Avoiding the Syntax Sin Tax


Photo: soukup (flickr)

When it comes to apostrophes, the rules of grammar are often violated, but possessives are nine-tenths of the law...



Are your words weak? Does your prose lack pizzazz?  A little onomatopoeia can add a lot of KAPOW.  Author Constance Hale says that a well-placed simile lifts writing off the page like a big…lift-off helper. She’ll discuss the musicality of language and how to get over commitment phobia when choosing interjections–gasp!–and verbs.


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  • matina ross

    More and more I’m hearing people say things such as “My brother and me went to Disneyland. ” Is this same incorrect use of pronoun being seen in writing, too?

    • constancehale

      Ouch! No. “I” is still the subjective case and “me” the objective case. You know what’s funny about this, though? I think the use of “me” shows some sort of discomfort with “I, I, I.” But if we recast the sentence, most of us would get it right and we wouldn’t feel narcissistic either: “I went with my brother….”