Category Archives: Blogs

Brilliante Weblog Winners

I am lucky enough to have been awarded the Brilliante Weblog Premio 2008 by two blogs so far: first Readerville, a great blog about books and literature, and The Modern Gal, one of my favorite blogs, about life, love and all things girly.  Thanks so much, ladies!

Tradition dictates that you pass this award on to seven favorite bloggers of yours.  Here are my favorites:

  1. Crazy Days and Nights — This celebrity blog is written by an anonymous entertainment lawyer who has connections to the stars and therefore has TONS of information nobody else has.  He also releases eight blind items each week and does mass blind item reveals twice a year — if you’re even only mildly into celebrities, you MUST check the blind item reveals out!!  They are incredible!
  2. On Common Ground — I got my current job because of this blog!!  The writer, The Missus, and I became blog friends last fall.  I told my friends that this blogger had the life I wanted to have ten years from now (great job, married, living in the South End), and boom — now I work for her!  She blogs a few times a day about life, funny incidents, fashion and bikram yoga.
  3. Megorious — In this case, I knew the writer before I knew the blog, but this guy is so hilarious.  I love his writing.  He combines original writings and videos with links to politics, news and strange things.  And nothing can top his Republican Chat Room Debate.  It’s one of the most creative and funny things I’ve read in a long time.
  4. Hot Chicks With Douchebags — because there are few greater pleasures in life than laughing at Jersey guidos and the girls who love them.  I went to college in Connecticut with a LOT of guys like this.  The spiky hair, the bling, the muscle tees, the faux gang hand gestures…
  5. Serving Up Life…One Latte at a Time — I love personal blogs, especially those that chronicle people’s lives, and CelticBuffy has one of the best ones out there.  She’s a single mom and she’s incredibly honest about her feelings, which is a rarity these days.  At the same time, she keeps it totally anonymous, unlike me.
  6. Kate’s Wedding Blog — If/when I get married, it’s going to be quick, private and simple — think Vegas, courthouse or maybe a deserted beach.  That being said, I LOVE the concept of wedding planning, especially fashion and decor, and Kate has amazing style.  Sometimes I’ll see something in a store and think of her!
  7. Random Ramblings About My Crazy Life — Vanessa’s blog, to me, is the perfect representation of what the modern American woman’s blog is today.  From contests to BlogHer to recipes to wonderings, her audience always comes first.  Her entries are always written with her readers in mind.

If you’re looking for more blogs to add to your Google Reader, any of these would make a worthy addition.

The German Grammar Vandal

I’m very happy to post this next entry.

One of my readers, Christina — better known in the comments as “junior alien” – has been reading this blog for quite some time.  She is from Germany and she’s a fan of the English language, especially of the errors found in advertisements and street signs.

So, what did she do?

She started the German version of The Grammar Vandal — Sprachvandali.  Check it out!

I know a little German — and he’s sitting over there!  Badum-ching!

Seriously, though, even after living with a German girl for almost a year and traveling to the Jungfrau region of Switzerland, my German is limited to danke schoen, prost and lederhosen.  (Thank you very much, cheers and funny traditional German garb for men.)

Check it out!

Thanks to Christina for reading my site and being lovely enough to create her own grammar blog!

Now blogging from WordPress!

I have now finally, finally, finally made the long-awaited switch to WordPress, at the insistence of many of my friends (particularly Ryan).  I started working on this a few months ago, but it was the horrible cold that I’ve had for the past few days that gave me the gift of time to actually finish it!

What do you think?  Are any of you largely for or against Blogger or WordPress?

Do you like the layout?  The image at the top was designed by my friend (and WordPress lover) Andy over the summer.

At this point in time, what I’m looking forward to most is being able to write posts in advance and arrange for them to post at certain times.  This way, I’ll be able to get posts in every day, even on the days when I’m out of the house from 8:00 AM until midnight or later.

Thoughts?

For those of you missing dlipkin….

