Tag Archives: grammar

Know, Respect, Break the Rules: Part Three: L’Engle’s Semicolon

I love semicolons. I used to get into trouble all the time for a grammatical sin known as the comma splice. On the scale of grammatical sins, it’s a big one. A comma splice occurs when you use a comma to separate what could potentially be two complete sentences. In these instances, you should either go ahead and make two separate sentences or use the most distinguished of all punctuation marks: the semicolon. How do you decide? Continue reading

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Know, Respect, Break the Rules Part Two: CS Lewis & Capitalization

The writers who taught me the exponential value of capitalization: CS Lewis and e. e. cummings. You know the rules of capitalization: the beginning of sentences, and quoted sentences, and proper nouns. Lewis and Cummings allow the capital letter to go deeper in its responsibility in communicating to the reader. Continue reading

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Know the Rules, Respect the Rules, Break the Rules: Part One: Introductions

I’m starting a series of posts on writing called Know the Rules, Respect the Rules, Break the Rules. I used to teach a class called Foundations for Excellence: a required course for freshmen that was sort of like College 101. We had a unit on writing which I always began by saying to my students, “Rules are meant to be broken.” Eyes widened, mouths dropped open, I had a classroom full of… Continue reading

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