Archive for January, 2012

Grammar Girl!

This past week I listened to 3 of Grammar Girl’s Podcasts. These short podcasts full of valuable information and tips for improving grammar and are great if you just want to take in little bits at a time to improve your writing and grammar.

The first podcast I listened to was called Grammar Girl: Omitting “That” .  This is something that will be very crucial to grasp, especially in a career that involves writing and especially if you’re writing news articles where “that” is a big deal.  She mentioned instances

“When newspaper copy editors follow an overly zealous ‘that’-striking policy…”

In cases like that is when it becomes important to not forget that sometimes that… is appropriate.

One other thing I would like to have had clarified which I don’t recall was mentioned was the proper use of “that that”.

Overall listening to this podcast was well worth the 8 minutes and 39 seconds. 🙂

The second podcast I listened to was actually very surprising. The title was Needs Washed.  I can’t say this podcast actually clarified something for me (at first), but it did raise an issue in grammar that I was completely unaware of.  The issue is about saying things like “the car needs washed” which actually, correctly stated would be “the car needs to be washed”.  Apparently the way of wording it (the wrong way) is very common.

“Pittsburgh is the epicenter of “needs washed” kind of sentences, but they’re also very common throughout Pennsylvania, and roughly as far west as Iowa, as far North as southern Michigan, and as far south as northern West Virginia.”

Sadly I had no idea that this was not grammatically correct.  What’s scary is she says in the podcast before this that when in doubt, if a native speaker, do what “sounds right”.  Hard to if you’re whole town talks the wrong way!

The third podcast I listened to was Top Ten Grammar Myths.

My favorite Grammar Girl grammar myth is  #5. “I.e.” and “e.g.” mean the same thing. 

Grammar Girl says:

“E.g.” means “for example,” and “i.e.” means roughly “in other words.” You use “e.g.” to provide a list of incomplete examples, and you use “i.e.” to provide a complete clarifying list or statement.

She also gives a link for further details on this topic.

Social Media

Today, more than ever people are utilizing social media as a part of everyday life. Social media takes on many different forms. 23 Types of Social Media Sites. The social media that I utilize most often are:

1. Video Sharing. I absolutely love YouTube! I use this more than anything else.  It’s basically my “Google” for anything from “how-to’s” to recipes.  I like YouTube because it’s so popular. So many people are contributing and putting themselves out there that I can find pretty much anything that I need answers to. I also watch YouTube videos as a pass time. I watch videos on how to do different things like knitting, cooking, or fixing a car tire. There’s also great comedy videos, music videos, lectures, and movies.

2. Social Networking. Specifically, the platform I use is Facebook.  On a typical day, I might get on 3 to 4 times, depending on how busy I am.  This tends to be my least favorite because it can soak up a whole hour without me even noticing. And what did I do in that hour? ….Browse statuses, look at pictures, chat with people… I try to make a point now, to get on there to check my inbox, make a few legitimate connections with people and get off as soon as I find myself aimlessly scrolling through statuses.

3. Blogging. I also enjoy blogging. It’s probably one of my favorite thing to do because I like to express myself in writing and I love to see that non-journalistic type writing that just comes from the heart. I enjoy reading blogs on missions and travel. Once I get into my career, my goal is to really get serious about blogging and use it as part of a freelancing tool of some sort.

4. Podcasting. I started listening to podcasts when I stopped driving as much. Typically, in the mornings on my hour drive to school I would listen to a Joyce Meyer sermon or Chip Ingram sermon (those are just my favorite two, there’s plenty more) on the radio.  Now, since I’m at my computer or have my iPod, I can simply download a Joyce Meyer podcast or listen to a Chip Ingram podcast on my computer.

Blog Comments

Blog comments serve several different purposes. Lets think of a few…

1. To give additional input on a topic. This gives the reader an opportunity to chime in and offer his or her thoughts relating to the topic.

2. They give feedback to the author. (positive feedback, constructive criticism and also negative feedback)

3. Comments say to the author, “keep writing someone’s listening”. Comments also allow the author know that people are reading their blog. The author at least knows that someone took the time to read their blog and that their blog is interesting enough to be responded to. From the author’s point of view, it may seem like a one-way conversation at times. The author appreciates it and hopefully is encouraged when he or she sees that people are taking interest in their work.

Overall, I think commenting on blogs is almost a responsibility.  It’s like a relationship…weird analogy, I know, but stick with me here… It can’t be a one way street. There’s got to be a little give and take, a little responding to people who are taking the initiative, taking a risk, putting their thoughts out there, seeking to be heard, understood, needed, and basically communicated with.

In order to write an effective blog comment, I think it’s first of all having the right attitude and motive. I’ve seen many rude, obnoxious, and downright disrespectful comments.  Whenever I comment on someone’s blog or post, or anything relating to that, I try to put myself in the shoes of the writer.  How might I express my opinion/thought or comment about their content and be respectful and essentially be an asset in the development of their thoughts/talents and also an encourager as a writer or producer of some sort of content.

They could easily not do anything at all. I respect those who are willing to express their thoughts/personalities/talents, whether good or bad, perfect, non-perfect, learned or not, ammature or professional.

Here’s some examples I had in mind…

(Although all of these examples are not blogs, it’s basically the same concept.)

How to Leave Meaningful Blog Comments

10 Reasons Commenting is Good for Bloggers