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Read the full article by clicking the link.

Read the full article by clicking on the teens.

When you’re writing or reading in Young Adult, there are some things to look for.

Click on the link to connect to BTSe Mag and my column on Young Adult fiction and how kids today talk…

Sassy vs. Trashy

Best Wishes,


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10 Commonly Misunderstood Words in English

If you're not sure about a word, look it up.

If you’re not sure about a word, look it up.

Here’s a helpful blog to help you brush up on your vocabulary. That’s always a good exercise.

10 Commonly Misunderstood Words in English.

I’m going to add a couple of words to the list.

Dearth: I’ve heard people use it to mean a full complement or lots of something. In fact, it means a scarcity or lack of.

Irregardless: Doesn’t exist. Use “regardless.”

What misuses are your pet peeves?

Best Wishes,

Where You At?

Every once in a while, I use my blog space for a language pet peeve. I tolerate it as well as a corkscrew in the navel when people end some sentences with prepositions. Not in all cases. I’m not crazy. I just like to maintain a certain elegance in language.

Ending a sentence with a preposition is not incorrect. You can do it. If someone has a small, handheld contraption that you can’t identify, you wouldn’t point and say, “For what is that?” Go ahead, say, “What is that for?”

From The Grammar Bible, by Michael Strumpf and Auriel Douglas [Henry Holt and Company, 2004]:

Contrary to popular belief, it is not a mortal sin to end a sentence with a preposition, as long as the sentence sounds natural and its meaning is clear. . . . It is absolutely antiquated to forbid ending a sentence with a preposition.

Fair enough. Never let it be said, I advocated something antiquated (except for genies). But. I will maintain that sometimes it just sounds better not to end a sentence with a preposition. Case in point: Jennifer Hudson’s song, “Where you at?” It’s a really good song. She has an incredible voice. Would it be too much to ask her to re-record the song with “Where are you?” Same number of syllables. I should write a letter.

Meanwhile, there is another language peeve I have that is, in fact, incorrect. Here comes that corkscrew: When the subjective case pronoun I is used as the object of a preposition. I know, right? Horrifying. If the pronoun is the object of the preposition, it should be objective case me or her or him. Lady Gaga offers a great example of turning that corkscrew every time she sings “There’s something about you and I.” Come on, Ga! It’s me. About you and me. Gaaaa!

Go ahead, listen for yourself. I’m going to listen again…well, because she has a great voice. And check out those skimpy though fabulous costume changes. If she and I did a video together, there may not be enough fabric for her and me. (See how I did that…)

Best Wishes,


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Bridezilla Grammar Smackdown

Some brides need cake smashed in their faces before the wedding.

An email from a demanding Medusa of a bride-to-be was anonymously forwarded to Gawker and printed in its entirety. On priniciple, I’m opposed to a bride getting wedding cake smashed in her face. In this particular case, I think it’s necessary. What I find most offensive about her email is not the unreasonable list of expectations nor her utter disregard for the personal lives of her bridesmaids, but her horrendous grammar.

First, the email. Then, my wedding gift to the bride: a lovely satin purse filled with contractions, a box of commas, and a dictionary.

To m lovely Bridesmaid: [Names removed to protect the brideslaves]

As you all know I picked 10 wonderful ladies to stand by my side, share and make happen my special day to Jake. Each of you individually have a reason and a special place in my heart of why I picked you to be a bridesmaid. We have set our date for Saturday, August 31, 2013 in Vail, Colorado. That seems far away but it really isn’t, the earlier the planning the better. You may have already knew that my wonderful sister L— will be the Maid of Honor, she’s in charge under me. Also my lovely mom will be a big help as well. L— has a big role in throwing me a bridal shower and bachelorette party, of course all of you guys do but at the end of the day shes the go to person and makes it happen.

You all have a big roll in this wedding, so before we continue I’m going to be setting some ground rules and its very important you read and think about everything through before you accept this honor to be a bridesmaid. If you guys email anything I would also like you to put L— in the CC. Not all the bridesmaid need to be CC’d unless its coming from me or L—, if it something everyone needs to see then well do it. We set the date to August 31, 2013 if that’s a problem we need to know NOW. Also by the end of the week we will be setting dates for the engagement party, bridal show and bachelorette party.

