Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Advice from Grammar Queen: Things NOT to think about during SPEEDBO

Yes, dear students, I realize I may be the very last person on earth you expected or even cared to hear from while rabidly pursuing your Speedbo goals, but here I am nevertheless.

Why, you may ask?

Because I have taken it upon myself to bring to your attention several things I do NOT want you thinking about this month. During Speedbo you should switch off your internal editor (your personal Grammar Queen, if you will) and try NOT to worry about such things as:

1. Misplaced modifiers.

    Incorrect: Audra almost reads every romance novel she finds.
    Correct: Audra reads almost every romance novel she finds.

2. Dangling participles.

    Incorrect: Revising her manuscript, Cara’s computer died.
    Correct: Cara’s computer died while she was revising her manuscript.
    Observation: Perchance Cara should consider replacing her computer.

3. Subject/verb agreement.

    Incorrect: I will ask if Debby or Glynna have a copy of the latest Romantic Times.
    Correct: I will ask if Debby or Glynna has a copy of the latest Romantic Times.

4. Proper comma placement.

    Incorrect: Janet made it to the book signing on time but, she forgot her pen.
    Correct: Janet made it to the book signing on time, but she forgot her pen.

5. Restrictive/nonrestrictive elements.

    Incorrect: Julie called her agent Natasha for advice.   
    Correct: Julie called her agent, Natasha, for advice.
    Observation: Julie knows Natasha is always right.

6. Comma splices.

    Incorrect: Mary had Alaskan salmon for lunch, she said it was great.
    Correct: Mary had Alaskan salmon for lunch. She said it was great.

7. Misused words.

    Incorrect: Missy had a headache and laid down to rest.
    Correct: Missy had a headache and lay down to rest.
    Observation: Actually, GQ believes this is Mary’s headache and lays all the blame on her.

8. Misused apostrophes.

    Incorrect: Myra patted the cute doggy on it’s head.
    Correct: Myra patted the cute doggy on its head.

9. When and when not to spell out numbers.

    Incorrect: There are 8 cows grazing in Pam’s front yard.
    Correct: There are eight cows grazing in Pam’s front yard.
    Observation: Apparently, Pam does not need either a lawn mower or fertilizer, although 16 cows would be even more . . . er, productive.

10. Ambiguous antecedents.

    Incorrect: Ruthy’s editor told her she should work more efficiently.
    Correct: Ruthy’s editor told her, “Work more efficiently!” --OR--
    Correct: Ruthy’s editor told her, “I should work more efficiently.”
    Observation: Obviously, both these corrected statements are pure fiction.

11. Pronoun/antecedent agreement.

    Incorrect: Every one of Sandra’s books has their own special appeal.
    Correct: Every one of Sandra’s books has its own special appeal.

12. Subjunctive mood.

    Incorrect: Tina wishes Grammar Queen was less intrusive during Speedbo.
    Correct: Tina wishes Grammar Queen were less intrusive during Speedbo.
    Observation: Grammar Queen is not going away, people! Get used to it!

So there you have it, Grammar Queen’s compendium of things NOT to think about this month. Of course, there are myriad other grammatical details you should also NOT be thinking about, but far be it from me to distract you from your valiant Speedbo efforts.

However, when April 1 arrives, beware!

And that, dear students, is no April Fool’s joke.


Myra here. So sorry. Really. I do my best to keep GQ locked in her closet, but she keeps stealing the key and letting herself out. Just when I’m on a roll with my word count, she thrusts Chicago Manual of Style in my face.

However, she asked me to appease all her admirers (just go with it, okay?) by announcing her offer of a 10-page (double-spaced) GRAMMAR/USAGE ONLY critique to one lucky (?) commenter. Yes, GQ will help you polish your prose in preparation for a contest entry or manuscript submission. Pages must be received no later than May 31, or GQ can’t promise a quick turnaround.

Check out the Speedbo Prizes here!


  1. Incorrect: The coffee pot is about to burst it's sides.
    Correct:: The coffee pot is about to burst its sides.

    Thanks for keeping us in line, dear GQ.


  2. Thank you, Grammar Queen. (ooops! Did I insert a comma incorrectly?!). You really went easy on us this time, and it's appreciated!
    I'm placing some Peach pancakes (along with buttermilk pancakes for those who do not prefer peach) on a breakfast table. They'll be extra tasty with Helen's coffee. Please enjoy! Blessings, Patti Jo

  3. i forgot that you are three hours ahead of Arizona, so it's only 9:30 here yet. (See, even if i'm a reader, i do catch a few things). (nope, don't mention my capitalization. i know)

    Will wait until morning for my coffee. Might try those peach pancakes...



  4. I needed this! I've been forcing myself to ignore things as I go. I worried I was messing up, nice to have Grammar Queen's approval.

