Posts tagged ‘grammar’

PRCA 3330- Topic of the Week 4: NewsU Cleaning Your Copy

Last week for my Public Relations Writing class, I took an online course through Poynter’s News University, called Cleaning Your Copy.  The course, which lasted approximately one hour, covered AP style, grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

Before taking the course, I was not very familiar with AP style, so I learned the most from that section.  The section covered addresses, ages, abbreviations, capitalization, dates, distances, interstates, money, numbers, percent(ages), telephone numbers, and time.

For example, when using a percentage in AP style, it is one word: 1 percent, or 2.5 percent (you would use decimals not fractions).

Another section which helped me was the grammar section.  This section included, modifiers, pronouns, that/which, that/who, who/whom, verbs, lay/lie, parallel construction, and contractions.

Before I read this section, I’m not sure I was even aware as to what a modifier was.  The grammar section of this course goes into great detail about what modifiers are and what types there are.  There are dangling modifiers, misplaced modifiers, and squinting modifiers.

The other section of grammar which helped me was on that vs. which.  The rule is that you use “which” for clauses that offer incidental information and use “that” for clauses that give necessary information for the sentence.

Here is an example straight from the Cleaning Your Copy course:

The stream which (incidentally, by the way) rises dangerously during flood season, flows near the village.

The stream that flows dangerously during flood season (as opposed to other streams) flows near the village.

The other grammar rule that I found helpful was that “that and which” refer to animals and things, while “who and whom” refer to people. Example:

Right: Many couples with young children also have aging parents who need support.

Wrong: Many couples with young children also have aging parents that need support.

The punctuation section of the course also helped me improve my writing.  I had never fully understood when to use colons.  The rules are as follows:

  • You can use a colon instead of a period between two sentences that present contrasting ideas. (Ex: The researchers expected to solve the puzzle of the disease: They found more questions.)
  • You can use a colon between two clauses when the second thought adds to the first. (Ex: He explained the bottom line: It’s cheaper to fly.)
  • And you can use a colon to introduce a list, but only when it follows an independent clause. (Ex: The president visited three countries on his trip: Japan, England, Korea.)

I found this course extremely helpful and given the fact that it is free am definitely going to use Poynter’s to take more classes in the future.  I will probably take this one (Cleaning Your Copy) over again just so that hopefully I am able to remember all the specific grammar and AP style rules that this course presented so thoroughly!


February 6, 2010 at 12:55 pm Leave a comment

PRCA 3330- Blog Comments

Part of our assignment of creating and maintaining a blog for Professor Barbara Nixon’s PRCA 3330 Public Relations Writing course, is to comment on other’s PR blogs.  We are to keep a running list of comments throughout the semester following these guidelines:

  • Comment # (keep a running list)
  • Title of blog post you commented on, followed by the author’s name
  • Hyperlink to the blog post
  • Date of your comment
  • Your complete comment (copy and paste)

#1   Dan Santow’s 4th Annual Proofreadapalooza (from Dan Santo’s blog Word Wise)
Posted by: Kelseyeh.wordpress.comJanuary 29, 2010 at 01:05 PM

I thought that this blog entry was very helpful. I am currently taking a Public Relations writing course and we’re working on grammar and little things before we move on to actually writing press releases and things like that. These little tips and pieces of advice are things that no one usually thinks of but are so helpful. For example, having a clean desk? A messy environment for me can easily distract from the task at hand. I also thought the part about proofing not reading was interesting. How when you read you subconsciously fix the mistakes. I had never thought about it like that. Avoiding interruptions and giving myself enough time are my two biggest problems. I am first and foremost a procrastinator but I have improved immensely in that area, however I do get easily distracted with other social media like Facebook or Twitter or even email while trying to sit down and write or proofread. I will try to work on this though. Thank you for ideas.

#2  “4 Reasons That Writing Blogs Can Enhance Your Executive Job Search”- by Heather Eagar
Posted by: Kelsey On: 2/4/2010 2:41:33 PM

Heather, “4 Ways that Writing Blogs Can Enhance Your Executive Job Search” was a great blog entry for me.  I have just created a blog as an assignment for a class and it is encouraging to read a post that details why a blog can help you further your career.  I have actually already followed some of your advice and joined LinkedIn and linked my blog to my profile so that would-be employers can see my blog and give me feedback or advice.  I think that it is a great idea to show a company physical evidence of something on your resume, for example news releases or blog entries.  Thanks for the great post!

#3 Tiger Woods” by Allie Harrington
March 4, 2010

I do think that he is moving in the right direction as well. He has shown some remorse or at least acknowledgment of his actions by apologizing and going to therapy. However, I think his apology was too little too late. I think that his publicists and PR team should have pushed for a statement, announcement, or something months ago when this event first occurred.
The public has been hearing tons of stories from various mistresses including text messages, video, photos, etc. and Tiger Woods has been almost “defenseless” the whole time. He has not once said he is sorry, or denied any allegations.
I realize that it is some people’s opinion that this is a private matter between Tiger and Elin, but I think that it became public the second Tiger crashed his car into the tree outside his house and a media circus developed. Where was his statement when there was speculation that Elin beat him up or that he was on drugs that night? Or where was his statement of apology when more than 10 women came forward claiming to be in a relationship with him and that they could provide evidence?
I just think he (and maybe his publicity team) could have done better to diffuse the situation!

January 29, 2010 at 3:11 pm Leave a comment

PRCA 3330. TOW Week 2- Mignon Fogarty

Today I was on Mignon Fogarty’s Grammar Girl website and found several of her podcasts as well as her blog posts on correct grammar usage very helpful and informative.  I chose to listen to her “who” vs. “whom” podcast from March of 2007 and found it a very good explanation and refresher of the confusing pronoun choices (Who Vs. Whom).

I will start off by telling you what I learned from listening to the podcast.  First, I learned that who and whom are both pronouns, and both refer to either the object or subject in a sentence.  More specifically, who refers to the subject (the person doing something), whereas whom refers to the object (the thing that is having something done to it).

I’ll say this again so as to avoid confusion.  Who refers to the subject.  The subject is the person who is doing the action.

Whom refers to the object.  The object is the thing that is having something done to it.

A good example of this would be saying “I love you.” YOU are the object of MY affection. YOU is the object of the sentence, because I am loving YOU, which makes me the subject and you the object.

If you have difficulty telling the difference between subjects and objects there is one simple way to decide when to use who or whom. Ask yourself the question and decide if you would answer it with “him” or “he”.

For example: “Who or Whom do you love?” –Answer “I love him!”  So, “Whom do you love?” is correct.

Another example: “Who or Whom stepped on the bug?”

-Answer: “HE stepped on the bug.” So, “Who stepped on the bug?” is correct.

Whenever “him” is your answer “whom will be the pronoun”. Just remember “whom=him”!

The thing that most surprised me about this podcast was that I could learn so much about a little grammar rule in 4 minutes or less and that she made it so simple! I could listen to these on the go (she now has an “App” for the iphone) and hopefully improve my grammar rapidly!

I actually would love to continue reading Fogarty’s blog and keep listening to her podcasts whenever possible and improve my grammar skills! I think that now I do have a better grasp over the Who vs. Whom debate.

January 21, 2010 at 12:47 pm 5 comments

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