Our wedding party is really the most important people at the wedding besides my self and Jake so we want every single one of our bridesmaid and grooms at our parties, I have 10 not 8 where two couldn’t make it so if you already know you cant make one of the parties then we have to find someone else, not to be harsh in the slightest it would sadden me and of course you’ll still be invited to our wedding, engagement ect. But it’s different if your not in the wedding party and couldn’t make it. We’ll give everyone well advance dates for the parties and it will always fall on a weekend. The wedding as I stated will be in Vail the engagement party will either be in NY or CT and the bachelorette party will be in Vegas, cliche yeaa but I’ve never been.

A few girls live out of town so if there is going to be a problem with coming to either one then I need to know now because after this week I don’t want to be surprised. I would like everyone to send me any dates they are going away or planning to go away after February so if your going away in January I don’t care. I want any dates from February to the day of our wedding in August, that way we know not to plan something when your away. But after this week the dates are set in stone. Also if money is tight and you cant afford to contribute to say the bachelorette party or wont be able to afford a dress etc then L— and Myself don’t have time to deal with that, I’m sorry. This includes flights as well, everyone knows the states where the parties are going to be held so if you wont be able to afford a flight then that means you cant make a party which ultimately means I cant have you as a bridesmaid. Obviously we’ll get the best deals and were not gonna books flights for $1000 and shit that’s why were doing this in advance, that goes for bridesmaids dresses as well everything will be affordable but if you think by affordable its going to be a $25 forever 21 dress then your going to the wrong wedding.

If your out of state though don’t think you have to fly in for all fittings, that we will work with you, find stores in your town, get don’t have to worry about that. Also if you accept this honor another thing is that you need to be available, I’m not going to harass you with wedding stuff every hour of everyday but if its something important and it takes you a week even 2-3 days to get back to me seeeee ya! I don’t have time to wait around for responses, everyone has their phone on them, it shouldn’t take you more than a day to get back to me, even if your out of the country, check your email!

Furthermore, Ever since I could remember I have dreamed about this day all my life. I want to share it with the people that are most important to me. You only get one time to plan your dream wedding and I couldn’t pick a more amazing group of girls to make that dream come true! So please, what’s stated above think about it all and by Wednesday I need to know if everyone is 100% in, and what I have asked about sending me dates if your gonna be away between Feb-Aug ill need that on Wednesday. If you don’t think you’ll be able to attend one party but can make the rest of them I’m sorry but I’ll have to take you out as a bridesmaid and put you as a guest. If you want to get back to me before Wednesday, that’s fine. Really think about everything I’ve said. This is really going to be the most epic wedding ever so I hope you girls can share this special day with us!


  • Clauses are usually set off with a comma: As you all know [comma] I picked 10 wonderful ladies (and I bet these “ladies” aren’t feeling so wonderful after reading this email.)
  • You may have already knew.” –> Wrong case and split infinitive. Past present case should have been: already may have known
  • Lowercase letters follow a comma. Typically, one capitalizes the first letter of proper names and places and the initial letter in a new sentence.
  • “You all have a big roll in this wedding”  The spelling would be role, unless she really is planning on giving each bridesmaid a specially baked, round bread. Honestly, I think this is a typo because she spells it properly elsewhere in her email. That’s called cutting someone some slack.
  • Its means belonging to. Since you mean it is, please add an apostrophe between the t and the s.
  • Myself is one word not two, as in my self.  Though, actually, her self is an entity unto itself.
  • Cant is a contraction indicating cannot and requires an apostrophe between the n and the t. It is not, as many comments on this blog seem to think, a misspelled perjorative term referring to the female anatomy. [EDITOR’S NOTE: You really should read the comments to the Gawker post. They are, em, entertaining.]
  • if your not in the wedding party” Your means belonging to you. You’re means you are and requires an apostrophe and a final e.  I’m sure, at this point in the email, the bridesmaids are wishing they aren’t (as in ARE NOT) in the wedding.
  • ” I want to share it with the people that are most important to me.
    She wants to share it with the people WHO are most important to her. People are not things, which would be THAT. Although, since she’s treating people like things, this usage may be appropriate.
  • I like how she capitalizes Myself in the middle of a sentence in the fourth paragraph. It should be lowercase, except in her mind.
  • “were not gonna books flights for $1000 and shit” Where do I start? Let’s stick with the grammar. Were should have an apostrophe between the e and the r indicating we are. Gonna is a pet peeve of mine. It’s just lazy. Going to. “and shit” ? Classy.
  • There are a few more. If you see any I missed, feel free to add them. Frankly, I’ve (as in I have) lost interest. As our lovely bride so elegantly notes: “Seeeee ya”

Best Wishes,


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