Grammar lesson: To Tell or to Communicate


Grammar Girl might ask you if you are exhausted with swirling inquiries. Questions of, do I (lie or lay) down?  Of course you say neither out loud. Pondering a nap position is not on the agenda. Writers do write in a sitting position, don’t they?

Do you stop writing in a screeching halt when your sentence veers off when  (whomever or whoever) is hanging around? (Whom or Who) do you ask, or should you just give up and(lay or lie down).

Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing is invaluable for the heart wrenching decisions often required in using  correct word usage. Isn’t this how we remember standbys such as, “I before e, except after c ?” A quick look in the index will take you to a simple, easy to remember rule, A teacher has taken the time to give us an easy way to remember a perplexing grammar or word usage rule. This is the Grammar Girl’s forte.

The book is written in a reader friendly style. Fogarty’s tips are intertwined with tales of Squiggly, the magic creature she uses to help the student understand rules. For example, inexperienced writers often use the word communicate incorrectly. Reviewing the definition of the two,( communicate and tell), the Grammar Girl gives the reader an additional tip: if it sounds wrong substituting him, use communicate.

Tempted to use communicate? Do you really mean tell? Substitute tell in place of communicate.

Tell: narrate, relates

Communicate: to give or exchange information

  • The couple had trouble communicating with each other. (exchanging information = communicating)
  • The couple had trouble telling each other (ick)
  • Please communicate to your team that we have a meeting on Friday. (in Fogarty’s words “ick”)
  • Please tell your team that we have a meeting on Friday (tell = Narrate, relate) appropriate message to reader (Kindle: 4049)

As shown, Mignon Fogarty (Grammar Girl) guides the reader through many pen-stopping usage errors.Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing serves as a valuable reference book as well as an entertaining read.

I welkome and look forward to hearng yur stories about not putting the rite word wear it’s supposed too be.

Couple of things before I go: 1. remember I am an Amazon affiliate; 2. check out Mignon Forgarty’s, Grammar Girl’s website. It is incredible: you may never leave. 3. any grammar, word usage errors my copy editor highlights are in red- FYI, Her name is Judy Helfand: go check her Op-Ed Site. You will be glad you did.