Kory Stamper has a lovely explanation of why I’ve got strongly mixed feelings about National Grammar Day today:  

Today is National (US) Grammar Day, one of the high holy days for language lovers (along with free ice-cream day at Ben & Jerry’s). Dorks like me paint it as a fun time to celebrate English, but let’s be honest: it’s a slyly divisive holiday that’s generally observed entirely by pointing out how other people are Englishing all wrong. (Never you, dear reader. You English perfectly). On National Grammar Day, pedants crow and everyone else cowers. There will be countless articles on everyone’s pet peeves and slideshows of apostrophe abuse. People will proudly declare themselves to be grammar nazis, as if it’s okay to just this once obliquely compare yourself to the most infamous genocidal nutjob in Western history. At least one writer will trot out the favorite metaphor among those who care about grammar: “fight the good fight.”

That will be the article which will cause me to roll my eyes and close the laptop, the article that will drive me to pick up one of the usage dictionaries I have on hand and chuck it as hard as I can against the couch. (No, not the wall! That’ll ruin the book, are you mad?) That will be the article that sets me sputtering and hissing like a teakettle boiling over. Most modern grammarians who are “fighting the good fight” have no idea what their own history is, and are doomed to repeat it.

First, an olive branch. I will concede that when the vast majority of English speakers talk about “grammar,” they are not talking about the narrow set of rules by which English words are inflected and interact within a sentence. Yes, I know that linguists love nothing more than to wander around like John the Baptist in the desert, yelling “THAT’S NOT GRAMMAR” whenever someone posts a picture of a misspelled parking sign on National Grammar Day. But descriptivists see how the wind is blowing, and we know that when people talk about someone having “good grammar,” they are talking about the whole megillah: good spelling, usage, consistent style, and–yes–for-reals linguist-type grammar.

Read the rest, seriously. 

The next time some commenter writes us and correct our grammar, I’m just going to let him know he’s a dirty, dirty racist.

It seems like not a day goes by without my reading about some new absurdity. I ran across an article written by some left-wing lunatic who purports to be an English teacher and who is part of what she calls the “social justice movement”. She writes for a blog called Everyday Feminist. She claims that demanding that everyone speak proper English grammar is “grammar snobbery” and is oppressive and racist. Why is it oppressive and racist? Because the dictionary was written by a white supremacist, heteropatriarchal system:

“As educated (and - okay - snarky) activists, we’re quick to respond to “According to the dictionary” arguments with “Who wrote the dictionary, though?”
“We understand that a reference guide created by a white supremacist, heteropatriarchal system does nothing but uphold that status quo.”
“Similarly, we have to use that line of thinking when talking about the English language: Who created the rules? And who benefits from them?”


The author, Melissa A. Fabello, introduced two schools of thought on what she calls successful communication: prescriptive and descriptive grammar. Prescriptive grammar is the true, honest pure language that is correct and acceptable (oppressive grammar).

Someday, Something, Someone, Somewhere

In Korean, in order to change “when” to “someday”, you just add -ㄴ가 at the end of the word for when, which is 언제. So 언제 becomes 언젠

The same rule applies to some other words:

언제 (when) becomes 언젠가 (someday)
뭐 (what) becomes 뭔가 (something)
누구 (who) becomes 누군가 (someone)
어디 (where) becomes 어딘가 (somewhere)

Examples:

언젠가 미국에 가고 싶어요.
 = I want to go to the states someday.

언제 미국에 가고 싶어요?
 = When do you want to go to the states?

언젠가 일본에 갈 거예요.
 = I’m going to go to Japan one day.

언제 일본에 갈 거예요?
 = When are you going to go to Japan?

뭐 찾았어요?
 = What did you find?

뭔가 찾았어요?
 = Did you find something?

뭔가 이생해요
 = Something is strange.

뭐가 이생해요?
 = What is strange?

누구 만날 거예요?
 = Who will you meet?

누군가 왔어요
 = Someone came.

어디에 있아요?
 = Where is it?

예기 어딘가에 있어요.
 = It is somewhere here.

But!! (and this is important!) In Korean, like many other expressions, this rule is not always kept by everyone. What does this mean? It means that even when you mean to say “someday”, you can say 언제 instead of 언젠가 (and the same for the other words)

The distinction between 언제 and 언젠가 is stronger than the distinction between other words, but you can also replace 언젠가 with 언제 in many situations. When you use the original interrogative words instead of the -ㄴ가 form, you really need to pay attention to your intonation. The emphasis should go on the verbs, not the actual interrogative words themselves.

Examples:

뭐 샀어요? (stress is on 뭐)
 = What did you buy?

뭐 샀어요? (stress is on 샀어요)
 = Did you buy something?

언제 중국에 갈 거예요? (stress is on 언제)
 = When are you going to go to China?

언제 중국에 갈 거예요? (stress is on 갈 거예요)
 = Are you going to go to China someday?

