Booking Through Thursday: Grammar

This week, the topic at Booking Through Thursday is near and dear to my heart:

In honor of National Grammar Day … it IS “March Fourth” after all … do you have any grammar books? Punctuation? Writing guidelines? Style books?More importantly, have you read them?How do you feel about grammar in general? Important? Vital? Unnecessary? Fussy?
Even though it certainly doesn’t appear true based on the writing I do here, I am in love with good grammar.
I own a copy of Strunk and White, as well as a similar (but lesser) handbook required for a freshman college class. And we’ve got style manuals coming out of our ears in this house — Chicago, MLA, and APA.
Other than reading sections of Strunk and White for fun occasionally (I am one sick woman), I cannot say that I’ve actually read the other manuals. I dip into them to find the information I need at the moment. (This happens at least weekly. Sometimes daily.)
One thing I adore about style manuals is that they designate the dictionary one should use in conjunction with the manual. (So the dictionaries around here have multiplied, too.)
I like structure. I do.
As a grammar-crazed weirdo, here’s the error that grates most on my ear: “The data indicates…” It really should be: “The data indicate…” — because the word “data” is plural. When I hear someone say it incorrectly even on NPR, I despair, just a little.
Since I’m also a presidential-history-loving weirdo, I also have to say this: March 4 used to be the date of presidential inaugurations! It was only in FDR’s era that January 20 became the big day. So actually, today I was pondering pre-1933 presidential inaugurations and feeling all nostalgic. (Can one feel nostalgic for an event that preceded one’s lifetime?)

4 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: Grammar

  1. My pet peeve – and I hear it all the time – is using nominative case pronouns as the object of a preposition. Drives me nuts – particularly when well educated folks make the error. No, you're not weird at all.

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