One of my most prolific commentators, dlipkin, hasn’t been on the blog lately, and for the greatest reason possible — he’s spending a few months touring the world with his girlfriend!

He just arrived in Singapore after some time in New Zealand. He just started writing in his blog, which you can check out here. There are some links to pictures, too. I hope he writes more — it’s great so far!

Hope you’re having a blast, Derek — and I hope to follow in your footsteps within a few years!

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

After my interview on NPR, I received a message from Jane Straus, a popular grammar writer and author of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation. I hadn’t heard of the book before, but I was so glad to learn about it!

The book is excellent. It’s part tutorial and part workbook. The rules are explained really well and the voice is lovely. I’ve got a copy of my own!

Jane has a great grammar Web site, grammarbook.com. She features much content from the book, in addition to grammar quizzes, Youtubes and a blog of her own.

If there’s anything in particular that you should check out on the site, it’s the newsletter. I highly recommend subscribing.

Also, the next edition will feature an endorsement from me on the back cover!

Check it out. I’m so glad that I met Jane. She’s my Californian counterpart, and she knows her stuff!

En francais!


I first saw this on the “Good Grammar Is Hot” group on Facebook. Since my (film major) sister just saw Pulp Fiction for the first time, I knew I had to put it up. For those of you who don’t know, in France, they call a quarter pounder a “Royale with cheese.”

I saw this picture and knew that it was incorrect French grammar. First of all, fromage is the correct spelling of the word for cheese. Also, it’s technically called une royale avec du fromage. I showed it to my coworker Spence.

It turns out that the grammar was incorrect on purpose.
There is this zany, weird site called I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER. Spence is a big fan, and he showed me. You have to check it out — it’s so weird! It’s pictures of animals saying weird, grammatically incorrect and somewhat gangsta things.
It’s inspirational — my friend Tricia has an adorable dog named Bandit whose Facebook profile reads like the entire site.
This is weird stuff — enjoy!

A World of NO

I’m sorry for the oversaturation with People.com, but my friend Marie sent this to me, and it is SO bad that I have to repost it with corrections.

I never really mentioned it on here, but I’ve decided to avoid regular blogs. Why? I’m not quite sure. I don’t think that ANYONE deserves a pass, but the fact is….I like a lot of blogs with terrible grammar. I admire bloggers that work tirelessly to make us laugh, and in terms of inspiration, I don’t want to bite the hand that feeds me.

Off The Rack, however, is not one of my favorites. This is People Magazine’s official fashion blog. That puts it into the same category as journalism, in my book. Of all people, they should know best.

This is one of the worst examples I have EVER seen. Here we go:

Dita Von Teese’s Beauty Secrets

Dita von Teese is the ultimate in pin up girl beauty: flawless, milky white skin, perfectly tonged hair — and have you seen that body?! When PEOPLE caught up with her at a MAC Viva Glam event in London this week, we wanted to know all of her beauty secrets. “I do yoga and pilates” she revealed as her tiny frame wafted past in a silver mermaid-esque Dior gown. “I also do my best to get my beauty sleep which means knowing when the party is over!” And, how does she maintain that perfectly porcelain skin? “Sunscreen is very important but there isn’t one miracle cream, we’re all different.” After performing in a pink Swarovski crystal cow girl outfit (which off course was quickly removed) complete with crystal covered Christian Louboutin boots to perform her risqué burlesque style strip tease, she switched back her glamorous gown and went clubbing with her girlfriends, dutifully leaving at 1.30am, with a sneaky yawn on the way out. At least she practices what she preaches.

Sentence 1: Dita von Teese is the ultimate in pin up girl beauty: flawless, milky white skin, perfectly tonged hair — and have you seen that body?!

1) Pin up is incorrect — pinup is the term describing bombshell women of the 1940s whose posters provided tantalization for soldiers during World War II.

2) Flawless, milky white skin doesn’t work. The most correct version would be “flawless, milk-white skin” or “flawless, milky, white skin.” “Milky white” has become a bit of a colloquialism, so an argument could be made for that.