[via]

Use a semicolon [ ; ]

  • to help sort out a monster list:
    There were citizens from Bangor, Maine; Hartford, Connecticut; Boston, Massachusetts; and Newport, Rhode Island.
    OR
    We had four professors on our committee: Peter Wursthorn, Professor of Mathematics; Ronald Pepin, Professor of English; Cynthia Greenblatt, Professor of Education; and Nada Light, Professor of Nursing.
  • to separate closely related independent clauses:
    My grandmother seldom goes to bed this early; she’s afraid she’ll miss out on something.

The semicolon allows the writer to imply a relationship between nicely balanced ideas without actually stating that relationship. (Instead of saying because my grandmother is afraid she’ll miss out on something, we have implied the because. Thus the reader is involved in the development of an idea—a clever, subliminal way of engaging the reader’s attention.)

It is rare, but certainly possible, that you will want a semicolon to separate two independent clauses even when those two independent clauses are connected by a coordinating conjunction. This is especially true when the independent clauses are complex or lengthy and when there are commas within those independent clauses. You might consider breaking those two independent clauses into separate sentences when this happens.

  • Coach Auriemma realized that his next recruiting class contained two superb guards, a fine post player, and a power forward; but as of the end of the spring recruiting season, he was still pushing to discover better first-year players for the interior positions.
てある。てform + ある

Used to describe a situation that has been done on purpose by someone (who remains unnamed in the sentence).

It is て form plus ある (う verb conjugation)

Example: 寒いので、ヒーターがつけてあります。
The heater is on because it is cold. (Someone turned on the heater on purpose.

漢字: かんじ
寒い- さむい- cold

ok, a lot things in English grammar make sense, but why do we have so many collective nouns

why

does anyone even use them

who decided that a group of owls is a parliament

10 Free Online Resources to Improve Your Writing

by Sharon Crosby

It often seems that there are not enough online resources for writers. There are a lot of good books on the subject, but they cost a lot of money because the writing community is a relatively small niche. Here are 7 resources you can use whether you are a professional writer or a young content manager to improve your writing, to make your content more interesting or to get published. All the websites have something different to offer writers.

Writer’s Digest

Get your hands on lots of writing and research advice. The homepage is a little too crammed with links for most people’s liking, but once you get used to how the website works you can find plenty of tips and lots of pieces of advice on writing. The great thing is that there are lots of different types of help available on the website. If you want help with your spelling, sentence structure or use of words, then there are resources for that. If you want to be published, improve your blog traffic, or write for websites, then the Writer’s Digest will help you as well.

Positive Writer

This is probably one of the best-put-together blogs on the Internet. The formatting, setting and visuals are perfect for the type and style of blog the author has created. Get on this blog and read the advice given on how to become a good writer. Sign up for the RSS feed and read the new posts every week. So if you want to both get practical tips on writing and enjoy website navigation start reading this blog.

Guide to Grammar & Writing

However it is such a hard website to love because it is poorly constructed and has a terrible navigation system, it is crammed with very good information. It is like a gold nugget that has dropped in a muddy bog. If you really want to learn from it, then use the text-only functions to get rid of most of the old-fashioned design and read the sections and categories as if they were chapters in a book. If you can find a way of getting to the information you need, you will be far better off as a writer.

EssayMama Writing Guide

This guide has a wealth of information you can use for free, and there is plenty of advice for both budding and experienced writers. However it gives tips mostly on writing essays, all pieces of advice are general and can be used by anyone who deals with writing on regular basis. If you are writing for fun, for profit or for your education, then the Essay Mama writing guide can help you.

Pro Blogger

This is a blogging website that does have posts relating solely to writing, and the writer is clearly good at marketing his or her writing skills. Some of the posts are so enticing that you have to respect the fact that the blogger knows something about how to keep his or her readers—and that sort of advice can help you when you are writing. Check out the website and prepare to both love and hate the content (many posts will be worth your while reading).

Write to Done

This is a website with truly helpful articles about writing. It is worth a look when you have some free time. The paid functions are not worth your time. It is better if you use this website when you have an hour or so to kill and you want some easy-but-education reading.

Writing.com

This website is lauded by a minority of students, and it would have far more followers and users if it did not insist on making people sign up and buy memberships. Signing up for a paid membership is not worth your time and money, but the free content is worth reading if you want to improve your writing skills.

Grammar Monster

This is another website that part of you will want to hate and part of you will love. The grammar lessons it provides have been split into very small sections, which has over-simplified the process a little too much. On the other hand, if you need a simple grammar question answering, then all you have to do is look through the categories listed and find the one that is the most suitable. This website is perfect both for young and experienced writers.

SpellCheck Plus

If you are a writer, you will know there are no perfect spelling and grammar checking programs on this planet (paid or otherwise). Many of them are based on the Ginger database, and there are few that are able to improve your writing by a large degree. Many spelling and grammar checkers will miss things that you really need fixed. One of the most common things that spelling and grammar checkers miss are the misuse of words, and that is why SpellCheck Plus is on this article. It is one of the few spelling and grammar checkers that highlights possible misuse of words for you to check.