The Hunt for Grammar — Both Good and Bad

Written grammar mistakes surround us. They’re everywhere, infiltrating our daily lives, from billboards to Facebook to published literature to magazines and blogs. Some never notice the mistakes; they simply survive in a world bombarded with grammar/spelling mistakes yet continue on without a notice, and they even (gasp!) create such mistakes themselves. Others might catch a glaring mistake here or there, might cringe at the wrong use of their or twitch at a comma splice.

A select few, however, are a rare breed. They carry a red pen at all times. They seem to be constantly on the prowl, scanning every inch of text for that one mistake. They know and regularly use words like gerund or present progressive. They smile on the inside as they mentally diagram every sentence they encounter. They even know — and can actually explain — the difference between who and whom, throwing around words like subject complement and object of the preposition. They make you crazy. You roll your eyes at them because, let’s face it, no one really cares. But to these odd creatures, it really does matter. All of it: every modifier, every pronoun/antecedent agreement, every subject and object complement. They all matter.

I belong to this group; I’m an editor, and it is my life’s mission to locate and understand every mistake in the texts I read. On this page, I will highlight these findings. Perhaps I will see a billboard with everyday instead of every day (as I’ve observed on many a Pizza Hut sign). Or I’ll have an issue with YOLO not because it’s an annoying, overused abbreviation for you only live once but because of the misplaced modifier that lies within. I could also find a brilliantly edited article to which I want to give a shoutout.

In essence, I will find all things grammarly (no, that’s not a real word) and post them here, followed by a brief discussion of the rule in question. I might encounter a rule to which I don’t have an answer; after all, I am only human. Feel free to comment, ask questions, get involved. If you want to learn some of these mystifying rules, or if you want a platform to show everyone you, too, belong to this odd group of creatures, this is the blog for you!


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