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Podcasts have never been more popular, but there is one that entered the space right at the beginning and has been one of the most popular podcasts ever since called Grammar Girl, where Mignon Fogarty, a professor of journalism at University of Nevada, Reno, discusses different issues in grammar that affect writing on a daily basis. Her success was boosted significantly by an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2007, when her podcast was a little under a year old. A viewer had written to Oprah’s show questioning a segment titled “Oprah and Gayle’s Big Adventure.” The viewer wondered if both names needed possessive apostrophes to make sure that it was clear that the big adventure belonged to both Oprah and Gayle, not just to Gayle. The proposed change would be “Oprah’s and Gayle’s Big Adventure.” Fogarty went on the show and confirmed that Oprah’s original way was correct, as well as discussing common mistakes like “affect vs. effect” and “who vs. whom.” It was probably good that she was on Oprah’s side, as viewers became obsessed. Oprah’s magazine went on to list Fogarty’s Grammar Girl audiobook on her must listens, which provided a significant boost.
Grammar has never been particularly sexy, but Grammar Girl was able to help translate things in a way that people understand, which is what we hope for with our private grammar tutors. Instead of feeling like a librarian is looking over your shoulder with arbitrary rules, you want someone that is contextualizing things to tell you not just what mistakes you are making, but why those mistakes are important to correct.
There is a great episode of The Office where Kevin tries to make his speech more efficient by abbreviating his sentences. His coworkers are concerned when he starts saying things like “me do” and “stop worry,” assuming that he is experiencing some sort of brain issue. His argument is “why waste time say lot word when few word do trick?” His boss tells him that “we have a word code, the same way we have a dress code.” Kevin’s argument is that he saves time and can create more success. When they ask what he will use the time for, he says “see world,” which Jim points out as a confusing statement because he could mean that he wants to “see the world” or he could mean that he wants to go to “SeaWorld.”
You might think that you can get by with bad grammar because you know what you mean, but the reason we even care about grammar in the first place is because we need to have standards for when we interact with others. Part of what makes it so difficult to master English is that we have all sorts of tricks in our language that make things harder. We love to play with words and double down on meanings. It can sometimes lead to major problems when things evolve over and over again.
One example I thought was hilariously ironic came on an episode of Ebro Darden’s radio show where he was talking about the come-up. He was trying to express the idea that many immigrants come to America in search of the American Dream. You come in search of a better life because there is more opportunity to enter lucrative industry here. He wanted to compliment recent immigrants for their hard work, but it came out wrong when he said that “immigrants come to America to get their comeuppance.” I get what he means, but if you took that quote out of context and tweeted it from Donald Trump’s account, the same phrase would start a cavalcade of late night talk show mockery.
Just because you understand you, it does not mean that others will understand you. Search grammar tutors near me to find someone in your area that can help you master English. You can become a master at essay writing with the help of good grammar.
There are a ton of great resources that work with your computer to make sure that your grammar is great before you ever go to a paid resource. Spell check is the most common and well-known checks when it comes to making sure that your grammar is correct, but Grammarly has entered as a stronger way to check and instantly fix mistakes in your writing. In one of their testimonial commercials, a Japanese sushi chef talks about how helpful it has been in his life. He kept seeing questions asked online about techniques in making sushi and wanted to share his knowledge with others. He started with a few blog posts a week, but expanded to write an entire book on sushi two years later. He credits Grammarly as the resource that helped him because English is his second language and he would not have been able to communicate so clearly without the help of the software.
With stories like that, you might wonder why you would ever need the help of private grammar tutoring. It is a lot of money to invest for something that you can fix for free with the help of the professionals who designed the grammar software. The reason that you want to supplement the free help with paid help is that a grammar tutor can notice the bad habits that you are forming and fix them.
Chances are, if you are making mistakes and letting Grammarly fix them, you are not learning lessons with every change. In most cases, you just trust the program and let it make changes where it sees fit. But doing so, you might miss things that it is picking up that you intended a different way. I notice that when I use Grammarly, I end up only listening to it around half of the time. The other times, it suggests pluralizing words or other changes that might be correct in other contexts, but not the one I am in. Even on the section about tutoring above, Grammarly wanted me to use "complement" instead of "compliment," even though I was right that "compliment" is correct there.
One day, the issues of Grammarly might be a thing of the past. It could probably leave your papers with perfect grammar in the end. But when you work with a tutor, you can fix problems at the root, making sure that they never arise again. If you are struggling and want to improve, search for grammar tutoring near me.
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