Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Grammar Girl

She's my favorite. I go to her whenever I have a grammar question and she gives me easy and concise answers that make sense. Today's gander was prompted by my wanting to know if you use a comma with "too". The short of it, you can decide whether or not to use a comma as both are correct. Per her example: "He has the ball too." "He has the ball, too." Again, both are correct but the sentence with the comma has added emphasis because a comma carries with it a pause. For my money, I'm using the comma because I read in my head how I'd speak it aloud, and the pause makes sense. If you're Virginia Woolf or Terry McMillan, you don't give a hoot about pauses, you're just going to ride that stream of consciousness gravy train into next week. Woot, woot!

In case you're wondering, "toward" and "towards" are also both correct. (I could have written that: In case you're wondering, "toward" and "towards" are, also, both correct. But why would I?) According to G.G., sources say the "s" is more common in Britain, and I always write "towards." I thought this might be because of some ancestral trait passed down to me through my Euro-mutt genes but it turns out that reading a library of works by British authors who use "towards" is the more likely culprit of this particular oddity I have.

2 comments:

Megan said...

I also learned from GG that it is not incorrect to answer the "how are you?" question with "good." I wish more people knew this because when I say "good" as an answer, but the other person says "well" in response, I feel like they're judging my "good" when in reality I'm being correct, too!

Zozopdx said...

hmm. good to know about "toward" and "towards."

what about "stole" and "stoled"? my best friend growing up thought the word was "stoled" for the longest time. maybe it's an Arkansas thing....