Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Lolly,Lolly,Lolly get your adverbs here....

As we learned in school or from Schoolhouse Rock, adverbs are a part of speech that modifies other parts of our language, like verbs and clauses. They tell us the where, when, and why things happen.

Do you remember the song from television? If you’re too young to remember maybe go to your local library and borrow the Schoolhouse Rock DVD. I did and my son loved it. He no longer wonders WHY I walk around singing these silly songs because they are now embedded in his mind too as he finds himself singing them.

Conjunctions are words that connect other groups of words. Words like AND, BUT, OR, FOR, YET, NOR and SO. Remember they all have fewer than four letters.

These cute little coordinating conjunctions need to be used with special care in your writing. Just like the adverb, overuse can kill your beautiful writing. I see so many of my fellow beginner writer’s (and some old shoes) still over-using the word AND and BUT. I myself tend to over-use the word ‘then’ and ‘so’ to the point I even annoy myself. I have since learned to keep my eye out on these mishaps, make myself aware and trying not to over-use them in my creative writing. (note: then and now are not coordinating conjunctions)

Run-on Sentences

These are annoying sentences to me also. Often after a re-read you’ll see that YOU too have some of these run-on sentences. There is a fix for the problem. Try and watch what you write to make sure that you’re not just letting off steam and allowing it to flow onto the keyboard blatantly displayed on your screen. Form a complete sentence. If you see two of them, then more than likely you have a run on sentence.

The links to the words, ADVERBS, CONJUNCTIONS and RUN-ON SENTENCES can more than explain all of the intricate details of the correct sentence structure. (The TITLE is a link to School House Rock!)I am no English major for sure and as I plug away at my writing I am finding a need to rediscover all the grammar that escaped me. This is why I am sharing it with you, my reader. You are on this journey with me and we can learn all the ins and outs together.

Now remember this, DON’T over-use adverbs, conjunctions or run-ons. Sure we need the adverb, we love the conjunction BUT refrain from over-using them to where the reader is not finding your work interesting or intriguing, BUT annoying.

As writers we want to reel the reader in with our craft and knowledge, our prose and style. Don’t let the reader get bored by saying, "There is just too much of this and that."

Find your niche, then decide in revision if it is over-done. Eliminate what doesn’t MOVE THE STORY ALONG!

Rock On on Writers!

FYI: The picture today is of the Baltimore Inner Harbor Skyline, taken from on top of Federal Hill.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post! Useful and fun with your style of writing about grammar. You would make a fun grammar teacher. =D
I over-use some of those fellows and some of the cute words. I am trying to pay more attention as I write -I deleted a 'but' already.
Thanks for the PS too, I was wondering about the pic.