Sentence 2: When PEOPLE caught up with her at a MAC Viva Glam event in London this week, we wanted to know all of her beauty secrets.

No egregious errors. I’m not a fan of the writer’s style, though.

Sentence 3: “I do yoga and pilates” she revealed as her tiny frame wafted past in a silver mermaid-esque Dior gown.

3) You’re missing a comma. It should read, “I do yoga and pilates,” she revealed.

4) Tiny frame wafted past? Does a frame waft? I don’t think so. This writer got cruisazy with the thesaurus. (Don’t knock cruisazy. It’s one of my favorite words — you should see katesadventures.com! I’ve actually got a few of my friends saying it now.)

A better option would be to say, “She glided past, her tiny frame wrapped in a silver mermaid-esque Dior gown.” (Gorgeous gown. You should see the pictures. I love Dita’s fashion sense.)

Sentence 4: “I also do my best to get my beauty sleep which means knowing when the party is over!”

5) Put a comma between sleep and which. Personally, I would have thrown in, “she said with a laugh,” or something along those lines, even if she hadn’t been laughing, because the quote sounds a bit corny.

Sentence 5: And, how does she maintain that perfectly porcelain skin?

6) That comma is repugnant. It’s not enough to have “and” as its own entity at the beginning of a sentence. Although starting a sentence with the word “and” or “but” is frowned upon in literary circles, many writers (and I include myself in this category) do so, but do so with good style. This writer does not have good style — he or she has no idea what he or she is doing.

7) Porcelain is a noun, not an adjective, even though many claim it as an adjective when describing skin. Perfect porcelain would be a better way of putting it.

Sentence 6: “Sunscreen is very important but there isn’t one miracle cream, we’re all different.”

8) A comma is necessary between important and but. It may seem awkward at first, at least until you finish correcting the sentence, but trust me — this is necessary.

9) Lord, give me a semicolon! Just because people speak in incorrect grammar, it does not give you the license to write dialogue with incorrect grammar. Between cream and we’re, we should either have a semicolon or a period.

Sentence 7: After performing in a pink Swarovski crystal cow girl outfit (which off course was quickly removed) complete with crystal covered Christian Louboutin boots to perform her risqué burlesque style strip tease, she switched back her glamorous gown and went clubbing with her girlfriends, dutifully leaving at 1.30am, with a sneaky yawn on the way out.

10) Cow girl is incorrect. Cowgirl is the correct term.

11) Off course?! OFF COURSE?! Good grief, writer! You should be searching for a new job after word about this gets out, OF COURSE!

12) A comma is needed after the first parentheesis.

13) Crystal covered is incorrect. The boots are covered with crystals and are therefore crystal-covered.

14) I would have simply said burlesque, because burlesque style is incorrect. Another valid alternative would be burlesque-style.

15) Switched back her glamorous gown? That makes no sense. You don’t “switch back” a gown. You may switch back INTO a gown. Adding that word would have made a major improvement.

16) Strip tease is incorrect; striptease is what this grammar vandal is looking for.

17) 1.30am is crude at best. While I personally prefer to write 1:30 AM, most newspapers accept 1:30 a.m. as the correct form of writing time.

18) Leaving with a sneaky yawn, again, makes no sense. A sneaky yawn is not something with which you leave. And what kinds of yawns are sneaky? I’d say that she left, yawning LAZILY on her way out.

Sentence 8: At least she practices what she preaches.

Correct. And I have still not recovered from the last sentence.

18 errors in eight sentences, all of them confined to six sentences. Can you believe it?

People, I don’t know if you were being charitable by humoring a young writer or were being delusional in allowing this illiterate fool to write content for your website.

You should hire ME to write for you.

This is what you could have had:

Dita von Teese is the ultimate in pinup beauty: flawless skin, perfectly coiffed hair…and have you seen that body?! When PEOPLE caught up with her at a MAC Viva Glam event in London this week, we wanted to know all of her beauty secrets.

