Since I’m a writer and editor by trade, folks assume I have a wicked vocabulary.
I access Merriam-Webster more times in a week than I can count, and I have no problem asking someone what a word means if I’m unsure. After all, as Confucius said, “True wisdom is knowing what you don’t know.”
If you can relate and want to sharpen those word skills, check out the following vocabulary quizzes . . . and don’t worry. No one needs to know your score.
Deep-seated or deep-seeded? Adverse or averse? You might think this seven-question quiz will be a piece of cake . . . but you could be overestimating your vocabulary skills.
(I missed two of these questions. Doh! You can guaran-damn-tee that I won’t get those words mixed up ever again.)
Only missed one of these, bitches! (Deciduous – who the hell had that on a vocab quiz in school? Not me.)
But I gotta be honest – a few of these had a big old question mark appearing over my head. Glad to know that my deductive reasoning skills are passable.
How Well Do You Know Your Antonyms? (a.k.a. If You’re Over the Age of Five, You’ll Ace It)
This one’s easy. VERY easy. It’s here to make you feel better if you bombed the above quizzes. So enjoy going back to kindergarten and working on your opposites! (If you miss any of these, it’s okay – I’ll still be your friend. I just won’t think as highly of you.)
And enjoy the Rick-Roll.
James Joyce, you’re such a silly thing. All you Joyce fans will surely get a kick out of this BuzzFeed quiz.
For the record, I clearly haven’t read enough Joyce.
Some Extra Stuff
- Want to write in a castle? Duh. Of course you do. We all want to. And now we all have a chance to spend NaNoWriMo in a castle…for $4k. Damn, I wish I hadn’t spent my rainy-day fund.
- Print magazines still exist, dammit! And BuzzFeed has listed some freaking awesome ones here. (I’m most intrigued by The Happy Reader, for obvious reasons.)
And My Spirit Song for Today Is…
This. Play it loud and proud, and rock the eff out. Oh, but be aware that it’s NSFW.
Filed under: Grammar, Language | Tags: dangling modifier, grammar, grammar rules, modifier
As an editor, I see a lot of grammatical errors. Using “you’re” when it should have been “your.” “Should of” used instead of “should have.”
And then there’s the dreaded dangling modifier.
Yes, that’s a fancy-sounding phrase, but the issue is a real one (no, not bad enough for you to break out the hand sanitizer and SARS mask).
Before we jump into dangling modifiers, let’s do a quick grammar refresher on modifiers.
Here are a couple of examples to get you in the mood for modifiers:
Disgusted, the zombie spit out the fake brains.
In the above, “Disgusted” is the modifier that describes “the zombie.”
Throwing the pine cone, the sasquatch hoped to confuse its hunters.
In this example, “Throwing the pine cone” is the modifier that describes “the sasquatch.”
Easy-peasy, right? So what the hell is a dangling modifier?
Now the real moment of fun has arrived: FUN EXAMPLES!
And now, one from yours truly:
Walking home slowly, the most awesome of all unicorns was on Amanda’s mind.
The moral of the story?
In all seriousness, don’t let your modifiers dangle, guys.
It’s just not cool.
Did I help explain dangling modifiers, and do you see how annoying they are? Sound off in the comments below.
Update 6/16/15: Taylor Swift is not a fan of grammar Nazis.
According to Urban Dictionary, a grammar Nazi is “someone who believes it’s their duty to attempt to correct any grammar and/or spelling mistakes they observe.”
While I certainly don’t lurk on blogs and social media, writing snarky comments to show others how dumb they are, I definitely notice when I see a grammar mistake, whether it be on your tweet, her vlog description, or his article in a print magazine. And deep down, I want so badly to call offenders out on their errors (yes, even in public forums). But I don’t.
Not yet, anyway.
No one’s exactly sure how the term “grammar Nazi” came about, but it’s speculated that the first time it was used (really the first documentation of its use) was on January 18, 1991, in the Usenet group comp.sys.apple2. So to whom can the phrase be attributed?
Unfortunately, the individual is known as nothing other than “The Unknown User.” After a group member commented “Ok, I posted a message on this subject earlier with sort of a ‘rediculous’…” The Unknown User responded, “ridiculous. I’m a card carrying member of the Spelling and Grammar Nazis of America.”
…And Some Take it a Little Too Seriously
The Wall Street Journal recently reported on an…interesting…situation in Moscow involving Alexei Pavlovsky, local coordinator of Total Dictation, a Russian spelling and grammar contest.
According to Pavlovsky, Russian authorities questioned him about a couple of slightly bizarre topics:
“First they started asking me about Total Dictation and my other social initiatives, then they politely asked me what I know about ‘grammar Nazis’ and if they sponsored my activities. They also asked what feelings I have toward people who make [grammatical] mistakes and whether I have a desire to destroy them.”
Whoa. NSA, if you’re reading, I am not a Nazi of any sort, and I do not encourage fascism.
Now on to the Lighter Side
The video gets bonus points for its Oxford comma joke.
You Can Be a Grammar Nazi, Too!
wikiHow has a handy-dandy guide with only seven steps.
My favorite of the seven? Number three:
Listen carefully to what a speaker says and ask for clarification if you need it.This will ensure that you fully understand what they said and aren’t criticizing them for mistakes they didn’t make. Use your manners, of course, and do not interrupt them while they are talking.
Need more proof that you’re a grammar Nazi? There are plenty of social media pages for that. No joke. Grammar Nazi Party is just one–a Facebook page with the description, “We are overwriting the bad reputation of Grammar Nazis everywhere and making a good name for ourselves as helpers of the Internet!”
What’s your opinion? Devil or angel? Are grammar Nazis just good Samaritans who want to help others achieve grammatical glory, or are they assholes who want to make other people feel stupid?