December 5, 2022

Modal Auxiliary Verbs

TOPICS: , , , , , ,

Unlike the standard auxiliary verbs "have" and "be," modal auxiliary verbs like "must," "can" and "should" have special properties.

Click player above to listen to the podcast

'Alright' isn't quite 'all right'
Posted by June on December 5, 2022
LABELS: ,

Style guides, notably the Associated Press Stylebook, have long considered “alright” an error: the correct spelling should be “all right,” they say.

But if you're not following a style guide, "alright" isn't so bad. Merriam-Webster is okay with it. Webster's New World College Dictionary calls it a "disputed spelling" of "all right." American Heritage dictionary calls it nonstandard.

So if you want a safe choice, go with "all right." Otherwise, "alright" is alright.

June Casagrande is a writer and journalist whose weekly grammar/humor column, “A Word, Please,” appears in community newspapers in California, Florida, and Texas. more

The Best Punctuation Book, Period

A Comprehensive Guide for Every Writer, Editor, Student, and Businessperson

The most comprehensive punctuation guide ever, “The Best Punctuation Book, Period” doesn’t just cover the basic rules. It delves into gray areas of punctuation left unclear by the other rule books, showing how the rules differ in four different editing styles. There's also an A to Z reference of commonly mispunctuated terms. more

Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies

A Guide to Language for Fun and Spite

What do suicidal pandas, doped-up rock stars, and a naked Pamela Anderson have in common? They’re all a heck of a lot more interesting than reading about predicate nominatives and hyphens. June Casagrande knows this and has invented a whole new twist on the grammar book. more

Mortal Syntax

Mortal Syntax takes on the 101 most frequently attacked usage choices. Dedicating one short chapter to each, Casagrande brings her subject to life, teaching English usage through lively and amusing personal anecdotes. more

It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences

Your story may be brilliant. Your insights may be groundbreaking. Your characters may be so real you can almost touch them. But they're not worth a thing if you can't bring them to life in well-written sentences. more