    Helen - any hot water available for a cup of strong Irish breakfast tea?

  5. I think I now have Missy's headache.

    day 11 (and i know I use the number as it is more than ten) of this heat wave. Can I just say I am over it!

    third try to post!

  6. I'm afraid I've not been very good...er, bad. Um, I don't know, really. I've let grammar concerns slow down my word count, but I'm going to work on that. Or maybe I'm going to work on NOT working on grammar during Speedbo. LOL

    Great post!

  7. Irish breakfast tea? *perks up*

    I'll plug in my electric kettle and we can all have a cup too.

    Last week, I saw a frame at a store with the cation "The Girl's."

    Uhm... no, the store didn't have a caption. The frame did. But it begs the question,"The girl's what?"


  8. I love grammar, so it come pretty natural for me, so it doesn't really slow me down, and I know I have a good chance to catch it on the next read through.

    And now that I've announced my pregnancy status on facebook and since I've been avoiding posting any status updates on FB because the only thing I do when awake is basically eat and who wants to read about my food choices everyday? BUT I think it shall be fun to bring my current cravings to the Seekerville buffet tables.

    So, last night it was powdered donuts and salted tomatoes, but tonight is a little more sane.

    Chocolate Tofeee ice cream and garlic bread.... you'll have to be quick to get any ice cream though, I think I've polished off half the container...but I'm going back for more garlic bread so you can probably swipe it while I pace in front of the toaster hoping the toast pops up before my stomach eats itself.

  9. CONGRATULATIONS MELISSA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Grammar Queen, I promise I shall read in the morning. Or later in the morning. When I'm coherent. I just popped in to post my update.

    End of SpeedBo Day 11:
    Today: 6003
    Total: 56352

    Passed 200 pages today, finished tweaking two Genesis entries and submitted them, worked on a proposal (that needs reading through again tomorrow before emailing) and did some other stuff today too ;).

  10. I always enjoy hearing from Grammar Queen. I always find something I had forgotten or had forgotten that I know, or maybe never knew. Hmmm.

    Don't enter me, I am not doing SpeedBo this year. I am waiting for a new Grand baby, any day now, then a trip to Montana.

    Congratulations Melissa!

  11. Darn, now I'm thinking about those things we aren't supposed to be thinking about. If I'm not mistaken, everything is dangling now, or out of place big time. Kind of happens when I think about them ambiguous dohickies, and pronouns and apostrophies that ate out of agreement and have subjunctivistis or something. Hits me right scare between the eyes and I start second guessing everything.


    But I do have a questions... I've notice a trend toward using ' in place of " for quotation. Do you know why?

    Thanks a bunch, Grammar Queen

  12. Oh and congrats, Melissa. Sounds like some flavorful craving mixes. Needing that sweet and salty combination, hey?

    Are you having twins? ;-)

    And way to go, Carol. Keep at and you could come finish my book too. ;-)

  13. Day 11: 1139 words for a total of 8213. And the love scene I have dreaded has been written. Thanks to Julie's Kiss-ology, it's filled with more of the emotional than physical.

    And tomorrow I start chapter TEN! I remember when I was whining in here last week about chapter six.

    I'm loving this novella stuff. I tend to write short anyway so getting the story done in 25K to 30K is workin' for me!

    And grammar? I ain't worrying about no stinkin' grammar! I wrote one sentence that I know quite well is passive voice. I shall correct it when I edit and revise. So there!

    Now I must bid you all a goodnight even though those peach pancakes are callin' my name. Save some for morning, okay?


  14. congrats melissa exciting news (it must be the name my friends daughter melissa is also pregnant.)

  15. Thank you for the grammar reminder Grammar Queen. It never hurts to get a little learnin'.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  16. When trying to choose the correct form of lay/lie/layed/laid, I usually decided to just change the sentence instead.

    There were a couple incorrects here that I struggle with. OR maybe they just don't look so incorrect before dawn...

    But I at least know enough to know I don't know them.
    Got that?

  17. Thank you, Grammar Queen. May everyone rely on you more than their computer.

    Congrats again, Melissa. Garlic bread and ice cream? I am not sure I can eat breakfast.

    Peace, Julie

  18. Grammar was not one of my best things in school, happy you are the writers and I just read now. Babies on the way -one for mama and the other Grandma, congrats ladies...
    No whip needed on this group, everyone doing great job so far, now just keep up the good work and you will win the race.
    Attitude is the whole thing, just think positive and go for it.
    20 days left to go. I told you time flies.
    Paula O

  19. Always great advice from the Grammar Queen....

  20. Grammar Queen, I felt like you were with me this morning in the coffee shop. I have one question. How do you shut off that red line that appears in word to say that you've messed up something?

