been kind of hit and miss the first five innings, but our bullpen, whoever is coming in that role at any given day is honestly going to be very, very good,' said Hornell head coach Tony Fuller."  From what I understand the reporter is correct when using "whoever."

Commentary: If you were to read this website it would tell you that whom=him and who=he.  If you didn't know which one to use (whomever or whoever) you could break down the sentence in the above image like this, ______ is coming in that role at any given day.... If you were to place him or he in the blank spot, you would be able to tell that "he" makes more sense, therefore "whoever" is correctly placed in this article. 

Then vs. Than

During this past week, I saw a facebook status that used the word "than" instead of "then."

According to this website,, "than" is a conjunction and is used in comparisons.  For example, Sally is stronger than Maggie.  In this sentence we are comparing Sally's strength to Maggie's. 

"Then" can have multiple meanings.  The most common meanings are a point in time, such as I wasn't ready then, and next or afterward, like in the sentence I ate breakfast then I took a shower

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

No Apostrophes when Referring to Decades

I always used to use an apostrophe when referring to a decade, such as the 1920's.  I first learned that there should never be an apostrophe when you refer to these dates in a college history class.  The professor said that when students use this apostrophe, he gets very annoyed; therefore it became one of his own grammar pet peeves.  I made sure when I created a research paper in his class I said "the 1920s."

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Rules Project Entry 4

The Colon

Usually when I see colons, I see them used for a list.  For example, I need to get tons of groceries: apples, milk, bread, potatoes, corn, etc.  I decided to find out the other meanings to using a colon in the English language. 

In the website,, I found out that a colon can also be used after an independent clause when introducing a quotation.
             Ex.  My teacher’s remark on my final essay was very complimentary: “This essay coherently analyzes musical trends of the late 20th century.”

The other reason a colon may be used is when it is in between two independent clauses and one would want to emphasize the second clause.  In the above image, it says "Do Nothing Congress: Just Leave," I believe the reporter wanted to use this colon in particular, to emphasize the second clause.  Without reading the actual article, one could assume that Congress is doing nothing, therefore they could just leave.  The words "just leave" help make more of a statement to the readers and I think this was the reason the reporter used the colon.   

Friday, July 13, 2012

Wouldn't it be an unit?

When we were in school weren't we all taught that you have to add an "n" before a word that starts with a vowel and "a" before a consonant.

An apple
An elephant
An igloo

A dog
A hand

Come to find out you have to add the "n" for a vowel SOUND!  What the heck, did I just not listen correctly when I was younger?  Oh well, at least I can teach my students the correct rule.  Some examples that I thought were exceptions to the rule were:

An hour

A unit
A unicorn

But these were always correct from the beginning because I didn't know the SOUND was a part of the rule.  It is AN hour because hour has a vowel sound in the beginning.  It is A unit and A unicorn because the "u" make a -yoo sound. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Everyday vs. Every day

I used to think that "everyday" was always one word, but I soon learned that I was wrong. 

"Every day" as two words can literally mean "each day."  In the sentence, I feed my dog, Payton every day, can also mean that I feed my dog, Payton each day.

After learning that "every day" means each day, I soon wondered what "everyday" meant.  "Everyday" is an adjective that means commonplace, ordinary, or normal and is used in front of a noun.  (  In the sentence, You shouldn't wear an everyday outfit to the wedding, "everyday" is describing the outfit. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fewer vs. Less

Some people may not even know that "fewer" and "less" cannot be switched in and out for each other in a sentence.  "Fewer" or "few" are used in a sentence for things that can quantify.  In other words, "fewer" is used for countable nouns: person, place, or thing.  For example in the sentence, The girl has fewer than five dolls.  One would use "fewer" in this sentence because dolls can be quantified.

One would use "less" in a sentence for things that can be hypothetically quantified.  For instance, in the sentence, You should spend less of your time complaining.  Time in this sentence is abstract and cannot be hypothetically quantified.     

Monday, July 9, 2012

Homophone Pet Peeve

I was listening in on an "adult" conversation when I heard the homophone "principal/principle" being misused.  A man asked a question on which "principal/principle," he should use.  A couple other people asked him, "well, use it in a sentence and we will tell you which one to use."  The man said, "The main principal/principle I am trying to portray is..."  Both adults that answered him said p-r-i-n-c-i-p-a-l!  They said that the p-l-e one was the person in the school!  I was so shocked that I didn't even try to correct them.

For anyone that may be wondering, principal means the most important position in an organization, or the principal in a school.  Principle means a rule or law.  And you would think that at least one of these three adults would have known that!  Jeepers!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Rules Project Entry 3

This summer I decided to catch up on some reading.  Last summer I discovered the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, which most people may remember it by the boy, Eragon and his dragon.  I have started to read these books again, so I could refresh my memory before I started to read the new fourth book.  Since I have been adamant on finding grammar topics recently, I have been paying close attention to the words I have been reading and came across a sentence that made me wonder when to use "I" or "me," correctly. 
The above image is from the first book, Eragon in the Inheritance Cycle.  The sentence that I am referring to starts where my finger is pointing and it reads, '"There'll be blood between us when he finds out about Katrina and me," stated Roran.' 

I have always questioned myself when to say "I" or "me" because for some time I always thought it was correct to say "Katrina and I."  I have learned that this is obviously not always the case. 

