Class act Mignon Fogarty (a.k.a. Grammar Girl) has kindly agreed to teach us how to talk and write about books the proper way and we'll be posting her monthly tips here on the blog! Take it away, Grammar Girl!
Talia, the blood-queen of library marketing, is obsessed with murder but also wants some grammar tips. So many people to rub out, so little time, but you still need to do it with style and proper grammar.
Addictive Versus Addicting
That feeling your favorite detective gets when he finally gets the bad guy in his sights--it's addictive. That's right, dopamine-releasing addictive, but it's not addicting.
Reserve addicting for something or someone who creates a dependency: "That darn Chelsea Cain is addicting me to Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell's twisted love story."
Between Versus Among
Further, you shouldn't be afraid to use between when you have more than two distinct items. That you shouldn't do so is just a nasty grammar myth. (What do we love? Mythology? Yes. Grammar myths? No.)
Among is for groups of people (fear spread among the criminals when they learned that Detective Talia was on the case) and locations (they hid among the vagrants in Central Park).
Flaunt Versus Flout
Criminals flout the law. They're on the outs, just like the "out" in flout.
When you flaunt something, you're showing it off, perhaps throwing it in someone's face. My favorite TV almost-a-detective, Rick Castle, usually doesn't flaunt his wealth, except when he's upset with the real detective, Kate Beckett. Then he brings blondes to crime scenes in his Ferrari. Flaunting extraordinaire.
Find more about these 3 topics and 98 more in Grammar Girl's forthcoming book, 101 TROUBLESOME WORDS YOU'LL MASTER IN NO TIME (out July 3).
Grammar Girl will be signing books at ALA Annual on Friday, June 22nd at 5:30pm in booth 2544!
Visit her at Grammar.QuickandDirtyTips.com.