Web Smarts


what: the english language can be wonderfully confusing. Adjectival phrases and dangling participles can trip up more than a few people. But not Mary Bruder. The grammar lady - as she is affectionately known - will give you the lowdown on everything from gerunds to intransitive verbs.

BEST POINTS: You can ask the grammar lady your most befuddling questions. Call her directly at 800-279-9708 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. You can also send your question via e-mail to mary@grammarlady.com. Browse through several intriguing grammatical questions. For example, what's the difference between the words "fewer" and "less"? Fewer refers to things that can be counted, while less refers to the amount of things. So all those grocery store checkout lines that say "three items or less" are grammatically incorrect.

The "columns" portion of the site has more questions and answers about some off-the-wall grammar issues. The writing is intelligent, precise, and often witty. Read "The typos of the week," a hilarious collection of grammar mistakes and misspellings that proves you can't rely on a spell-checker.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: In order to look through parts of the site, you have to enter a password and some user information. Ms. Bruder has her Ph.D in linguistics and taught linguistics and English as a second language at the University of Pittsburgh.

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