Archive for the ‘accuracy’ Category

Guest Post: Seven Proven Ways to Improve Your Grammar

Friday, February 14th, 2014

The following is a guest post submitted by Jeff Peters, a graduate student at Fresno State University who works part-time for several educational services, including, where he provides Jeff offers seven excellent suggestions for anyone wanting to master the grammar and vocabulary of a language:


Grammar is essential in understanding and utilizing a language. In order to gain proficiency, you should focus intensely on grammar and vocabulary. According to English tutors at, even though grammar may not be as important in informal communication, it is necessary in written and formal communication. It is good knowledge of grammar that qualifies you to write or speak up in a manner others can understand.


Seven basic tips to improve your grammar:

bookstore1) The easiest way is to use grammar and vocabulary books. Go to your local bookstore or browse through e-book stores to find a good advanced grammar and vocabulary book. Check the index to make sure it covers sentence construction as well as word application and classification. Work your way through the book and try the exercises at the end of each chapter. Most grammar books will have an answer glossary where you can check your skills and answers once you've completed an exercise.

2) Find a reading comprehension book that will test your understanding of grammatical application as well as content. Again, go through the exercises and then use the answer glossary to check your skills.

newspapers3) Read newspapers and magazines to improve your understanding of sentence construction. This activity will keep you updated on modern and practical techniques for creating sentences. It will also increase your vocabulary. As you read, make a point of learning five new words every day.

library card4) Sign up for a card at your local library. Your card will give you easy and affordable access to plenty of books, and reading books will definitely improve your language skills.

5) Check for grammar and vocabulary classes available online. These classes usually have an interactive session where you can discuss your everyday progress with tutors and fellow students.

6) Although it is true that people often do not use correct grammar in everyday conversation, you can improve your grammar by striving to speak correctly. By trying to speak as well as write correctly, you will develop the habit of identifying your grammatical weaknesses on a regular basis.

sit and study7) The more you practice a language, the easier its grammar and vocabulary will become for you. Try to allow an hour or two every day–or at least four days a week–to sit with grammar lessons and exercises. 

Improving grammar and vocabulary skills is not difficult IF you devote enough time to it and practice regularly. Having a good grasp of grammar makes it easier to master a language. It also lets you present yourself, both orally and on paper, in a clearer and more appealing way.


A COMMENT FROM GRAMMAR GLITCH: Although these tips are ideal for someone learning a second language, they can also be useful for native speakers who know their language skills are weak. Having spent a number of years teaching business-writing skills in the corporate community, I know the value employers place on good language skills. Many times, the advantage of one job applicant over another–in the resume and in the interview–comes down to good usage and grammar.

I sincerely believe that making a serious effort to follow these seven suggestions for several months will significantly improve your use of language.

Alarmist Headline Inaccurate

Friday, October 19th, 2012

The current outbreak of fungal meningitis in the United States is tragic, and my heart goes out to the people who are dealing with this.

The Birmingham News carried a headline on Wednesday stating that 44 health facilities in Alabama had received medications that were tainted with the fungus. Oh no, I thought. Our state is now among the growing number connected to this tragedy.  Here is the headline:

Anyone who read only the headline kept the same impression I started with–that Alabama had received tainted medications. However, when I read the entire article, I found this information in the second paragraph:

Williamson (State Health Officer Dr. Donald Williamson) said none of the medicines sent to Alabama is known to be infection-causing.

That means that Alabama received medications from the New England Compounding Center but not the ones known to cause fungal meningitis.

A headline should accurately reflect the information contained in the story, especially in a situation like this one.