Today is the halfway of the contest finals!
The most active bloggers are about to outrun you in the Best Grammar Blog of 2011 contest. Their friends and readers are actively voting, so why don’t yours?
Your blog is worth to be number one,* you just need some help from people who already love your blog.
The final round ends October, 17th.
Now, this nitpicking doesn’t mean I scorn the Grammar.net poll; anything that helps spread the word about language blogs is a Good Thing, and the master list has already prompted me to subscribe to a couple of blogs I had missed.
But the site has problems. Its own software says so: Grammar.net claims its grammar checker will spot your writing flaws, so I fed it the e-mail I quote from above. The analysis -- just a teaser, not the detailed report that paying customers get -- told me that the text had seven “critical writing issues”: one of sentence structure, two of punctuation, and four of “style.” Overall score: 50 percent. “Weak; needs revision.”
Some of the (free) usage advice also needs revision. The “12 Most Misunderstood Words” item, for example, has an outdated hostility to nauseous (meaning nauseated), claims that alternate can only be a verb, and includes a definition of less that made me laugh out loud:
LESSSo as long as we’re logrolling and backscratching, shouldn’t language bloggers help Grammar.net look more like a club we’d want to belong to? Maybe, when the shouting’s over, the top 10 bloggers should each thank the website with some volunteer help -- 10 corrections, say, or an hour’s worth of editing. The better they look, the better we look. And they can definitely look better.
You think it means: fewer
It means: a smaller amount of uncountable nouns
*Yes, this is a comma fault, but not a bad one, and I’m not a comma-fault fetishist.