Look, I suck at grammar. But I know two things: 1. Do not use single quotation marks for anything except for quotes within quotes. Like: "Suzanne is such a bitch," Suzanne's classmate complained. "She said, 'Why the fuck are you in an MFA program and using single quotes for everything?'" Not: 'Suzanne is such a bitch,' Suzanne's classmate complained. Or: I put this in quotes to highlight that it is "ironic." Not: I put this in quotes to highlight that it is 'ironic.'

People at school used these single quotes all the time and it drove me up the wall. Then I doubted myself. Maybe I was the idiot? I looked it up in Strunk & White's book on grammar, and I was correct. Smugness.

2. If you have a list of things, commas go between all the items. This has been the subject of many books. I know that fancy modern writing is OK with sentences like, "I brought my six pack of beer, my handgun, my rifle and my sawed off shotgun to the grammar conference." But that sentence hurts my brain. I learned that it is proper to write, "I brought my six pack of beer, my handgun, my rifle, and my sawed off shotgun to the grammar conference."

Sure, my blog is riddled with typos and I am bad at figuring out when I need a comma to link to sentences. (Is it, "Sure, my blog is riddled with typos and I am bad at figuring out when I need a comma to link to sentences" or "Sure, my blog is riddled with typos, and I am bad at figuring out when I need a comma to link to sentences?" And does that last sentence end with a period or question mark?) Actually, that example brought up another pet peeve, which is punctuation done outside of quote marks. I learned that commas, periods, question marks, etc. belong in the quote mark, not outside of it. (Like, "You stupid fuck," she yelled; not "You stupid fuck", she yelled.)

Grammar is hard. It gives me a tooth ache. OK, sinus pressure also gives me a tooth ache. And so do sentences starting with and, or, but...

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