Grammer Girl’s Website

May 27, 2010 StormAshley

I have always struggled with grammer, especially with the usage of parentheses, dashes and commas. I  just never knew when to use them or where they belonged. So I chose the episode that dealt with tips to help me improve my grammer.

I learned that you apply parentheses when you are describing something that doesn’t seem  like it belongs in that particular sentence. It may be clarifying what you previously wrote about or it could just be simple commentary. An example that the website used was a date.  One thing that I found interesting about parentheses was that you can also enclose a sentence with a set of clauses.

Next the website discussed dashes. I learned that words have to be “worthy” of dashes.  One thing that surprised me was that dashes interrupt a sentence where commas and parentheses do not.  I also learned that when you are using dashes you are highlighting the information,  not only simply noting it or providing it as background information. You can  use dashes when introducing a longer, pedestrian statement that already contains commas. It  surprised me that when using dashes, the sentence often already contains parentheses and commas.

The website then went on to discuss commas. I tend to overuse commas in my writing so I found this section most useful to me. I learned that commas should be used frequently in writing because they tend to be dull, which is good because punctuation shouldn’t be drawing attention to itself.  Unlike dashes, commas don’t interrupt the sentence. I learned that commas are commonly used for appositives.

Overall I found these tips to  be helpful. I like how they used plenty of examples to illustrate the usage of parentheses, dashes and commas.My weakness is commas, so i would like to have learned a little more about them and when they are appropriate. The website stated that there are over a hundred different rules that govern comma usage, so they were unable to cover them all.


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