Merry and Pippin’s Hall of Grammar Mistakes

Disclaimer: I do not own Merry or Pippin. They popped by and asked if I’d like a day off since they’d like to guest post on my blog. I said yes, and here they are!

Hello, fellow hobbits of the Shire and any other man, dwarf, elf, or other creature reading this today! Merry here. Pippin and I have been learning so much about grammar we’ve been nominated as Grammar Guards, dedicated to protecting English usage throughout the Shire.  We even have special uniforms we wear when we’re out on patrol! We’ve been finding grammar mistakes all across the land. Today, we’ve rounded up a couple we’ve spotted and are sharing them in what Pippin has dubbed “The Hall of Grammar Mistakes.” Now, Pippin, put down that carrot and bring me the first card. No, not that one. That other one.

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We saw this mistake on an appointment card for a dentist. (Didn’t know we had those in Middle Earth, did you?). Pippin was there because he needed a tooth pulled. He had cracked it when he fell off a table while he was dancing at the Green Dragon. He hit his head on the edge of the table, and that poor tooth just cracked in half. Ouch! There was so much blood! Rosie was so mad that we had made such a mess that she threw us out of the Green Dragon with a prohibition against any future dancing on tables.  Anyway, when we received the appointment card, Pippin saw this mistake right away. He kept pointing to it because he couldn’t speak with all that gauze in his mouth, of course, and I finally realized what he was trying to tell me. There’s not supposed to be a comma between appointment and is. We both agree a misplaced comma is a loss to everyone.

thankyou

One of our fellow hobbits sent us a letter with this ending as a “thank you” for the wonderful apples Pippin shared with him. Unfortunately, the letter’s closing is incorrect. Pippin suggested he should change it to read “Thank you. From, Unknown Hobbit” (The name has been changed to protect the identity of this hobbit.) Then, Pippin told him he wouldn’t share any more apples until he had fixed his grammar mistake. Now the two are no longer talking. Perhaps you took your authority as a Grammar Guard a bit too far there, Pip!

Screenshot_2014-10-23-16-41-24

This was spotted in song lyrics. We were supposed to be practicing singing for a birthday party when Pippin suddenly stopped singing and pointed to the page. “It should be ‘you’re my hope’ instead of ‘your my hope’,” he explained to the other mystified hobbits. Thankfully, one of the hobbits had quill and ink, and we were able to fix the grammar mistake before anyone else saw it. Grammar Guards to the rescue again!

Officers could not find the third person, beloved to be a man.

I was reading my local Shire newspaper one fine morning with a cup of hot tea when I found this mistake. I almost spit my tea out I was so horrified! Even though this isn’t a grammar mistake, the Grammar Guards had to take action! I showed our local Shire editor, and he was very apologetic. Because of that (and the fact that he offered me a strawberry tart), I didn’t see the need to arrest him for the mistake.

Even though we’ve been appointed Grammar Guards with special uniforms, we’re still learning about grammar ourselves.  We’re not perfect (and sometimes we even make grammar mistakes!), but we try our best to correct grammar throughout the Shire and help our fellow hobbits learn. We’ll be back another time with more grammar errors to add to the Hall of Grammar Mistakes.

Have you found any horrible or funny grammar mistakes before? If so, what were they? Let us know in the comments below!

~ Merry and Pippin

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Grammar Rule – Commas and Adjectives

Disclaimer: I don’t own Merry or Pippin. They just popped by and asked if they could help out. So, of course, I said yes. 🙂

“Pippin, I’m writing a story about our adventures in Isengard, and I can’t seem to remember something.” Merry chewed on the end of his quill pen.

“Well, I’m here to help!” Pippin bit into an apple. “What do you need to know?”

“Was Legolas’s hair ‘long, lovely’ or was it ‘long lovely?” wondered Merry. “I think I need a comma between the two words.”

“And I was just about to say you didn’t,” Pippin sighed. “I don’t know which is correct.”

Merry looked forlornly down. How was he supposed to finish his story without knowing whether to use a comma or not? This was a grammar conundrum indeed. Luckily, Merry and Pippin, all you have to do is read this post, and you’ll find the answer to your question!

Let’s start by defining what an adjective is. An adjective is a word that describes a noun or pronoun. Black, seven, pretty, mad, cozy, soft, and hungry are all examples of adjectives. Now that we know what an adjective is, we can answer Merry and Pippin’s grammar question.

