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Monday, July 2, 2012

Words Referred to as Words


GRAMMAR RULE #1: When a word or phrase is not used functionally but is referred to as the word or phrase itself, it is either italicized or enclosed in quotation marks.

Traditionally, italics are used instead of quotation marks.
Examples:
What is meant by vog your blog?
When is that a relative pronoun instead of a demonstrative pronoun?

Usually, quotation marks are used to contrast italics in the same sentence, or when actual quotations are referred to.
Examples:
In Spanish, both ser and estar mean “to be.”
We learned to never italicize the abbreviation “e.g.”
Little kids say “Mama,” middle kids say “Mom,” and teenagers say, “Puh-lease, Mother!”


GRAMMAR RULE #2: When individual letters and combinations of letters are referred to, they are usually italicized.

Examples:
the letter n                  a capital N                  four n’s                 
          In English, plurals are formed by adding s or es.
          His name is spelled with an f, not a ph.

Two exceptions to this rule are found in the following expressions:
         Mind your p’s and q’s!
         Dot your i’s and cross your t’s.


GRAMMAR RULE #3: Scholastic grades are usually capitalized and NOT italicized or enclosed in quotation marks.

         Example:
         On my grammar tests, I got one A and two Bs.


GRAMMAR CHALLENGE—Your Turn! Which sentences are correct?
         1. The expression darn it is a euphemism.
2. I commanded Fido to sit, and he did.
3. Little Sammy lisps his s’s.
4. Lelah missed getting a scholarship by two Bs.
5. The gn in Italian is pronounced like the English ny in canyon.
6. The children kept saying oh and ah over their gifts.
(Answers are below.)

TUESDAY: TIPS FOR SHARPENING YOUR WRITING SKILLS

Answers:
         1. correct
2. incorrect (sit is a command, not a word referred to)
3. correct
4. incorrect (do not italicize grades)
5. incorrect (the contrast of “canyon” is better)
6. incorrect (“oh” and “ah” are actual quotations and therefore should be in quotation marks)


ON SATURDAY, LOOK FOR INSTRUCTIONS ON ENTERING THE FICTION WRITERS CONTEST.

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