Why Grammar is Necessary for Clarity – Part 4 – Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers

Perhaps the most famous misplaced modifier is a joke (see disclaimer below!) told by Groucho Marx:   “This morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas, I’ll never know.”   Disclaimer: Quite aside from the misplaced modifier, I have to say that – to modern ears – this joke actually seems in… Continue reading

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Clarity in All Things

First, I should apologize for late posting; I was either in the air or in one of four airports on Friday this week so regular orders had to take precedence over updating the blog in the limited time available. As a direct result of this travelling, however, I was also inspired to interrupt my four-part grammar… Continue reading

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Why Grammar is Necessary for Clarity – Part 3 Pronouns

Part 3 in our Why Grammar is Necessary for Clarity series deals with pronouns. Injudicious use of pronouns can cause confusion, to say the least, in your writing.   Consider a recent news headline:   Boy saves pet dog from bear attack by stabbing it with a kitchen knife   While we might guess at… Continue reading

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Why Grammar is Necessary for Clarity – Part 2 The Comma

Following on from last week’s post, we look at how the humble comma can be essential for clarity. (Grammar, remember is all about clarity – avoiding confusion and misunderstandings.) Perhaps the most frequently quoted example of the difference a comma can make is: Let’s eat Grandma!               versus    … Continue reading

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Why Grammar is Necessary for Clarity – Part 1 The Hyphen

Many believe that grammar is the sole, esoteric preserve of a small number of aficionados who delight in pointing out misplaced apostrophes or complaining that the supermarket express checkout refers to “less than 10 items” instead of “fewer than…”. These people may feel that worrying obsessively over grammar will stem their creativity – or perhaps that grammar… Continue reading

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