Saturday, November 24, 2007

Project Status and a Plea for Help

Well, it's a plea for input, at any rate. I've spent my blogging time, yet again, sorting and tagging posts here to add to my best.grammar.ever page. It's shaping up into a helpful place for me to find what I've written and areas on which I want to expand.

I am looking for feedback, however. I'm creeping my way up to 200 posts here, which makes for a very long page. I've inserted a bit of variation in the fonts and formats used for different sections. Now I need to hear from you—what do you like, what doesn't look good or work together, what color would you add or change, what topics are missing?

I'd like to sketch out an aim for this blog through the winter. Suggestions for grammar subjects you would like clarified or writing style topics you haven't seen will help. Responses to anything that's caught your fancy, opened your eyes, or confused you further will give me direction.

I still have plenty to say about grammar and writing, so don't worry that the well is running dry. I would, however, like to know that you, kind and faithful readers, are getting what you came to find. Help me help you. [End cheesy infomercial style]




I write a lot of fiction and my biggest issue is the finer points of he said she said and the punctuation there of. Traditionally one breaks the speech for a he said at a point that sounds good leaving a comma or a Full stop. However, people don't speak good English and so punctuating it can be a nightmare. In theory a long speech might break into multiple paragraphs but I have no idea how that would work.

Finally people emphasis things oddly when speaking. One cheat is to use italics but is there a better way than formatting the text to show this?



I'd actually appreciate a discussion of the various prose and poetic writing "styles," so that I understand what the heck literary critics are talking about. Is something "deconstructionist?" "Formal?" etc.? I skipped all Lit classes in college, since my ACT scores were high enough, and now I am wishing I hadn't.



Thanks to both of you for posting.

"Deconstructionist" refers most often to literary criticism and usually is a snooty way to refer to symbolism or a discussion of the "words behind the words" rather than a strict adherence to the philosophy. In other words, people use deconstruction as an excuse for reading deeply into somthing or as a term to intimidate you into not noticing that they're talking out their...hat.