GrammarPhile Blog

The Great Grammar Debate: Results Are Surprisingly Lopsided

Posted by Terri Porter   Oct 20, 2016 7:00:00 AM

 

In the aftermath of the final showdown last night between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, we offer a different kind of post-debate coverage — a look into where our readers stand on three grammar, style and usage questions that have long generated controversy … and apparently still do to some extent. Here, we present a summary of the responses from last week’s poll, along with a sampling of the numerous comments we received.

The results for all three questions were heavily skewed to one side, but the arguments for both sides of each issue were reasonable, on point and well-articulated. Most of the 123 respondents staunchly defended their position, but more than a few surprisingly acknowledged they could go either way or that they had changed their views after a longtime adherence to the opposite position.

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Topics: grammar, subjunctive form, spacing, Oxford comma, Comma

The Great Grammar Debate: Where Do YOU Stand?

Posted by Terri Porter   Oct 13, 2016 7:30:00 AM

 

Given the hullabaloo that marked the first two presidential debates, which undoubtedly will continue through the final face-off next week and beyond, now seems a good time to look at a different kind of debate — those controversial grammar, style and usage questions that can incite even the most reserved among us to dig in, square off and argue our position to the end.

We present three of the many issues that rankle grammar and style arbiters far and wide, along with the primary arguments for each side, then ask you, our audience, to weigh in. In addition to recording your vote on each issue, you’ll have an opportunity to comment on why you prefer one approach over the other (assuming you have a choice and aren’t bound by, say, a company style guide). There are no right or wrong answers — we’re just curious to see where people land on these questions. Post-election results and commentary to follow in next week’s post.

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Topics: grammar, subjunctive form, spacing, Oxford comma, Comma

The Subjunctive Mood Adds Elegance

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Jul 10, 2014 6:00:00 AM

Want to be known as an eloquent speaker and compelling writer? Use the subjunctive mood more. Use it to express a wish, a demand, a requirement, an exhortation, or a statement contrary to fact--as well as in a number of fixed idioms.

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Topics: subjunctive form

If I Were or If I Was: Which is Correct?

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Oct 15, 2013 5:30:00 AM

 

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Topics: subjunctive form, were or was, were, was

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