Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Possession: A Time I broke the rules

If you haven't heard about Elena Johnson's Possession, you either don't read book blogs, or you've been dead.

It's only the hottest book just out. So I joined a blog hop to share in the possession love here. The theme of the hop? A time you broke the rules.

To be completely honest, I'm not really a rule breaker. I've always been a 'keep your head down and follow the instructions' kind of gal. But I have broken oh, so, many writing rules, I'm probably even breaking a few right now, this run on sentence for example.

So I'm going to go over a few common grammar rules I've struggled with myself.

1. Commas - I still don't have them quite figured out, but there is one thing I can tell you. If your writing a list of things (i.e. hairbrush, comb, and deodorant) there should always be a comma before the 'and'. It's a common misconception to leave it off. DON'T.

2. A LOT - a lot of people spell a lot like this -alot. This is not a word, it's furry animal from someone's imagination -

To read the incredibly funny article about this click here.

3. Capitalization - when should it be used? At the beginning of a sentence - that's a no brainier. When else? The general rule is for a proper noun. Some examples of words you should always capitalize are words like 'Wednesday', 'English', and 'Spain'. Some examples of things you should not capitalize are words like 'him' unless that is the person's title. Also, words that you want to emphasize such as 'cancer'. You should only emphasize with italics.

Sound good? Good. What a common grammar rule do you break?


Lyn Midnight said...

You caught me. I'm just a cyber ghost. :D

Omg, and you caught me again! I emphasize in all kinds of ways mainly because I use italics for quotes. Pfft. You're good.

Ooh, I hate netspeak. Yet I use it. Sigh.

I break... wow, I break a lot of rules, but NEVER spelling rules. I hate typos, though I make them when I'm tired and I don't care about editing comments. I overuse commas, basically. And paragraphs. Those two are the bane of my existence. (Obviously, cliched phrases also.)

Ok, that's enough. If I have to think of any more, I'd probably decide I'm no good at writing at all. :P

Thanks Jen. Sweet and short, perfect before bed. :)

Michelle said...

I had an 8th grade English teacher who lectured us for an entire hour about probably using "a lot" instead of "alot". Pet peeve she had, I guess.

I've never been good with the semi-colon, but the thing I've gotten lazy on as I've aged is using "But" and "And" to start a sentence...I cringe everytime I do it.

Life In A Pink Fibro said...

I don't break too many grammar rules, though I confess that I do sometimes choose to do so for effect in my writing. Capitalisation is one thing I like to use randomly to make a point. I hate 'alot'. And I've clearly been under a rock because I haven't heard about Possession. Off to rectify that now.

Robin Weeks said...

On capitalization--I wrote my entire first draft mis-capitalizing dialogue. My poor alpha readers had to go through making sure all my "wow, that's really bad" speeches were changed to "Wow, that's really bad." Worse, before I figured it out, I went through someone else's book "correcting" it backward! #palmface

Jen said...

Thanks for the grammar tips. Would love it if you continued doing this in the future. English 111 was a long time ago for me.

J. A. Bennett said...

Lyn - welcome back to the real world, you're welcome.

Michelle - I do that too! I just think, I'll change it later. we'll see if that ever happens.

Pink Fibro - From everything I've read, you're an A+ writer. I could some tips from you! :)

Robin - On man! I've done that too, telling someone there wrong only to find out I was, not fun. Although I will be guaranteed to never make that mistake again!

Katie Dodge said...

I'm afraid of the semi-colon. I just avoid it so I don't misuse it! Thanks for folloing my blog. :D

Sarah said...

Ah, the semicolon; I love that thing. I would use it every other sentence if no one complained. Alas, they do. I mess around with grammar rules a lot. I'm never really sure where paragraph breaks should be; I figure wherever sounds right is good enough. One thing I always notice and catch myself doing too, is mixing up there, they're, and there; they're easy to confuse when you're typing fast. Also, every time I type its or it's I have to sit back and make sure I used the right one.

Windy Aphayrath said...

You ask what rules have I broken and I am thinking about one of my beloved projects going "hmmm, what rule HAVEN'T I broken for this project? Lol! But I think that's where the rules are important - you need to know them to break them! But I do love your Alot. A lot. ;)

Christa said...

I am with Robin. I am a CAPITALIZER which evidently doesn't work in books. I had to go through all my WIPs and change it to lower case italics. Le sigh. Good rule breaking!

Anonymous said...

I do have to look up comma rules once in a while. I do know the one you mentioned, but other times I get confused. Like do you need one before you use too, too?
Kelly Polark

Joross Barredo said...

Im a comma freak and I tend to put comma everywhere. :)

Melanie said...

My big thing is exclamation marks but I think I can get away with it because I'm an energetic talker. Way to rationalize, huh? I also get mixed up on if I should put the punctuation before or after the parentheses. It sometimes just doesn't seem right to put it in them.

Lulu said...

Hi, I came via FYBF at Glowless`s.

My grammar is atrocious. In fact if you ever read my blog you are probably going to want to tear your hair out.

I never put a comma after the word before the and- I have seen it done but I honestly thought this was a personal choice thing. I use alot and a lot - a lot.

Also like Melanie above, I overuse exlamation marks and "..."

I am terrible.

Glowless @ Where's My Glow said...

The ALOT blog post is one of my absolute favourites of all time!