In a Nutshell...

Grammatical Hilarity: Love Stories from the Trenches

Over the years, I have worked with many professional writers. I’ve also worked with many non-writers, both professionals and regular folks. I’ve worked with people whose first language is English, and those who have English as a learning language. Personally, I love writing and editing. More than that, I simply love words. I love communicating, and I love how people communicate.

Even when it’s clumsy, the ability to express ourselves is both necessary and it reflects something about who we are. English, as a language, is clumsy. Like the people who have spoken English across the ages and around the world, the language itself is filled with diverse words from other times and places, and from other languages.

We have many acceptable ways of constructing sentences, and strange rules of which there are always exceptions – which most of us average language users cannot explain, or even remember half the time!

English has a huge number of adjectives (describing words) to convey practically the same idea. Why did I use the word “huge” in the previous sentence, when I could have used such synonyms (similar words) such as “large”, “humongous”, or “terrific”? And why would the synonyms “big”, “roomy”, or “jumbo”, which also basically mean “huge”, somehow be wrong – at least to me – in this c