§ 48. Learn how to find reliable answers to questions of grammar and usage.



Correct the usage errors in the following sentences. Cite a usage book that deals with the error in each sentence.


Take two of the usage guides recommended here and find two others not mentioned. Be prepared to report on each guide's answers to the following questions:

  1. Is it ever permissible to split an infinitive? If so, when?
  2. Where should an adverb go in relation to a verb phrase? That is, not an infinitive, but a verb phrase.
  3. Is it grammatically correct to begin a sentence with And?
  4. Which is correct: self-deprecating or self-depreciating?
  5. What is elegant variation? Is it good or bad?
  6. What is a fused participle? Is it ever acceptable to use one?
  7. What is the difference between historic and historical?
  8. What is the difference between farther and further?


Prepare a bibliography of ten usage guides, including at least three of the ones listed in this section. Write a one-paragraph comment on each book's strengths and weaknesses.

   Previous  - Exercise -  Next