I am the proud owner of a summer cold. I can tell you right now that I need to get better ASAP because I have had a turkey defrosting since Monday (I defrost it in a cooler so it takes a while) and I do not want to stuff/roast a turkey and mash potatoes, etc., while I’m sick.
In order to speed health along, I spent most of the day crashed on the couch. I had the energy levels of a semi-dead slug. But, always eager to redeem the time, I decided to work on getting my YA novel ready. Okay, here’s the problem. Why is it that I always run into weird grammar problems that can’t be answered by The Chicago Manual of Style or Google? Surely, I’m not the only person in the world who has these questions. For example, how do you capitalize these sentences?
You were voted class nerd.
You were voted Mr. Popularity.
They called you The Fish.
Do you use italics because the words are being used as a term and not what the word itself is used for?
And then there’s my favorite conundrum “that.” Now I know it is a relative pronoun, and I know the difference between “which,” “that,” and “who.” I know that “who” is used for persons. “That” is used for restrictive clauses. And “which” is used for non-restrictive clauses and thus must take commas because it is parenthetical. (Unless it’s the object of a preposition. Or unless you’re British, in which case, you don’t use commas with “which.”)
M’kay, so we have the usage down. But then, I read books and there are no whichs or thats where they’re supposed to be. And it’s not even in dialogue. So what’s up with that?! Can you just leave them out if you so feel led? Is it a readability issue?
Ariel watched me pour over grammar tomes and asked how long I’d wasted on this fruitless project. I told her (that?) I had no idea and I didn’t want to know. She pointed out that if I couldn’t find the answer after all that work, probably no one cared either way.
Ack! She may be right, but I care. So now I pose the question to you all. Do you have any ideas? I’m sure that I’m not the only grammar junkie out there. Help me, please. Thanks.