  21. Melissa, cholcolate toffee ice cream and garlic bread doesn't sound that bad.

  22. Oh my stars, I'm dying laughing here!!!!

    First, I will own half of the mistakes as Par-for-the-course Ruthy errors....

    Second, I love that my efficiency is not called into question, LOL!!! So stinkin' funny, Myra!

    And third, I do blame everything on Mary because Tina's Italian and Julie will cry.

    Everyone else (besides me, of course) is just too darned nice to finger!


    Myra this was so wonderful, you started my day with a laugh and I'm grabbing some of Melissa's pregnancy brain chocolate toffee ice cream but leaving the garlic bread til pasta night!

  23. Patti Jo!!!!

    Peach pancakes.

    I'm totally on board with that.


    With that I'm totally on board.


    Pass the stupid pancakes.

  24. GQ - You're the best. I feel SOOO much better... Thank you.

    And thanks Myra for letting us benefit from her wisdom yet again. :)

    Helen - that takes the cake. HA!

    Everyone have a PAWSOMELY Totally Terrific Tuesday.

  25. Grammar Queen scares me. Or would that be "frightens me?"

    Either way, I'm way too self conscious to type a word now.

    Thanks, GQ.

  26. Congratulations, Melissa!! Enjoying eating whatever your little ol' heart desires. If you're happy, baby is happy : )

  27. Carol, girlfriend, really? Over 56,000 words and it's only Day 11?

    You and Mary drink the same lemonade and I want some!!!

    Good for you!!!!

  28. Grammar Queen!

    Thank you for helping us keep the standards high...AFTER Speedbo, of course.

    I have a feeling April is going to be an intense editing month!

    And what fun! We get to watch Melissa blossom here at Seekerville. We'll have to put one of those huge jars of pickles on the counter at the cafe.

  29. MELISSA WOO HOOO. Congrats and have fun with all those crazy cravings.

    PATTI JO the peach pancakes hit the spot this morning with my Chocolate Velvet coffee. Sorry HELEN, at least when you make coffee I don't have to share mine. hee hee

    And DEBRA I so do the same thing as you. (Have fun with this sentence GQ) I just avoid the word lay, lie, laid, etc.

    GRAMMAR QUEEN can we pretend I'm not a Seeker and put me in for the drawing?

    OKAY TINA, I know, I know.

  30. A critque from the Grammar Queen?

    As scary as that sounds, I'll take it. Please enter me.

    Melissa - Congratulations!

    And HELEN, I love the new profile picture. :)

  31. Grammar Queen--thank you for the lesson. I will choose to shelve it away until April 1st. I promise. What a fun post. I need the reminders so I can work on my grammar. I always think I'm doing well with grammar and whatnot, until you come for a visit. Thanks for the lessons, Teach.

    MELISSA--Congratulations! I hope your pregnancy goes smoothly! And, please, feel free to eat some ice-cream for me, since I can't eat the creamy concoction. :)

    CAROL--you are my hero. I don't know how you do it, but way to go on your word count AND getting two Genesis subs ready! I am most impressed. :)

  32. p.s. Congrats to Melissa!!

    Just cooked up some more pancakes
    to place on the breakfast table, with warm maple syrup of course!

    I'll be pushing to add LOTS of words today--couldn't do any over the weekend due to out-of-town trip. But it was worth it, because I was hanging out with several favorite authors in Kansas! Had a wonderful time! *big smile*
    Blessings, Patti Jo

  33. Good morning, Seekervillagers! My, but we are a lively bunch of eager beavers this beautiful day! GQ simply cannot think clearly before her morning cup of Earl Grey, however. And beauty sleep is an absolute must when one reaches a . . . certain age.

    Ah, but we shall not speak of such things!

    HELEN, my dear, you are such a faithful early riser to put the coffee on. You will forgive me, though, if I start the kettle for tea? I've also brought a selection of scones--blueberry, cranberry, and cinnamon--so enjoy!

  34. PATTI JO, good morning, dearest! Your comma placement is exquisite, by the way! (If anyone cares to know the appropriate rule Patti Jo has used here, I shall be happy to explain upon request.)

    Peach pancakes--how delightful! Is that a Southern delicacy?

  35. MARIANNE, do you have an "i" problem, my dear? Let me introduce you to the shift key.

    TERRI, please do understand that you have barely over half a month to continue ignoring grammar rules. And, oh yes--another tea drinker! I will forgive you for choosing Irish over Earl.

  36. JENNY, you are having a heat wave? Yes, I suppose things Down Under are topsy-turvy from the Northern Hemisphere. However, spring is on the way, and GQ can hardly wait!

    NATALIE, it's all right, dear. You may relax your vigilance awhile longer. (And if you pause to check a grammar rule now and then, GQ promises to look the other way. And smile with great delight!)

