Grammar Guide

Sometimes, when writing a post or article, it seems that readers may wonder why certain grammatical rules are being used. This page addresses some of the “whys” behind the grammar in those posts.

Items will be added to this page as necessary.



  • Hyphenating a compound adjective before a noun. Compound adjectives that come before a noun are often hyphenated. In the post “Using ‘Starting Over’ as a Storytelling Motif,”  the term “starting over” itself is not an adjective—but when put before a noun (as in “starting-over idea”), it does become a compound adjective, and in such cases, should be hyphenated.Exceptions include terms that are generally found in the dictionary, such as “brand new.” For example, you would not talk about your “brand-new car” but your “brand new car.”

Formatting (Italicizing, Bolding, Etc.)

Publication and article names. In most cases, names of either larger works or full works containing smaller pieces are italicized; this may not be true if you are using a style guide that says otherwise, but this is the widely accepted practice.

Articles within such a publication are generally mentioned within quotation marks.