Author Ellen Jovin answers the country’s grammatical woes


New Hope Pennsylvania – What would you think if you were out for a walk, shopping or doing some other gerund and suddenly a woman on the street gave you a preposition – “Here’s my grammar table”.

You might be thinking, who is this crazy woman? Who thought grammar was so important that she set up a table to talk about it?

“Because I like grammar so much,” Alan Chauvin told CBS News. “It’s the anchor – like now we’re using words. It’s not even going to happen. We’re just looking at each other.”

as my first 2019 coverage, Jovin runs a company that trains business communicators. But her real passion is linguistics. So, to share her knowledge and have some fun, Jovin has set up her grammar desks around New York City, where she lives.

It went so well, she took the table to America’s collective noun.

“I took it all over the country and it was so much fun,” she said.

Jovin even wrote a book about the experience called Rebellion with Terms.

I met her in New Hope, Pennsylvania, where Jovin reminded people how to represent sentences with diagrams, explained when to use who and who, and even answered a question I’ve always wondered about – does a period have to be in quotes or is it ok Do you go out sometimes?

“It’s always in there,” she said.

But she said her favorite part was resolving grammatical disputes between husband and wife.

“In my experience, usually if a couple shows up, usually that woman is right,” she said. “I mean, with my limited experience.”

She hung me outside like a dangling modifier. But you have to love her enthusiasm.

So far, Chauvin has visited 47 of the 50 states. Those experiences, she said, proved to her that Americans are far more interested in grammar than some cynical journalist would like you to believe. She might be right. I mean, someone who runs a red light just needs to know, and then there, do you always capitalize after the colon?

“If it’s just one sentence, there’s absolutely no upper limit,” she told him.

It made her very happy. In her never-ending quest, it’s a more apt usage for better wording for all of us.


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