Legolas’s long, lovely hair is his pride and joy.

If you can interchange the adjectives and the sentence still makes sense, then you need a comma. For example, if you say Legolas’s lovely, long hair instead of long, lovely hair the sentence still makes sense. That means you need a comma between the two adjectives.

Tauriel is jealous of Legolas’s silky, shiny hair.

Another way of telling if you need a comma is to see if an “and” could be added between the two adjectives logically. It still makes sense if the wording is silky and shiny hair instead of silky, shiny hair. That means a comma is needed.

Legolas’s brown leather armor goes well with his hair.

There is no need to put a comma between brown and leather because you can’t exchange the adjectives or add an “and” and have the sentence still make sense. You wouldn’t say leather brown armor or leather and brown armor, so you wouldn’t need a comma.

Legolas’s sharp elven knives were a gift from Thranduil.

You cannot switch the adjectives here. Elven sharp knives just doesn’t make sense, so no comma is needed.

“I guess you were right, Merry. It does need a comma!” Pippin noted as Merry carefully wrote out the words “long” and “lovely” in the book, being sure to include a comma.

“I’m glad I know the difference now. I’d hate not to be able to finish my story. I’m going to call it How Two Hobbits Took Down Isengard and Plundered Isengard’s Salted Pork. I still think it’ll be better than Frodo’s story, The Lord of the Rings.”

“At least it will have correct comma usage!” Pippin said, leaving his friend to continue working on his story.

Merry and Pippin say thank you for reading! 🙂

~ Kayla

Writing Habits Questionnaire

A few days ago, I read a post on a blog I follow, Like Star Filled Skies, featuring a questionnaire she had borrowed from another blog. After reading through her answers (which you can find here http://likestarfilledskies.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/writing-habits-questionnaire/), I wanted to get in on the fun and answer the questionnaire as well!

Writing Habits 

1. Typed or Handwritten?

Typed, definitely. I can’t think unless I’m typing. And with my messy handwriting I would lose half the ideas I’d write down just because I couldn’t decypher them. I always wanted to write longhand since a notebook is easier to carry than a computer, but alas, it just doesn’t work for me.

2. Cursive or Printed?

My handwriting leans more to the printed side, though, it occasionally crosses over to the cursive side.

3. Show us your favourite pen.

My favorite pens

My favorite pens

My favorite pens are a couple of colored PaperMate InkJoy pens and a Foray Rolle rollerball I used to use for inking my drawings.

4. Where do you like to write?

I like to write on my bed since it’s more comfortable for long writing sessions. I also write on the couch if I need a change of scenery.

5. Who are your five favorite authors in terms of authorial style?

J. R. R. Tolkien, Brian Jacques, Ted Dekker, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Chautona Havig.

6. What are your three favourite books on writing?

Writing Conversations by Cherie K. Miller and Go Teen Writers: How to Turn Your First Draft Into A Published Book by Stephanie Morrill and Jill Williamson. I don’t have a third, yet.

7. Have you ever competed in NaNoWriMo?

Yes, in 2013 I did the YWP NaNoWriMo. It was my first one.

8. Have you ever won NaNoWriMo?

Yes! I won last year with 40,000 words (my goal was 35,000), and I’m currently editing that novel.

9. Have you ever had anything published?

No, not yet. 🙂

10. What projects are you working on now?

I’m currently editing my NaNoWriMo novel, working on fanfiction for The Desolation of Smaug, and fighting the urge to stay focused on editing instead of starting two other novels that desperately want to be written. 😉

11. What is your soundtrack to writing?

I typically listen to movie soundtracks while writing. My favorites are The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Pirates of the Caribbean, Thor, and How to Train Your Dragon. I do occasionally listen to Owl City or my character’s theme songs while writing if I’m feeling uninspired.

12. Do you have a writing pump-up song?

I don’t have a specific one, but listening to one of the songs that reminds me of one of my characters always inspires me to write their story.