  37. MARILYN! Another tea lover! But might I tempt you with my Earl Grey Green? It has a most mellow and refreshing flavor.

    Yes, one must wonder what it was these "girls" possessed. A picture frame, perhaps?

  38. I am so scared of the Grammar Queen that I'm not even going to attempt to add punctuation to this comment because I know I'll mess it up and then I'll get my knuckles slapped so I'm going to cower under my desk until midnight when Grammar Queen departs but I do have question if I'm brave enough to pose here goes the difference between then and than I always mess it up every time and I need help

  39. MELISSA, MELISSA, MELISSA! What lovely news you bring us this morning! GQ is thrilled for you!

    However, we cringe at your . . . er, interesting food combinations. The ice cream sounds lovely, but GQ prefers her garlic bread with pasta.

  40. CAROL, you are quite the wordsmith, aren't you? Best wishes for a most successful run at the Genesis!

    MARY CLINE, how lovely to have a new grandchild on the way! I do so enjoy Myra's. (She has six, you know, but you'd never guess it from her youthful looks, would you?)

  41. Thank yhou for giving us a chuckle AND a great lesson today, Grammar Queen!!!

  42. TINA P, you speak as though grammar were a dreaded disease! Subjunctivitis??? (There may be an antibiotic for that. Check with your physician.)

    As for using single quotation marks rather than double, I have seen this in British literature but not so much in American. As far as I know, the double quotation mark is still the standard here, unless, of course, you are quoting something within a quote, and then it is always single inside of double.

  43. MARILYN, so glad to know you are following my sage advice and ignoring those grammar slippages. They will catch up with you, however, so be on guard!

    CINDY W., what can I say? It is truly an . . . honor(???) . . . to be credited with providing a little "learnin'."

  44. DEBRA, should you require some remedial grammar help following Speedbo, you know where to find me.

    JULIE H.S., you are such a wise young woman. Of course, one cannot ever rely solely on those inane computer dictionaries and grammar correctors. GQ is always right. Or else she will look it up in a reliable reference.

  45. PAULA, our resident cheerleader! GQ suspects you do write something from time to time, however--letters to friends, emails, checks to your creditors--so never imagine these grammar lessons to be a waste of time.

  46. ROSE, of course, GQ always gives excellent advice. Why would anyone doubt me?

    WALT, I assume you refer to the squiggly red line beneath misspelled words in Word? The answer is simple! Go to your Preferences menu and tell Word to stop checking your spelling!

    But honestly, do you really want to do so? Imagine what peril you might open yourself to!

    On the other hand, you may create your own custom dictionary and tell Word to "remember" the words you know to be correct but Word is arguing with you about.

    See? Problem solved.

  47. RUTHY, do give credit where credit is due. Myra is slinking off to her corner to (hopefully) continue her Speedbo progress. This post is entirely my own!

    However, it is lovely to know GQ brought a little laughter into your day. Don't think she will let you off so easily, though, when Speedbo ends.

  48. Grammar Queen, seeing your smiling face in Seekerville puts a smile on mine. I respect your expertise and love your bossy nature. I don't understand why you get on Myra's last nerve. You obviously have our best interests at heart.

    I'm putting butter on Patti Jo's peach pancakes. Where's the syrup?

    Melissa, congratulations!!!! I'll pass on all that sugar and salt.


  49. MAY and KC, how delightful to see you for this "pawsome" discussion!

    AUDRA, my dear, there is no reason whatsoever to fear GQ. Why, I am a perfectly lovely person. Just ask anyone! (Except Myra, of course. If she locks me in the closet one more time, I shall--)


  50. AHA!!! GOTCHA!!

    Okay, everyone, I don't know how long I can keep her subdued. See, she came out last week to help me on some book edits, and now it's--

    Oh, great, she's escaped again!

  51. Well! Now GQ must polish and realign her crown. Honestly, the nerve of that Myra!

    Where were we?

    Oh, yes, JAN! Yes, we must keep our standards high, especially where the English language is concerned. Communication is vital to a burgeoning society.

  52. SANDRA, you are so sweet. But of course, you know where to find me anytime you need some assistance.

    BRIDGETT, of course you shall be entered in the drawing. How prudent of you to wish to take advantage of my most generous offer.

  53. JEANNE T, it is my distinct pleasure to spread my words of wisdom far and wide. And, in case no one has notice, I do sincerely love to speak in cliches.

    KAV. That is perhaps one of the longest unpunctuated sentences I have ever encountered. My dear, do not fear commas and periods. They are our friends.

  54. GLYNNA, if GQ has made you laugh, she shall consider this day a success. Temporarily, at least. One must never give up hope that grammar will soon earn its due respect among English speakers (and writers) everywhere.

