ChanteSez … You should never lie

Simple lesson tonight, folks.

Lie = to tell a tale, a fib (and kill a bird, according to tonight’s “Modern Family”). To spell it that way also indicates the state of reclining. As in “I’m about to lie down.” It’s easy to confuse “lie” with “lay.”

Here are some examples to help, most from Associated Press:

  • He lies on the beach all day.
  • There is no appropriate time to tell a lie.
  • I will lay the book down on the table.
  • The prosecutor tried to lay the blame on him.


ChanteSez … You can quote me, part 2

Last week’s ChanteSez was about the use of punctuation with quote marks.  My advice was to quote everything within a quote. The key word there is “within.”

That is, whatever punctuation was necessary to indicate what someone said — or how they said it — should go within the quote marks.

If the quote was a question, was said with force, or was simply a complete thought, the appropriate punctuation belongs inside the quote marks.

  • “Do people understand the power of proper punctuation?” she asked.
  • “I am so ready to go to Miami!” he said.
  • “If you come home with another C,” his mom yelled, “no Facebook or Twitter for two weeks!”

The only time you wouldn’t include punctuation inside the quote marks is if you, the writer, are asking a question or making a statement of force, unbelief, etc., about the quote.

In the first example below, my colleague at Terribly Write is asking a question about the quote. (Thank you, Laura, for making sure I clarified this rule!)

  • Are you saying, “Put all punctuation inside quotation marks”?
  • There’s never been an adage more true than “Put your money where your mouth is”!

ChanteSez … You can quote me

Quote marks, or quotation marks, are typically used to indicate what a person has said. Most people understand that part. It’s the punctuation used with quote marks that can be confusing.

As a rule of thumb, quote everything, including the punctuation. In other words, put punctuation inside the quote marks. A few examples:

  • Felabration is one of Atlanta’s most highly anticipated parties,” she said.
  • “How in the world is he able to dance like that?” she asked.
  • “That is going to be one awesome pumpkin carving party!” she exclaimed.

ChanteSez … How does your harvest look this season?

Fall is often associated with the time of harvest. If you’ve planted good seeds in rich soil, tended to them, and enough rain has fallen to give your seeds life, fall is when you reap the rewards of your efforts.

I sincerely hope that this season is filled with a bountiful harvest for all of my ChanteSez followers!

That’s the real message for today’s weekly ChanteSez.

But here’s today’s Grammar Tip of the Day: Seasons are not capitalized or abbreviated. Below, find a few more pointers.

  • The only exception to the above rule is when a season begins a sentence.
  • According to the calendar year, the seasons fall in this order: winter, spring, summer, fall. But for those who think of seasons according to the flow of nature, the seasons start with spring and end with winter.
  • Feel free to use “fall” and “autumn” interchangeably.