What would be your answers to these questions? Post them in the comments below. 🙂

~ Kayla

An Interesting Word – Snickersnee

It is the Council of Elrond. Frodo has just told the Council he will take the Ring to Mordor, and Gandalf has agreed to help him see it done. Suddenly, Aragorn stands up and says, “If by my life or death I can protect you, I will. You have my snickersnee!” Wait a minute. That’s not exactly what happened, is it? You, the viewer of all Middle Earth movies, would protest. What is Aragorn talking about? Is he speaking in Elvish? Aragorn could pledge his life, honor, or sword, but his snickersnee?

Well, it turns out that if Aragorn had pledged his snickersnee to protect Frodo, he would have been correct. A snickersnee, according to The Free Online Dictionary, is an archaic word that means “a knife resembling a sword” or “the act of fighting with knives.” According to http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=snickersnee, the term snickersnee was first used in the 1690’s and comes from the term “snick-or-snee” which was in turn derived from the Dutch phrase “steken of snijden” meaning to stick and to cut. 

There’s a Louis Carroll poem, Jabberwocky, that mentions something similar to snickersnee, a snicker-snack.

“One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.”

There’s also another quote that includes a snickersnee from W. S. Gilbert in The Mikado.

“Oh, never shall I / Forget the cry, / Or the shriek that shrieked he, / As I gnashed my teeth, / When from its sheath / I drew my snickersnee!”

Here’s a video that includes the definitions of some other interesting words, including snickersnee:

Since you can’t have too much Lord of the Rings, I included the extended edition Council of Elrond scene. Just imagine Aragorn saying, “You have my snickersnee!.” 😉

If you’d like to know more about this cool word, you can read about it here:

http://www.worldwidewords.org/weirdwords/ww-sni1.htm

If you have a unquenchable desire to own a snickersnee, then I have great news for you! You can buy one off of Ebay!

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR12.TRC2.A0.H0.Xsnickersnee&_nkw=snickersnee&_sacat=0&_from=R40

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

Writing Sample – Incident at The Green Dragon Inn – Part 3

Today I’m posting the third and final part of my crossover fanfiction, Incident at The Green Dragon. For a quick recap, Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes have walked into the Green Dragon and have found it populated by children, one of whom is named Rosie Cotton. Here’s the conclusion:

Holmes started to stand up, and having forgotten the decreased ceiling height, bumped his head on the rafters. “We are leaving, my dear fellow!” he cried, starting to make his way towards the door, then stopped and turned back to Miss Cotton, who was filling up a tankard. “Excuse me, miss, but a question.”

She sat the foaming mug down on a nearby table and smiled, “Sure. What can I do for you?”

“Do you have a black spaniel, of the Shoscombe breed?”

“No, but we do have a black pig named Clovis. Why?” giggled Miss Cotton.

“It is my business to know what other people do not know, and to ask questions.” Holmes began again for the door, and again stopped. “The links in this chain are almost complete. The final link is you, my dear girl. I have come to the conclusion that you are descended from a race of Halflings, and as the name suggests, a type of dwarf.”

I had no doubt that he was right, but Miss Cotton gave him a look as if he were mad, “A dwarf? I am not a dwarf, but a Hobbit! You’re in Hobbiton after all! You won’t find any dwarves here, though it’s been said that Mr. Baggins had some strange visitors once.”

“I see,” Holmes said, though as one who had known him for so long, I could tell that he did not ‘see.’

We fell silent for a moment, before I inquired, now more eager than ever to leave this strange place that had baffled even Holmes, “And this Bree place is towards the east?”

“Mm-hmm,” she agreed. “Perhaps this London place is towards the west? I’ve never been over there.”

Holmes opened the small door, “Come Watson!” He tipped his hat towards the girl as he stepped out into the sunshine. “Thank you, Miss Cotton!”

“I believe I may have taken a wrong turn, Watson,” he confessed after the door closed behind us, and we walked down the path towards the west.

The End

Dear Dr. Watson,

Thank you for that narrative you sent me. It was most intriguing, and it has helped me immensely as I believe I have finally, at long last, struck upon an idea and setting for my novel. It will start in that place which you have visited called The Shire with a hobbit named Frodo Baggins. I plan to have this Frodo Baggins character go on a great adventure throughout the world in which he lives. When I finish my work, I will send both you and Holmes a copy. I am considering calling the novel, “The Lord of the Rings.”

Yours Sincerely,
J.R.R. Tolkien
Oxford, England

Thank you for reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed all three parts of the Incident at The Green Dragon Inn.

~ Kayla