Miscellaneous Fun with Grammar

To brighten up your morning, here are some of the funniest grammatical jokes I have ever seen. I giggled way too loudly for someone sitting alone in her room.

Also, this is an amazing guide to what to call language phenomena. It will make you feel very clever and give you that wonderful sense of, “Oh! So THAT’S what that’s called!”

This is just a helpful guide to common grammar mistakes to subtly show your grammar-impaired colleagues and friends. While these differences may not be as egregious as the sins I listed in my previous Grammar Thursdays post, and you might not even know them all, it’s really quite helpful.

Happy Thursday!

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Book Mondays

Mondays will be for my favorite part of the progress of human history: books. I might write book reviews, recommend books, talk about what I’d like to read, or do anything else I want related to literature because, honestly, books are about the reader.

One of the most interesting recent debates about books and writing is the issue of originality and plagiarism associated with reblogging and fanfiction.I’m excluding for now the elephant in the room: print versus electronic reading. While obviously complete and utter originality is impossible in literature, social media and the recent phenomena related to fan cultures have raised a lot of questions about what does or does not constitute plagiarism. Even Fifty Shades of Grey was originally fanfiction based on Twilight.

I combined my view on this debate with a review of a book I recently read and loved, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, for The Lit Bit column of The Johns Hopkins News-Letter.

Rainbow Rowell's fantastic novel

Rainbow Rowell’s fantastic novel

I’m interested to hear your opinion!

Tumblr is a community comprised of bloggers who, in addition to posting original content, spend most of their time “reblogging” the content of others. Even most of the content sources are not entirely original; bloggers create sets of GIFs of their favorite shows or write fanfiction about their favorite characters.

Tumblr has faced some disapproval due to these copyright violations. However, most bloggers I have seen discussing this issue claim no right to the characters or content. They simply want to contribute their talents to the community of fans.

As the first book in Tumblr’s official book club, Rainbow Rowell’s brilliantly written novel Fangirl incorporates this emerging issue of content originality into the story of a geeky writer’s first year at college.

Cath is a huge fan of the fictional Simon Snow series (an ode to Harry Potter). Amidst difficult family issues such as a missing mother, a mentally-ill father and a college-crazy twin, the painfully introverted Cath retreats into writing Simon Snow fanfiction to escape reality (and human interactions in general).

I’m not going to completely spoil the story for those of you who will, I hope, read it, but there are two situations this novel sets out that I want to bring up. They made me question the hours I have spent “tumbling.” So, spoilers ahead! Continue reading…

Quote Tuesdays

I have kept journals of my favorite quotes for years. Some simply appeal to me in terms of the language they use. Others I illustrate to the best of my artistic abilities (capped at high school Art I). Certain quotes inspire me, beautifully putting into words an idea I could not fully form or portraying something from a new angle.

One of my favorite quotes is, in fact, a quote concerning quotes. John Green, bestselling young adult author and Vlogbrother, said, “Maybe our favorite quotations say more about us than about the stories and people we’re quoting.”

John Green video blogging and making the Nerdfighters' sign

John Green video blogging and making the Nerdfighters’ sign

I believe this to be absolutely true. Quotes are necessarily out of context; one chooses a single, small section of words out of a larger work that strikes one as appealing for some reason, whether that is the language, the ideas, or both. Whatever we choose, therefore, points out what we believe and appreciate. Continue reading

Grammar Thursdays

Let me preface everything I say about grammar by briefly explaining that copy editing for my school’s paper, The Johns Hopkins News-Letter, is wonderfully calming and feels very productive. It is often also incredibly frustrating. I continue to be astounded that bright, college-aged writers still don’t know to punctuate inside of quotation marks.

With that disclaimer, here begin my adventures with language and grammar!

Today’s thoughts on grammar are brought to you in the style of one of the first works of literature, The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon. While this Japanese noblewoman kept the book as a diary, she is most famous for her musings in the form of beautiful lists. Continue reading