I love English, which is handy as it’s the only language I’ve got, but the rules and regulations governing the intricate workings of my mother tongue have often baffled me. Judging by the many resources dedicated to English Grammar I’m not alone. The good news is, it’s never too late to improve and it doesn’t have to be boring.
Several years ago I discovered the wonderful weekly Grammar Girl Podcast. It’s created by Mignon Fogarty, who somehow manages to be incredibly entertaining whilst communicating grammar, punctuation and style tips. I recently bought her book Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing and you can discover more articles and resources through the Quick and Dirty Tips website.
Closer to home there are quite a few courses designed to improve your writing. I have seen Deb Doyle in action and like Grammar Girl, her presentations are never dull. If you are in Sydney next week, she will be running a Grammar and Punctuation Essentials seminar at the Australian Writers Centre on Tuesday November 15 in Sydney.
For Australian writers the Style manual, as published through Wiley, provides a great deal of guidance regarding publishing, planning, structuring, writing, designing and editing. Don’t be scared, it’s actually really very readable and worth the $50 you’ll have to pay to get your own copy.
There are plenty of online guides available and if you are lucky, you can call on a friend or colleague to proof your work before you hit send. A friend told me last week you need seven eyes on a piece to ensure an error free publication, so never feel bad about asking for help! I know for a fact that I’m going to receive at least one email pointing out the grammatical flaws in this article. You know who you are and I love you for it:-)