“I do yoga and pilates,” she revealed as she glided past, her tiny frame wrapped in a silver mermaid-esque Dior gown. “I also do my best to get my beauty sleep, which means knowing when the party is over!” she added with a laugh.

And how does she maintain that perfect porcelain skin?

“Sunscreen is very important, but there isn’t one miracle cream. We’re all different.”

After performing in a pink Swarovski crystal cowgirl outfit (which, of course, was quickly removed) — complete with crystal-encrusted Christian Louboutin boots — to perform her risqué burlesque striptease, she switched back into her glamorous gown and went clubbing with her girlfriends, dutifully leaving at 1:30 AM, yawning on the way out. At least she practices what she preaches.

I’m serious, People. Hire me. Email me your stuff. I’ll copyedit. You must be aware of how badly you’ve been doing lately in terms of errors. I could make a big difference in your work.

A World of NO

I’m sorry for the oversaturation with People.com, but my friend Marie sent this to me, and it is SO bad that I have to repost it with corrections.

I never really mentioned it on here, but I’ve decided to avoid regular blogs. Why? I’m not quite sure. I don’t think that ANYONE deserves a pass, but the fact is….I like a lot of blogs with terrible grammar. I admire bloggers that work tirelessly to make us laugh, and in terms of inspiration, I don’t want to bite the hand that feeds me.

Off The Rack, however, is not one of my favorites. This is People Magazine’s official fashion blog. That puts it into the same category as journalism, in my book. Of all people, they should know best.

This is one of the worst examples I have EVER seen. Here we go:

Dita Von Teese’s Beauty Secrets

Dita von Teese is the ultimate in pin up girl beauty: flawless, milky white skin, perfectly tonged hair — and have you seen that body?! When PEOPLE caught up with her at a MAC Viva Glam event in London this week, we wanted to know all of her beauty secrets. “I do yoga and pilates” she revealed as her tiny frame wafted past in a silver mermaid-esque Dior gown. “I also do my best to get my beauty sleep which means knowing when the party is over!” And, how does she maintain that perfectly porcelain skin? “Sunscreen is very important but there isn’t one miracle cream, we’re all different.” After performing in a pink Swarovski crystal cow girl outfit (which off course was quickly removed) complete with crystal covered Christian Louboutin boots to perform her risqué burlesque style strip tease, she switched back her glamorous gown and went clubbing with her girlfriends, dutifully leaving at 1.30am, with a sneaky yawn on the way out. At least she practices what she preaches.

Sentence 1: Dita von Teese is the ultimate in pin up girl beauty: flawless, milky white skin, perfectly tonged hair — and have you seen that body?!

1) Pin up is incorrect — pinup is the term describing bombshell women of the 1940s whose posters provided tantalization for soldiers during World War II.

2) Flawless, milky white skin doesn’t work. The most correct version would be “flawless, milk-white skin” or “flawless, milky, white skin.” “Milky white” has become a bit of a colloquialism, so an argument could be made for that.

Sentence 2: When PEOPLE caught up with her at a MAC Viva Glam event in London this week, we wanted to know all of her beauty secrets.

No egregious errors. I’m not a fan of the writer’s style, though.

Sentence 3: “I do yoga and pilates” she revealed as her tiny frame wafted past in a silver mermaid-esque Dior gown.

3) You’re missing a comma. It should read, “I do yoga and pilates,” she revealed.

4) Tiny frame wafted past? Does a frame waft? I don’t think so. This writer got cruisazy with the thesaurus. (Don’t knock cruisazy. It’s one of my favorite words — you should see katesadventures.com! I’ve actually got a few of my friends saying it now.)

A better option would be to say, “She glided past, her tiny frame wrapped in a silver mermaid-esque Dior gown.” (Gorgeous gown. You should see the pictures. I love Dita’s fashion sense.)

