Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dark Knight; Your, you are and you're; Plus diagramming sentences

I will probably be mentioning websites of which you have never heard. But for me, that is a daily occurrence. My youngest daughter introduced me to the other day and I know all of her friends were already acquainted with that website. An age and interest thing, I guess. Maybe need to know. They are still in the baby stage, while I have graduated to writing books. That daughter also introduced me to Shabby Blogs ( where I got the design for the logo of this blog. Talented girls! Thank you for sharing!

Having now mastered (?) a website, a blog, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon author, Goodreads author and Library Thing author, I am almost overwhelmed that there are others out there that must be tackled. But that's another day. Today we have lunch with child and grandchild number one and go to see the Dark Knight. We hope to survive. Later we go to dinner with a friend battling cancer.

Back to the writing process. Folks tell me constantly that they depend upon Spell Check to make sure their manuscripts have correctly spelled words. Can spell check tell the difference between you are, you're, and your; they are, they're and their? Can you?
You are is a subject and a verb. (You are coming tonight with the crowd.)
You're is a contraction of the two words you and are together. (You're coming tonight with the crowd.) 
Your is a possessive pronoun. (Is this your book?)
That is a very important difference that spell check cannot pick up, but an educated person can.

If I say aren't you coming tonight, what I am really saying is are you not coming tonight and therefore aren't is a contraction of the words are and not

If I were to diagram that sentence it would look something like this:
you (subject)  |  are coming (verb)
                                 \not     (adverb modifying are coming)
They are is a subject and verb. (They are in the car.) 
They (sub) | are (verb)
                       \in (preposition)
                          \car (objective of the preposition)
                                    \ the (adjective modifying car)
They're is a contraction of the two words they and are together. (They're in the car.)
Their is a possessive pronoun used as an adjective to modify. (This is their car.)

Is all of this coming back to you? If it isn't, perhaps this is a self-study you should pursue that will help your grammar.

Let me remind you that from what I hear, editors take one look at a manuscript and make a first impression. Will they read it or toss it in the round file? What impression will your manuscript give an editor? First impressions matter whether with a personal interview or a manuscript on an editor's desk.

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