  55. Myra, I'm very grateful for GQ! I'm comma challenged so your posts always help. Do you ever make mistakes?

  56. JANET, if only Myra (and a few others here in Seekerville--ahem!!) understood me as you do! I have no idea why I have such a negative reputation around here. Don't people realize they could give me an inferiority complex?

    Well . . . perhaps not. GQ dares anyone to try knocking her off her pedestal.

  57. CARA, you would accuse GQ of ever making mistakes?

    Alas, I have been known to err from time to time. Not often, mind you. My offenses, unfortunately, usually stem from my being so grounded in what some might call "old-fashioned" English. As certain (not all, mind you!) rules have relaxed over the centuries, acceptable usage has evolved.

    However, GQ refuses to bend when it comes to using the generic plural "they" or "their" for a singular antecedent.

  58. LOL, Myra, I just LOVE this woman!!! Of course, I see her like Doris Day in Teacher's Pet, which I also LOVED (with Clark Gable ... hubba, hubba!!), so that may be why ...

    GQ said: "Julie knows Natasha is always right."

    Yes, Julies DOES know that "Natasha is always right," but I regret to inform you that Julie is not always very bright because it took her WAY too long to realize Natasha's true genius ... :)


  59. Good morning,GQ. I always enjoy reading your posts. I just pulled some cinnamon rolls out of the oven if anyone's still hungry after those yummy pancakes.
    Gotta go, I told the 1K1HR girls I'd join them at 15 after... I'm late.

    Congratulations Melissa!

  60. That whole lie, lay, laid, lain, lied thing is absolutely a deal breaker for me.
    My computer fixes it and I let it.

    Isn't there some nifty 'I before E except after C' rule?

    Lay before Lie except after a nap?

    I always do that one wrong. And if you say I don't, it's a lie. Or maybe a lei.

  61. And btw, Grammar Queen is hilarious. Why funnier that Captain Jack.

  62. And also, admit it GQ, you made the word subjunctive up.
    Or do I mean, "You made up the word subjunctive?"

    Whichever I mean, you're caught.

  63. I do that dangling modifier one all the time trying to break up sentence structure.

    But I try to be sneaky about it.

    Trying to be sneaky, Mary snuck in a dangling modifier.

    (does that sound kinda dirty to anyone else?????)

  64. Congratulations, Melissa...and Mary Cline


  65. JULIE, my dear! Oh, to have my beauty compared with that of the lovely Doris Day! Well, of course, I'm so much younger, you know.

    And Myra totally agrees--Natasha is a force to be reckoned with. Just as with GQ, one must never argue with genius.

  66. JAMIE, thank you for bringing the cinnamon rolls, which will taste delightful with my Earl Grey. I do hope your 1K1H is abundantly productive!

  67. Speedbo welcomes Karen Bracken -our 106th participant. GO KAREN!!!

  68. MARY, MARY, MARY. GQ has done her best to assist you with the lie/lay dilemma. I'm sorry, but there is no "i before e" rule that applies here.

    You LAY something down (direct object required).

    You LIE down (no direct object).

    She LAY down (past tense).

    She LAID the book down (past tense, "book" is the direct object).

    Funnier than Captain Jack? And much more civilized, I must add! GQ does not know whether to be complimented or insulted.

    And GQ is not in the habit of making up words. I leave that to the likes of TINA PINSON, bless her heart.

  69. Congratulations to Melissa J.

    Grammar Queen, is preggars an acceptable word?

  70. MARY, as for your dangling modifiers, it isn't dangling if placed properly near the word being modified. Your sentence about trying to be sneaky is absolutely correct.

    In more ways than one.

  71. TINA, what an abundance of Speedbo-ers we have in Seekerville!

    I must also give credit where credit is due, for I believe you, my dear, coined the term "Speedbo."

    As for "preggars," the correct spelling is actually "preggers" and may be found in the dictionary. See Merriam-Webster online.

  72. Irish breakfast, English breakfast, Earl Gray, Prince of Wales -- I love it all. I have a cup of Builder's Tea on my desk now. That's a brand but it's a very robust British tea that brews in 20 seconds.

    I totally missed the pregnancy announcement. It *was* late when I posted last. Congratulations, Melissa!

    And please give my best to the person who does the Photoshop work. The Doris Day Grammar Queen photo is priceless!

    Pass the pancakes and syrup, please.


  73. MARILYN, you are a true tea aficionada!

    Regretfully, I cannot claim credit for my lovely photography. Myra is the Photoshop maven, although I have told her time and again she would be better served spending that time writing.

    However . . . certainly you are not suggesting GQ would EVER have her portrait Photoshopped! Why, my dear, good genes are good genes!

  74. Good morning, GQ.

    I will raise my hand for a critique, though it's a timid raising of the hand.

    I can never figure out the lay/laid/lie/lying/whathaveyou thing. I rely far too much on the green squigglies in Word to help me with that.