On this website, I learned that it is correct to say "I" when it is part of the subject and when "I" is performing the action.  For example, Sally and I had a great time this weekend, one would use "I" in this sentence because "I" is part of the subject.

One would use "me" when they are talking about the object pronoun, or when it refers to the person that the action of a verb is being done to.  For example in the sentence, Tom told Sally and me to be quiet, Tom is the subject and Sally and me are the object that the verb is being done to.

All in all, Paolini was correct in writing "Katrina and me" because they weren't the subject of the sentence, but the object.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Seen vs. Saw

Today I was helping some children in the summer recreation program near my hometown.  One child decided to lie to me and say he didn't poke me, when I actually watched him do it.  But when he lied and said he didn't poke me I said, "Yes you did, I seen you!"

The child literally laughed at me and told me to go back to Pre-K and learn English.  I was so humiliated because I even knew that sounded incorrect!  When I finally got home I decided to look up the correct ways to use "seen" and "saw."

One would use "saw" after a subject.  For example, I saw the kid poke me.  One would only use "seen" when using a helping verb, like "have" and "had."  And since I have worked on verbs in my short paper, I knew what a helping verb was.  When one would want to use "seen" they could say something like, I have seen you before. 

I'll make sure I don't make this similar mistake again because I don't want to be laughed at, especially when I plan on being an English teacher in the future!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Incorrect Grammar in a Text

I kept telling myself that I didn't really mind if someone were to use the wrong "there" in a text, in a email, or on facebook because who really cares, it's not like they're writing a research paper that is going to be graded.  I mean I see these mistakes all the time, but I never used to really mind it until I started this class.

I have been noticing a lot more grammar mistakes on my phone and facebook lately.  For instance, today I received a text that said, "Your a freak."  I was not only frustrated because my friend called me a freak for no reason, but come on, at least use correct grammar if you're going to make fun of me!

A grammar error that I am now constantly correcting for myself is "were" and we're."  When I used to text, I would always say "were," but meaning "we're."  Don't get me wrong I knew the difference; it was just that I was too lazy to put the apostrophe in. Wow, I know that sounds horrible!  Now, I make sure that these little words are correct.  This class has already changed me so much. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rules Project Entry 2

The image below is a "Wills and Memories" section in my brother's yearbook. 

When I was reading this I noticed that there was a semi-colon in between each "memory."  I didn't think the semi-colon placing was correct at all because I thought that one would use a semi-colon when they want to put together two independent clauses.  So I decided to look up the correct usages of a semi-colon. 

On the Purdue OWL website, it states that a semi-colon can be used for joining two independent clauses.  These two clauses are related to one another, when the semi-colon is used. 

The other reason a semi-colon could be used would be to use semi-colons in between items that already have commas.  For example, "I have been to Albany, New York; Cleveland, Ohio; Miami, Florida."  In the above image, there are no commas for a semi-colon to even be placed.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Typo in Newspaper

One of my Pet Peeves

In our town's local newspaper, I found a spelling typo.  Under the picture, it reads "Majoe League" instead of Major.  It is one of my pet peeves to see a typo in a newspaper because a spelling error could easily be caught by a proof reader or some type of spell check on the computer.  And you know there is going to be some sort of spell check to use for a newspaper company, especially when these articles are going to be read by hundreds of people.   
The fact that my dad pointed out this spelling error surprised me because usually he doesn't pay attention to things like this.  This means if my dad could easily point it out, anyone could!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Rules Project Entry 1

I was reading an article in our town's local newspaper, The Daily Reporter, when I found two run-on sentences in a row.

If you take a look at the middle column, there are two sentences that could sound a lot better and make the article flow more easily. The first sentence says, "They purchased their property a few years ago and have been working on rebuilding the house and they have a garden with vegetables and corn." The next sentence reads, "They also have ducks and chickens and a miniature dachshund named Rebecca and cats who all get along with Bob."


According to an University of Oregon website,, a run-on sentence contains two independent clauses. Or in other words, a group of words could stand alone to have two complete sentences, or one could use proper punctuation to make the sentence correct.

I would also change the who in the second sentence to that because according, "who" refers to people and "that" refers to groups or things.

In the sentences in the article above, I would get rid of some "ands" and put in more commas. If I were to correct these two sentences, they would read as follows, "They purchased their property a few years ago and have been working on rebuilding the house, which has a garden with vegetables and corn. They also have ducks, chickens, a miniature dachshund named, Rebecca, and cats, that all get along with Bob.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Contradictory Rule in the English Language

One of the biggest things I absolutely despise about the English language is that a lot of its words do NOT follow the English rules.  For example, the rule, “’I’ before ‘E’ except after ‘C.’”  This is obviously not the case in words such as eight, weird, or neither!  This rule especially doesn’t apply with the word “ancient” either.  Then I learned the exception to the rule..."I before E except after C, unless it sounds like A as in neighbor or weigh.  But I soon realized that this new version of the "rule" STILL isn't the case with all the words.   

I personally did not find it that difficult to try and remember these types of words when growing up or going through school, but I can see how some students would.  I have recently been subbing at a school and helping elementary students out with trying to spell certain words and when they come across problems, like the “I” before “E” rule, I have a hard time trying to explain to them that certain (actually a lot of) words will not follow the specific rules that they are taught.

Other Words that Don’t Follow the "I Before E" Rule