Dear People of the World,
I don’t mean to sound promiscuous, but please use me whenever you want and use me thoroughly.
Whether you’re an English teacher, a student or an Internet user who likes to frequently correct people’s Facebook posts, I am vital in all your lives.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy silently laughing at the irony of 9gag trolls who write “Your an idiot” but there’s nothing attractive about hideous grammar. So as a favour to you and your poor overworked English teachers (aka spellcheck), here are some quick tips, which go a long way in improving your writing.
1. Colon vs. Semicolon
Colons are used to make lists,
To do: Facebook stalk, urban dictionary #onfleek, start my English essay or to separate one idea from the one which follows.
We all knew who would win Origin this year: Queensland Semicolons are used to connect two independent clauses (complete sentences), which are related.
Game of Thrones was my favourite show during the past 5 years; in fact it is my favourite TV show of all time.
2. Since vs. Because
“Since” refers to time whereas “Because” refers to causation.
E.g. Since I quit eating cronuts, I’ve lost 5 kilos Because I quit eating cronuts, I no longer wake up hating myself.
3. Who vs. That
A grey area but conventionally, when you’re describing a person use “who” and when describing an object use “that.”
Taylor Swift is an amazing singer who has sold more than 40 million albums to date.
I love the house that became known for its exquisite beauty.
4. Affect vs. Effect
Affect is a verb, as in: “Your ability to communicate clearly will affect your writing.”
Effect is most often a noun, as in: “The effect of poor grammar is a weakly written essay.”
5. Remove the dangling participle.
A dangling participle occurs when you order a sentence in a confusing way
For example, “After rotting in the basement for weeks, my sister brought up some apples.” This means your sister is a zombie who delivers fruit.
Try instead: “My sister brought up some apples that had been rotting in the basement for weeks.”
So there we have it. I’ve got a preposition, I mean proposition for you. Read intensely and write every day of your life. You’ll thank me for it later.
By Waan Kumpoon