Letter writing might seem like a bygone tradition. And while it is true that emails, texts, FB messages, Snap Chats, and more have greatly reduced the number of “formal letters,” we still want to know how to use commas in writing them—and maybe by gaining confidence in our letter-writing-comma-skills, we will write letters more often.
M is for MAJOR WORKS AND MINOR WORKS!
Are you as ready to move on from this topic as I am? With teaching it to one hundred students last week and writing about it here several times, I am just about “major and minored” out! However, we can’t leave such a misunderstood topic without a quiz!
So here you go…..Decide in each sentence provide whether the title is a major work or minor work. (Answers below.)
1. I used the encyclopedia essay titled Mammals for my report.
2. I just got a new cd called Ballads for the Ballroom. (That sounds like a good idea–I should do that!)
3. Have you ever read the book The Red Badge of Courage?
4. My favorite dance song on my new cd is Could I Have This Dance?
5. She assigned five chapters this week, starting with Non-Essential Information. (You guess it, LL readers–that is what we are going to study this week on here!)
6. They said we could consult Wikipedia, but we aren’t allowed to cite it.
7. Our new favorite boxed television show is Person of Interest.
8. I haven’t received a Reader’s Digest magazine in years.
9. My favorite composition series is Meaningful Composition.
10. I am using their bonus book right now, called The SAT Essay and Other Timed Writing.
|Image from Marketmybook|
ANSWERS! Major Works are shown with Italics; Minor Works are shown with quotation marks. Explanations are in parentheses following each sentence.
1. I used the encyclopedia essay titled, “Mammals,” for my report. (Encyclopedia essay title is a Minor Work--found within the encyclopedia, whose title is a Major Work.)
2. I just got a new cd called Ballads for the Ballroom. (Musical compilation titles are Major Works–the song titles on/in the compilation are Minor Works.)
3. Have you ever read the book The Red Badge of Courage? (Book titles are Major Works–the chapter titles within the book are Minor Works.)
4. My favorite dance song on my new cd is “Could I Have This Dance?” (Song titles are Minor Works–the title of the songbook or cd that contains the song is the Major Work.)
5. She assigned five chapters this week, starting with “Non-Essential Information.” (Chapter titles are Minor Works–the title of the book containing the chapters is the Major Work.)
6. They said we could consult Wikipedia, but we aren’t allowed to cite it. (Encyclopedia titles are Major Works–the titles of the essays within the encyclopedia are Minor Works.)
7. Our new favorite boxed television show is Person of Interest. (Television show titles are Major Works–the titles of the scenes or chapters within the program are Minor Works.)
8. I haven’t received a Reader’s Digest magazine in years. (Magazine or journal titles are Major Works–the titles of the articles within the magazine/journal are Minor Works.)
9. My favorite composition series is Meaningful Composition. (Book titles are Major Works–the chapters within the book are Minor Works.)
10. I am using their bonus book right now, called The SAT Essay and Other Timed Writing. (Book titles are Major Works–the chapters within the book are Minor Works.)
|“April Showers Bring May Flowers”|
For flower lovers and grammar lovers, here is some vital info on capitalizing names of flowers:
1. Do NOT capitalize names of flowers that do not already contain proper noun elements:
2. DO capitalize any part of :
a. black-eyed Susan
b. African daisy.
I am adding a new little feature to LL 365–the holidays for that month capitalized and punctated properly (well, relatively so!). Many holidays come and people wonder, “Do you cap Day in Thanksgiving Day?” “Do you show possession to Fool in April Fools Day?” etc. etc.
So…for the next few weeks…a list of holidays punctuated and capitalized as correctly as I found! Note that different style guides (i.e. Associated Press vs. Modern Language Association, etc.) choose to punctuate and capitalize lesser known (National Kool-Aid Day!) or newer things (i.e. email vs. e-mail) differently. In those cases, it is truly a style preference rather than a hard and fast rule. So….Happy April…I mean, happy April! 🙂 And definitely, Happy Easter!
All Fool’s Day/April Fools Day
Happy Presidents’ Day. Or is that Presidents Day? Or Presidents’ Day?
Well….it depends on which expert you ask! Here is the run down:
1. It is NOT President’s Day
a. President’s denotes one President…and this holiday honors Washington and Lincoln both…as well as all presidents
b. President’s Day says that it is the day that belongs to one President (singular)
c. It follows the rule of writing the noun first (President) then if the word does NOT end in s, put apostrophe s (President’s Day)
2. Some say it is Presidents’ Day
a. The Gregg Reference Manual (my favorite handbook) cites it as such
b. This denotes many presidents all owning one day (or at least Lincoln and Washington)
c. It follows the rule of writing the noun first (Presidents) then if the word ends in s, put an apostrophe on the outside of the s
d. This is the correct way to show possession of one thing to more than one “owner”—or any noun that ends in an s (glass’ smudges).
3. Some say it is Presidents Day
a. The Associated Press Stylebook cites is as such
b. This method does not denote possession, but rather uses the word President as an adjective (actually a “proper adjective” in that it is an adjective made from a proper noun–some of the time–we will not even get into whether it is (President) or isn’t (president) in this post!)
c. This is like saying that, that is a Grisham book (as opposed to a book that Grisham owns–Grisham’s book), and it is certainly not incorrect
P.S. Capitalize president when referring to a certain president or the holiday in question!
So there you have it! More subjectivity in our English language. Happy Presidents’ Day! And Happy Presidents Day!