August 13, 2010

Grammar Bit #1.

As if my blog’s header wasn’t enough of a clue, I’m a total grammar fanatic that avidly promotes the use of proper grammar. As both a writer and reader, I can’t help but fixate on grammar in all its various forms. Without it, our words and stories are jumbled, chaotic messes in need of both direction and organization.

So call me a stickler, but grammar matters.

Every now and then, I’m going to be posting Grammar Bits – short, helpful and/or interesting grammar tidbits. Although I believe in the importance of grammar, I do not believe in the technique of overloading readers with long lists of grammatical errors and ways to fix them. I will not be doing that here. I’d rather have someone take away with them one thing about grammar – and possibly learn from it – than feel as though they can’t be bothered to scour a never ending list.

Also, because Grammar Bit is a new addition to my blog, feedback is most definitely welcome!


A colon (typically) follows a complete sentence.
Note - I say “typically” because there are, of course, other uses for colons – separation between a novel’s title and subtitle, citing biblical passages, etc.

EX. I have one word for you: zombies.

When used incorrectly, a complete sentence does not precede the colon.

EX. I like a lot of books and they are: Twilight, Harry Potter, etc. etc.

“I like a lot of books and they are” is not a complete sentence, and therefore a colon should not be used directly after.


  1. I like this section. It's smart to give little tidbits about grammar instead of overloading the brain with a million rules on a long list of paper. My high school teacher taught grammar similar to your approach. We'd have a five to ten minute grammar lesson every class and it stuck better that way for me.

  2. Thank you! I wish one of my teachers would have taught grammar similarly to how you mentioned; I was always stuck with the long lists.

  3. I like this feature. Incorrect grammar bothers me too!

  4. Hi Alissa!
    Wow, I am SO glad I found your blog. I too am a wannabe editor, but much as I love correct grammar, my posts probably contain way too many embarrassing errors. Hence, one of the reasons why I found your blog! I already learned something about colons and this is my first visit! Besides, you sound like a super cool girl and I'll definitely be visiting here regularly!

  5. Grammar tidbits? Great idea! I try to use good grammar, but sometimes I'm just not sure of the rules.

    English and communications classes I've taken in the past left much to be desired when it came to teaching proper grammar.

  6. Hello! I like this section. Brief and simple, and helpful for us non-natives!

    Colon, semi-colon and comma... I'm definitely going to love you for those three! (and you already have two down!)


    Ron @ Stories of my life


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