Sentence 4: “I also do my best to get my beauty sleep which means knowing when the party is over!”

5) Put a comma between sleep and which. Personally, I would have thrown in, “she said with a laugh,” or something along those lines, even if she hadn’t been laughing, because the quote sounds a bit corny.

Sentence 5: And, how does she maintain that perfectly porcelain skin?

6) That comma is repugnant. It’s not enough to have “and” as its own entity at the beginning of a sentence. Although starting a sentence with the word “and” or “but” is frowned upon in literary circles, many writers (and I include myself in this category) do so, but do so with good style. This writer does not have good style — he or she has no idea what he or she is doing.

7) Porcelain is a noun, not an adjective, even though many claim it as an adjective when describing skin. Perfect porcelain would be a better way of putting it.

Sentence 6: “Sunscreen is very important but there isn’t one miracle cream, we’re all different.”

8) A comma is necessary between important and but. It may seem awkward at first, at least until you finish correcting the sentence, but trust me — this is necessary.

9) Lord, give me a semicolon! Just because people speak in incorrect grammar, it does not give you the license to write dialogue with incorrect grammar. Between cream and we’re, we should either have a semicolon or a period.

Sentence 7: After performing in a pink Swarovski crystal cow girl outfit (which off course was quickly removed) complete with crystal covered Christian Louboutin boots to perform her risqué burlesque style strip tease, she switched back her glamorous gown and went clubbing with her girlfriends, dutifully leaving at 1.30am, with a sneaky yawn on the way out.

10) Cow girl is incorrect. Cowgirl is the correct term.

11) Off course?! OFF COURSE?! Good grief, writer! You should be searching for a new job after word about this gets out, OF COURSE!

12) A comma is needed after the first parentheesis.

13) Crystal covered is incorrect. The boots are covered with crystals and are therefore crystal-covered.

14) I would have simply said burlesque, because burlesque style is incorrect. Another valid alternative would be burlesque-style.

15) Switched back her glamorous gown? That makes no sense. You don’t “switch back” a gown. You may switch back INTO a gown. Adding that word would have made a major improvement.

16) Strip tease is incorrect; striptease is what this grammar vandal is looking for.

17) 1.30am is crude at best. While I personally prefer to write 1:30 AM, most newspapers accept 1:30 a.m. as the correct form of writing time.

18) Leaving with a sneaky yawn, again, makes no sense. A sneaky yawn is not something with which you leave. And what kinds of yawns are sneaky? I’d say that she left, yawning LAZILY on her way out.

Sentence 8: At least she practices what she preaches.

Correct. And I have still not recovered from the last sentence.

18 errors in eight sentences, all of them confined to six sentences. Can you believe it?

People, I don’t know if you were being charitable by humoring a young writer or were being delusional in allowing this illiterate fool to write content for your website.

You should hire ME to write for you.

This is what you could have had:

Dita von Teese is the ultimate in pinup beauty: flawless skin, perfectly coiffed hair…and have you seen that body?! When PEOPLE caught up with her at a MAC Viva Glam event in London this week, we wanted to know all of her beauty secrets.

“I do yoga and pilates,” she revealed as she glided past, her tiny frame wrapped in a silver mermaid-esque Dior gown. “I also do my best to get my beauty sleep, which means knowing when the party is over!” she added with a laugh.

And how does she maintain that perfect porcelain skin?

“Sunscreen is very important, but there isn’t one miracle cream. We’re all different.”

After performing in a pink Swarovski crystal cowgirl outfit (which, of course, was quickly removed) — complete with crystal-encrusted Christian Louboutin boots — to perform her risqué burlesque striptease, she switched back into her glamorous gown and went clubbing with her girlfriends, dutifully leaving at 1:30 AM, yawning on the way out. At least she practices what she preaches.

I’m serious, People. Hire me. Email me your stuff. I’ll copyedit. You must be aware of how badly you’ve been doing lately in terms of errors. I could make a big difference in your work.