Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Grammar Detective by Shayna Fehr

I definitely agree with Jenny Nielsen, when she said, “Since September I have had a higher sensitivity to errors in published material, and have found myself mentally correcting the written mistakes of others.” Over the past few months, I feel that I’ve grown immensely when considering my knowledge of grammar, and how to use it properly. Grammatical errors make writers seem incompetent to perform their profession. These mistakes make it difficult for readers to understand a writer’s work, and they can be made in several different ways. They can be as simple as a misspelled word, or a run-on sentence. The way to avoid making grammatical errors is just as simple as making them. They are easily avoided by proof reading one’s work, a simple step that can make all the difference when trying to be clear and professional.

Newspapers are notorious for printing grammatical errors. Our very own Edmonton Journal prints errors that are easily avoidable. I went out in search of these errors to provide support for my case. The second article I looked at, provided me with several violations of correct writing. The author of this article did not use quotations when referring to something their source has “said.” This is a serious offense. The author must give proper citation when quoting a source, if they do not, it could be seen as plagiarism. Even if the author was simply paraphrasing the sources own words, using the phrase, “she said,” is confusing since there were no quotations. Was this sentence a direct quote, or was the author paraphrasing? By the way he punctuated the sentence, and by his word choice, it isn’t clear. The author should have phrased his sentence in a different way, making his point a little clearer.

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