Goof-Proof Grammar

Eliminate Common Errors That Can Harm Your Professional Image

We were exposed to rules of grammar in elementary school, junior high, high school, and again in college. Yet we forgot most of the rules we learned, and some of the rules we remember may have changed. Here’s a chance to relearn the basics: the rules you should never break, the rules you can bend, and the so-called “rules” that aren’t really rules at all. Among the topics to be covered:

Common sense punctuation
With three or more items in a series, should you use a comma before “and”? Do commas and periods go inside or outside the closing quotation marks? How do you use a semicolon? And when should you? When is an apostrophe not needed to indicate possession?

Problematic pronouns
When should you use “who” and when should you use “whom”? Which is it: Bob or Gary will have to give up (their or his) office. When grappling with “I, me, or myself,” what determines the right choice?

Active vs. passive verbs
Grammar checkers always recommend active voice verbs instead of passive. Why? When is passive voice the better choice, no matter what your computer says?

Easily confused words
What’s the difference between affect and effect? Fewer and less? Farther and further? Do you lie down or lay down for a nap? And what is past tense of lie down? Do you feel bad or badly? What’s the difference between good and well?

The split infinitive and other myths
The split infinitive: what is it and how do you split one...or should you? Should you use contractions in business writing? How about sentence fragments? Is it wrong to begin a sentence with a conjunction...or end with a preposition?

Length of program: 1 hour, 2 hours, or 3 hours.