Ask the Grammarian with Taylor Houston - Now Taking Your Questions


One of the most exciting and helpful features we offer in the LitReactor Magazine is our series of columns geared at answering reader questions. As you know, Erin Reel-—publishing and editorial consultant, writing coach, columnist and blog host—led this feature with her masterly 'Ask The Lit Coach' series of columns. Then Bree Ogden—literary agent for D4E0 Literary Agency, columnist, and LitReactor instructor—took over with her excellent series of 'Ask the Agent' columns. Next up: Taylor Houston.

Taylor is a LitReactor columnist, technical writer, and instructional designer who gets her kicks reading style guides and teaching classes on writing craft and grammar. Now, those of you familiar with our writing classes probably recognize her from the LitReactor class 'Grammar & Style: Two Weeks to Nail the Basics.' If you haven't taken that class, here's your chance to ask her your burning grammar and usage questions.

Submit your question via email to Taylor will choose a few that she'll answer here on the site later this month.

Let's hear those questions!

Taylor Houston

Column by Taylor Houston

Taylor Houston is a genuine Word Nerd living in Portland, OR where she works as a technical writer and volunteers on the marketing committee for Wordstock, a local organization dedicated to writing education. She has a BA in Creative Writing and Spanish from Hamilton College and attended Penn State's MFA program in Creative Nonfiction. She has taught writing at all levels from middle school to college to adult, and she is the creator of Writer’s Cramp, a class for adults who just want to write!

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Tom1960's picture
Tom1960 from Athens, Georgia is reading Blindness by Jose Saramago October 6, 2013 - 4:12am

What happened to the semicolon? Has it been replaced by the comma?

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words October 17, 2013 - 12:36pm

em dash vs en dash vs hyphen --- I can never keep those straight.

also, is the adverb being replaced by the adjective? I hear it often enough in such phrases as "He starts slow," or "She did good," etc...

Emily J Chaney Weaver's picture
Emily J Chaney ... February 3, 2014 - 8:57am

I cannot stand the word 'sneaked'. How evil is it if I use the word snuck? Nevermind. Once I typed it I saw the ugliness of the word.

Maybe that is the difference. Speaking 'snuck' is okay, but writing it is not.

Vadim Potehin's picture
Vadim Potehin April 28, 2014 - 11:09am

Hello, Taylor! I have really enjoyed the way you explain things. After reading your articles everything becomes crystal-clear.
I would like to pose the following question to you... Theodore Fernald once said, 'It is to be remembered that it is not the conjunction that determines the character of the clause, but the character of the clause that determines the conjunction.'
Well, this by all means is the domain of theoretical grammar, cognitive linguistics rather. But still I will highly appreciate your answer on the issue.
I'm now writing an individual project on the English sentence and would like to touch upon such intricacies as well.

nathaniel parker's picture
nathaniel parker from Cincinnati is reading The Dark Tower ~ King November 21, 2014 - 8:11am

Is there some sort of service or excluisve place online where I can have essays written?

nathaniel parker's picture
nathaniel parker from Cincinnati is reading The Dark Tower ~ King November 22, 2014 - 4:18pm

How come it's spelled "continuum" and not "continwm?"