    Spending my day with ice on my ankle and with my characters. And on the final read-through of the proposal before sending it off.

    Back to work...

  75. Hello GQ! So glad we have folks like you to answer all our grammar questions! :D

  76. BTW:

    Misused words.

    Incorrect: Missy had a headache and laid down to rest.
    Correct: Missy had a headache and lay down to rest.

    Why 'lay' instead of 'laid'?

  77. CAROL, you brave soul, certainly I shall consider your entry for the much sought after GQ critique. I hope your ankle feels better quickly! (But what an excellent excuse to sit at the computer and write!)

  78. LINNETTE, my dear, I am always here to help.

    You see, "laid" is the past tense of "lay," which requires a direct object. So you lay something down, or you already laid it down.

    But if you are the one lying down, you may have already lain down, or perhaps you are about to lie down. Or maybe you lay down a few hours ago and just awoke--who am I to say?

  79. Great observations GQ. :)

    Jodie Wolfe

  80. This comment has been removed by the author.

  81. GQ, the change has arrived albeit at about 1 am. I gave up trying to sleep. My room is to hot (Im now channelling Ruthy as I was going to add stinking but thought better off it).

    But my room is toooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo hot. (o stuck).

    The lounge room is where the breeze is and thats where I am right now. I see the dr this morning. (its almost 2 am) about the MRI. I could really use a little sleep. Will try again shortly. The next few days will be much better living weather. Its the longest heatwave in March on record. Funny I went to Adelaide three times this summer and each was hot and humid. We normally have clear heat and the past couple of seasons the cricket game I attended was much cooler and even rained. Not this summer! I have to almost ask what rain is. My rain water tank is almost empty.

  82. Thank you, JODIE. GQ tries her very best.

    Although she cannot stop wondering about those deleted comments. What were they trying to say and perhaps discovered an embarrassing grammar faux pas they did not want the world to see?

  83. Oh, JENNY, how awful to suffer in such heat! I do hope the rains return soon and cool things down.

    But then, of course, one must deal with the frightful humidity.

    Get some rest, my dear.

  84. True about rain and humidity although we got it without the rain. It has been so overcast but no rain. At least humidity when its cooler is easier to handle. Today will be around 75ish as apposed to 107.

  85. Some of the worst humidity I ever experienced was when we lived in Houston. Then we moved to Oklahoma and everybody was complaining about how humid it got there.


    Where we live now in the Carolinas is just about right.

    BTW, GQ, thanks for allowing me a few minute of computer access. Honestly! Y'all have no idea what I have to put up with, having her around 24/7.

  86. Here's a shocker. I turned off the green squiggly thing. I am SICK AND TIRED of my slangy cowboy language being tagged as improper grammar. BIG OLD DUH HERE!!!

    You draw that gun around me, little missy, you're gonna find yourself turned over my knee.

    That is just a grammar nightmare, but sorta funny.

  87. I try to hide from Grammar Queen.

    Dangling modifiers.
    Lay, lie, and laid.

    These things give me a headache. For about 2 seconds, the rules make sense. Then my brain says, "huh?"

    Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts.

  88. Thank you, Grammar Queen. Per your warning, I respectfully submit that I am not thinking about this during Speedbo.

    Write on.:)

  89. MARY, GQ would never attempt to correct your cowboys' grammar. That would give ME a headache!

    CONNIE, take two aspirin and call me on April 1.

    Now, go forth and write!

  90. Hey,GQ! Bring on the grammar:) "Conjunction Junction, what's your function?" (Please tell me I'm not the only one who remembers School House Rock!) I still remember the song my seventh grade teacher taught to help our class memorize the helping and state of being verbs. Good times. Anyway, thanks for coming to visit,GQ. I'd love a grammar critique by you.(Now I'm rhyming:)

  91. I found Hawaii in Sept to be hard to handle with its humidity. I was chatting to the man next to me about how this humidity will get me ready for Hawaii and he was there last year. Our humidity was still probably less than 50% but not being use to it and adding it was near 100 just made it so yuck.
    Our humidity is normally below 20% more like 10% in summer its more the hot north wind that knocks you down.

    Im am going back to bed hopefully will get at least 3 hours sleep!

  92. LYNDEE, you have the right attitude, my dear. Speedbo awaits!

    SARA ELLA--and what a lovely name, I might add! Oh, yes, Conjunction Junction! Nothing quite makes learning as palatable as turning it into a song.

    Of course, I only know of Schoolhouse Rock by virtue of Myra's daughters telling me about it. I'm FAR too young to remember it, myself.

    Myra, on the other hand . . . Did I mention she has six grandchildren? Why, the poor girl is practically senile!

