Q&A with Foundry’s Grammar Girl

Foundry's Grammar Girl
Do you constantly have to grab for the AP Stylebook throughout your work day? Is it “lay” or is it “lie”? Should I use “affect” or “effect”? What about “who” vs. “whom”?

My go-to resource has become Mignon Fogarty — better known as “Grammar Girl” — of QuickandDirtyTips.com. Her website and podcast provide — well just what you’d think: quick and dirty tips to an ever-growing number of topics such as: “Did I Tweet or did I Twitter?” “Funny Misplaced Modifiers” and “Do you capitalize ‘Google’?

Luckily, in addition to great resources like Fogarty, we have our very own “Grammar Girl” at Foundry.

Meet Foundry Graphic Designer Anne White

In October, Anne White will have been with Foundry for nine years. She’s an integral part of our creative department and her graphic design skills have nabbed the agency numerous awards over the last decade, the most recent being the RGJ Media Addy for “Best Print Ad” for the Bishop Manogue High School Print Campaign.

Anne moved to Reno from Atlanta in 2002. She loves the sunshine our area offers but misses her big family (she’s one of eight kids). Anne is known throughout the office for her positive attitude, her ability to jump in on any project undaunted and for her spot-on spelling/grammar skills. She was kind enough to let us into those grammatically-correct thoughts of hers by answering the following ten questions:

1. Let’s dig deep: Why do you think your super-power grammar skills developed? I have a perfectionist personality, and I was given a brain wired for seeing spelling errors. They just jump right off the page at me.

2. What is the grammatical error you most often see in print? So hard to pick just one… probably improper use of possession (it’s/its, their/they’re, you’re/your, etc.). Second on the list would be stationary vs. stationery.

3. What is the grammatical error you most often hear? On the West Coast, I hear people frequently say, “Do you want to go with?” I keep waiting for them to finish their sentence.

4. Who/what are the worst offenders? Newspapers? Broadcasters? Bloggers? I would say several newspapers are at the top, and almost every restaurant menu I’ve ever read. The local newscasts can be pretty bad. In this day and age of spell checkers, it’s really inexcusable.

5. Does the current culture of texting and tweeting bother you? (For example: OMG grl u r gr8 c u 2nite!) I know it shouldn’t but it really does. I have a hard time even typing “thru” instead of “through” when I text, so it’s a little tough for me to get used to all the misspellings on purpose. (I won’t frequent a business that misspells its name to be cute (KITTY KAT, or THE LITE SHOP, etc.)

6. What is your favorite word? I don’t think I could pick one.

7. If you weren’t a graphic designer, would you be an English teacher? Heck no. You couldn’t pay me enough to be a teacher. And frankly, I don’t think anyone pays them enough, either! I have dreamed of being a book editor, though.

8. When you overhear people mix up “lay” and “lie”, which of the following do you do?

A. I bite my tongue.
B. I politely correct them.
C. I make them write it the correct way 100 times on the chalkboard.

I bite my tongue. Usually.

9. Is there a grammar rule you just can’t seem to remember? Perhaps not remember, but dislike: putting punctuation inside quotes when it doesn’t naturally make sense to do it.

10. Have I made any spelling/grammatical mistakes in this blog post? (Anne edited my post to save me from numerous errors. Thanks, Anne!)

*Update: We just found out the official “Grammar Girl” lives in Reno. We’re lucky to have her in our city! Follow @GrammarGirl on Twitter, on Facebook and check out her website.