Friday Grammar Gems with Jen Rowe, Vol. 1

So this semester I’m in a Magazine Editing class taught by Jen Rowe. Every Friday from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. we have grammar lecture. Two hours of grammar every Friday afternoon.

Now most people would find this unbearable, but I find it highly enjoyable.
For one, I love grammar. I might have gotten into a fight about the Oxford comma on Facebook this week…


The song Zach mentioned.

My feelings about Oxford commas.

For two, Jen makes grammar as fun as you possibly can. Seriously, not only can the women keep my attention for two hours, she can keep it for two hours while teaching grammar. That’s a good teacher for you.

One way she makes the class more fun is with ridiculous quotes. Here are some of my favorites from the past seven weeks:

Discussing how once we learn the rules, we can then break them appropriately:
“It’s not a sin to use a fragment. It’s a sin to use a fragment not on purpose.”

Discussing hyphenated modifiers:
“There’s a huge difference between ‘antique-lovers’ and ‘antique lovers.’ Think about it.”

Discussing essential phrases and non-essential phrases, which should be set off by a comma. (Like in that sentence!):
“So in the sentence ‘The man is her husband, John,’ we need to set of ‘John’ with commas because people only have one husband. It’s non-essential information. Now some of you smarta–es might say, ‘Well, what is she was divorced?’ I have an ex-husband, and I can tell you that he is non-essential. And I have the paperwork to prove it.”

Discussing how “to dive” is a regular verb, conjugated in the past tense as “dived.”:
“‘Dove’ is a bar of soap or a bird. Always.”

Discussing how you should use “shall” rather than “will” when you conjugate in the first person:
“The contraction ‘I’ll’ works for ‘I will’ and ‘I shall.’ You guys have been saying ‘shall’ for years; you just didn’t know it.”

Talking about her current husband:
“I might have married the man because he used ‘shall.’ And he can conjugate.”

Her favorite example of a badly misplaced modifier:
“The patient was referred to a psychiatrist with a severe emotional disorder.”

Discussing the differences between ‘feeling good’ health wise (adjective) and ‘feeling well,’ like your sense of touch is superior (adverb):
“This may be completely insensitive, but quadriplegics do not feel well. They can feel good, though.”

Discussing how the past tense of “to lie” is “lay.”
“I don’t think you guys are confused by ‘lie’ and ‘lay’ because you’re stupid. I think it’s because it’s f–ked up.”

Jen Rowe makes me look forward to Friday afternoons!

And just because it’s a fun video…

“Your vocab outstanding, your spelling expanding, the man of my dreams has a grammar PhD.”

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