  93. All right, all right, enough with the Myra-bashing! Didn't I let you out of the closet for the day? Give me a break, GQ!

    Excuse me while I go pop a ginkgo. My brain hurts.

  94. Misplaced modifiers drive me crazy! I'm always so afraid I'll write something ridiculous. :)

    Thank you once again to the Grammar Queen for a fantastic reminder on these issues!

  95. Awe! So it is because it is yourself that you do not use laid for past tense, but lain. Cool! Thanks! :D

  96. Yes, MISSY, dear, misplaced modifiers are the bane of every writer's existence. You are wise to be cautious.

    LINNETTE, you sweet thing, you. GQ is not entirely certain she grasps the meaning of your lengthy statement. She must lay it aside and lie down to think on it for a while.

  97. On my word, did I mistakenly call GQ by Myra's name?????

    What has come overeth me?????

    Gadzooks, no one would ever suspect the easy-going, always-a-laugh Myra Johnson as being this tough, bossy, yardstick-wielding woman!

    Although I do know they're friends.

    Or used to be before Myra tried to lock GQ in the closet. The funniest part of this is that you can almost envision Myra pumping out words during SPEEDBO, trying to NOT GRAMMAR CHECK EVERYTHING....

    I do think there's medication for that, darling.


  98. GQ, you'd better watch your Ps & Qs lest you tempt someone to rip that pedestal out from under you. Not me, Of course.


  99. "Always a laugh" Myra? Are we speaking of the same woman, dear RUTHY?

    Just between the two of us, I've heard Myra mention more than once how fearful she is of being taken to task by you over her incessant whining.

    Well, perhaps "incessant" is rather too strong a word. But you know how the dear girl can carry on when things don't go her way.

    Just . . . don't mention I told you, all right? She's in a fairly good mood right now, and I wouldn't want to spoil it.

  100. My dear JANET, your remark sounds vaguely like a threat. But you are such a kind and caring person, and GQ realizes you are only looking out for her best interests. I shall take your warning to heart and try to be less . . . condescending.

    Emphasis on the word try.

  101. Hi Grammar Queen:

    Prose is one thing but what of the grammar of poetry? What have you to say about my poem given below? I worry about the words in italic. I am also sure that there is more for me to worry about -- of which, I know not. (Risky).


    but then April is
    the cruelest month.

    Each of us owes the Gods but one death
    For who is not doomed
    or ever spared
    and from what?

    Is one month more noble than the next?
    Does the harvest trump the planting?
    Does not the winter sleep with restless vitality
    while the dessert grows downward instead of up?

    After the Ides of March,
    come the fools of April
    with May flowers preparing the way
    for the two Caesars:
    Julius and Augustus
    and then and then
    it’s just eight, nine, and ten.



  102. VINCE, what a man of words you are! Getting a touch of spring fever, are you? I'm sure you are not alone!

    I shall be delighted to assist you in editing this charming ode to spring. In fact, the only grammatical faux pas I came across involved the word dessert. GQ is fairly certain you were not referring to cake or ice cream.

    I am also struck by the fact that you have titled your poem after our own RUTHY, in a manner of speaking. That does give one pause.

  103. Oh my goodness. I thought I'd spend my ever-so-short break reading the post and comments. But there are 102 comments already.

    Grammar Queen, thank you for permission to ignore the Grammar Queen Wannabe who sits on my shoulder. I'm not sure what she'll do the remainder of the month, but that is her problem.

    Good news to share. I lost interest in my novella, so last night and this morning I thought and thought and then I wrote a narrative outline. I pause so you may digest the wonder of a "mister" like me writing a narrative outline. Recovered? Okay, here's what happened. I realized the conflict was too cliche and so not me. I came up with something else that is giggle-worthy and am totally enthused again.

    Now, back to writing. Will read comments during next break.

    Hugs and thanks to GQ :-)

    Nancy C

  104. This comment has been removed by the author.

  105. SARA ELLA, I know just what you mean. Everything I know about how a bill becomes a law is in a song:

    I'm just a bill
    Sittin' on Capitol Hill


  106. Good afternoon, NANCY! Feeling enthused about one's work is a very good thing. I'm glad this experiment in creating a narrative outline proved fruitful.

    Oh dear, oh dear, at the word "outline," Myra has just run screaming into the closet!

    Oh joy! My turn to lock her in!

    (And, yes, that deleted comment above was my own. I simply could not abide the typographical error I discovered.)

  107. Grammar Queen, you just made reading grammar rules fun! Thanks!

  108. You know, the pomp and ceremony is all very impressive but if the Catholic Church ever wants to really get ahead in this world, they are going to have to stop letting a baseball team pick their leader.

  109. I can also sing the 23rd Psalm, the Bill of Rights and the Preamble to the Constitution. Handy!

  110. You are most welcome, EVA MARIA.

    Now I must turn my attention to MARY's non sequitur. My dear, GQ is quite confused about what baseball teams have to do with papal elections.

