I’ve been a grammar geek since high school, and that interest has served me well. At different points in my publishing career, I’ve been a writer, an editor, or a proofreader. Here are the grammatical errors I most commonly see on quilting blogs.
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that when I’m not quilting, I’m sewing bags!
It’s means “it is.” Its is a possessive pronoun. (Instagram users, take note. Auto-correct can lead you astray on this grammatical point, and you are smarter than auto-correct!)
- Correct: It’s great that she paid a bajillion dollars for my quilt!
- Correct: I’d like to give that quilt its due and cut it into a bajillion pieces! Mwahahahaha!
Using I or myself instead of me doesn’t make you sound smarter. Often, it’s just plain wrong.
Me: This is an objective case pronoun. Something is happening to it. Use me in prepositional phrases.
- Correct: Please send your comments about our amazing quilt to So-and-So or me.
- Correct: So-and-So and I are hosting a blog hop.
- Incorrect: Join So-and-So and I in our blog hop. (A quick way to test your pronouns here is to simplify things. “Join I ...” sounds weird, right? “Join me ...” works, though. When you add your dear friend So-and-So to the mix, you know it should be “Join So-and-So and me.”)
- Incorrect: The bloggers in this hop include So-and-So, So-and-So’s best friend, and I. (You can use the same test here. “The bloggers ... include I” sounds odd, but “The bloggers ... include me” works. The sentence should be written: The bloggers in this hop include So-and-So, So-and-So’s best friend, and me.)
- Correct: I hurt myself with my sewing shears while cutting that quilt into a bajillion pieces.
- Correct: I thought to myself, That quilt will be mine!
- Incorrect: Please send your comments about our amazing quilt to So-and-So or myself. (This sentence should read “So-and-So or me.”)
Periods and conjunctions are your friends! If you have two independent clauses—that is, two chunks of words that can stand alone as complete sentences—they need more than a comma joining them.
- Incorrect: She gave me fat quarters of Amy Butler’s new line, they’re beautiful! (“She gave me fat quarters of Amy Butler’s new line” is a complete sentence that could stand on its own. “They’re beautiful” is also a complete sentence.)
- Correct: She gave me fat quarters of Amy Butler’s new line! They’re beautiful! (You can fix the problem in the incorrect sentence above—called a “comma splice”—by breaking the sentence into two.)
- Correct: She gave me fat quarters of Amy Butler’s new line, and they’re beautiful! (You can also fix the situation by adding and or another coordinating conjunction [or, but] after the comma.)
- Correct: She gave me fat quarters of Amy Butler’s new line; they’re beautiful! (If the relationship between the two sentences is especially close, you could also replace the comma with a semicolon.)