Monday: Tidbit

Grammar Tidbit

There is no absolute rule in English, and this is the only absolute rule. Did I just blow your mind? Well stay tuned, ‘cos I’m about to do it again: you can use apostrophes to pluralize some things!

I can tell by your expression that you think I am pulling your leg. Nope. That’s not me.

Use apostrophe-s’s to pluralize lowercase letters. For example: Use apostrophe-s’s to pluralize lowercase letters.

Use apostrophe-s’s to pluralize abbreviations. For example: Make sure all the etc.’s have a period attached.

I said in this post to never pluralize nouns with an apostrophe-s. Please note that this is incomplete. I’m sorry for misinforming anyone.

Do you have a grammar tidbit you’d like others to know? Do you have a question about grammar you’d like answered simply and concisely? Send an email to Blog@CiceroGrade.com!

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Friday: Writing Rules

Writing Rules

1. Dialogue should be brief.

2. It should add to the reader’s present knowledge.

3. It should eliminate the routine exchanges of ordinary conversation.

4. It should convey a sense of spontaneity but eliminate the repetitiveness of real talk.

5. It should keep the story moving forward.

6. It should be revelatory of the speaker’s character, both directly and indirectly.

7. It should show the relationships among people.

Elizabeth Bowen

What are your writing rules? Do they fit under Cicero Grade‘s Rule One?

Wednesday: The Grade

The GradeWelcome to the newest installment of Cicero Grade’s editing contest: The Grade! Even the best writers produce some cringe-worthy lines. The measure of a writer lies in what he or she does about it. This contest challenges our following writers to fix these offending lines. To participate, simply post a “before” line and an “after” line from your writing. If you’d rather not show your personal growth, just work on the lines provided below. The follower with the best rewrite will win an edit of their work for up to 1000 words!

This week’s line comes to us courtesy of my new favorite thing, the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest:

It wasn’t sour grapes – Clementine knew that her parents just plum disapproved of her Kiwi lover; try as she might to explain that the love between the pair was all peachy, she might as well have been comparing apples to oranges, so although she was bananas for him, and the ring was certainly no lemon, she was forced to reply to his “Honey, do you?” with a mournful “You know I just can’t elope.”

-Kevin Hogg

I don’t know if I like this one because it’s full of clichés, or if I’m just stoked ‘cos I understand all the puns. Post your entries in the comments below!

Monday: Find the Typo

Find the Typo

If you were born in March, you might spot this one pretty easily.

The correct spelling is Buenos Aires, as in “air.” The spelling on the window refers to astrological sign Aries. So Buenos Aries would be a good name for some sort of astrologers’ retreat. Is that a thing?

Is each letter its own sticker, or each word? Is this misspelled at every franchise? Go to your local Friday’s and post your findings below!

Have a Typo photo you’d like to share? Please send them to Blog@CiceroGrade.com!