  111. Mary, you reminded me that when our kids were in the elementary school choir, they learned this song where they name all the United States in alphabetical order. Once upon a time, I could sing it with them.

    Unfortunately, about as far as I can get now is, "Alabama, Alaska . . . "

  112. You are not kidding about the cows, Mrs. GQ. When we first built our house, we put a gate at the end of the driveway and let the horses run free.

    Early one morning we heard this clip-clop, clip-clop with a fainter clip-clop, clip-clop sound on the cement porch that runs the length of the house. Mare and colt were walking along our porch!

    The mare then discovered the porch swing and she'd plop her hoof to make it swing back and forth. Not long after that we fenced in the yard. :)

  113. Good afternoon, PAM! My, what talented equines you have! Now, should the mare ever actually sit in the swing, GQ would love to see a photograph.

    In the meantime, do watch where you step.

    They're from St.Louis, right?

  115. I had the entire states list memorized and could rattle it off in seconds and I had the state capitols memorized at one time.
    I was halfway through the presidents when one of my children was born and I didn't have time to think anymore, let alone memorize stuff.

    That was before I used my insomnia to write books.

    I think what I do now is much more productive.

  116. Oh, of course, the cardinals! Aren't you the clever one, Miss Mary! Go to the head of the class!

    However, I would think reciting state capitals would be much more conducive to curing insomnia than plotting your lively stories.

  117. Thanks, Grammar Queen. The pressure's getting to me, and I needed a laugh.

    Please add my name to the pot.


    Jackie L.

  118. With pleasure, JACKIE, dear. GQ is delighted she brought a little laughter to your day and hopes you have been making satisfactory progress toward your Speedbo goals.

    By the way, I just peeked in on Myra in the closet. She gave me permission to report that she has penned (typed, actually) more than 1500 words this afternoon.

  119. I'm wrapping it up at 1759 words, to be exact. Just about at the halfway point of my wip.

    GQ let me out of the closet for the evening. I think she's hungry and wants dinner.

  120. Thank you, GQ.
    I wish I had a lie/lay sentence to give as an example. But it's not like anything is going to stick during Speedo, anyway.

    But "I know where to find you".

    So, Speedbo-ers... are you all just under half way through your goal?

  121. Uhm... I don't think Doris wore that crown in Teacher's Pet. But you look oh so lovely in it.


  122. Yes, DEBRA, GQ is never far from Seekerville.

    MARILYN, are you auditioning to be this teacher's pet?

  123. Waving hand and hoping to be called on!

    Grammar Queen, isn't the subjunctive mood changing? So often I see "if she was..." instead of "if she were..."

    Is it changing?

  124. Teacher's pet? Moi???

    I typed interrogatories all afternoon and my back hurts so badly I am not going to be able to sit at the keyboard, much less think of words to type (especially after I down a muscle relaxer). So I'll be seeking the comfort of my recliner and the heating pad tonight. I think I have an un-watched episode of The Amazing Race on the DVR.


  125. ROFL, Myra!!! It made total sense when I wrote. Don't let GQ get a headache trying to figure it out. *grinning*

    I meant to say that the reason you your 'lain' instead of 'laid' is because the writer is talking about herself rather than an object she is holding. Don't know if that was any clearer. LOL

  126. DEBBY, if the rules regarding subjunctive mood were to change, GQ has yet to be informed.

    MARILYN, enjoy your heating pad and feel better in the morning.

    LINNETTE, I think I understood that. Now I must lay aside my crown, don my jammies, and call it a night.

    Sleep well, Seekerville!

  127. No faux pas, only blogger duplicating my comments. :)

    Jodie Wolfe

  128. Great post - great reminder. It is so hard though to keep the fingers out of the grammar cookie jar!

    Managing to keep up with the committed word count, although I still need to catch up the 5 days (sorry five days) that I started late.


  129. Such a great refresher! Thanks so much!

  130. MARY, MARION, and LISA, I am putting tardy notices on your report cards, my dears. However, since you were up bright and early this morning to catch up with the class notes, GQ will not deduct any points from your semester grade.

    Happy writing, girls!

  131. GQ seems to possess just the right combination of snark and empathy. But I'm not going to read all of her wonderful, I'm sure, examples until after Speedbo. No need to fill the head with things I don't need to think about just yet. ;-)

  132. Go away GQ. Although, I've have know you to be much harder on us. Maybe it's the Speedbo thing. And my family thinks I"M a grammar queen. Huh - go figure.

  133. PATRICIA and CINDY, how nice to see you drop in after class. I hope you brought an apple for the teacher. After all, I did go easy on you this month.

    Never fear, GQ is always near!