17 Gifts for Grammar Geeks

BlogHer Original Post

You probably have someone on your list who will probably never lay (and definitely never lie) down her red pen. Punctuate her holidays with an editor-approved grammar gift guide; you can choose for yourself whether to sign it "Santa Clause."

Home DĂ©cor That Makes a (Declarative) Statement

grammar plates

Serve up some syntax with a set of adorably informative handmade grammar plates ($10 each; $50 for a set of 6 dessert-sized plates).

punctuation mark lamps

I long to buy two parentheses from this collection of punctuation mark lamps by Tabisso (inquire for price) and place anything that strikes me as inessential between them.

Grammar Monster

That this Grammar Monster magnet by Fishcakes ($4.50) is correctly punctuated pleases me.

Grammar Police cross stitch

Crafts for the prescriptive grammarian: a Grammar Police cross-stitch pattern from Etsy seller ucladoc ($2).

Cubicle Tutorials

Oatmeal Grammar Pack

"Remember, if you put an 'a' in the word 'definately,' then you are definitely an A-hole." Pick up five lessons from The Oatmeal in all their raunchy, helpful glory with The Oatmeal Grammar Pack ($40).

Oxford comma poster

Oxonians and fans of the Chicago Manual won't need but will appreciate the (possibly NSFW) Oxford Comma poster by aeferg on Etsy ($10).

Respect Punctuation poster

It is to be hoped that the arresting Respect Punctuation posters from Tiny Owl Studios will prompt reflection upon punctuation.


Less didactic but even more graphic is the comma print by Paper Gangster ($25).

Amusing Books on Grammar and Punctuation

Transitive Vampire

Karen Elizabeth Gordon first published The Transitive Vampire ($16) in 1984, when I was young and easily seduced by gothy clip art and juicy sentences like "Dawn kissed the horizon with its fresh, hot lips." Gordon adds narrative to her lessons by placing whimsical characters (Jonquil and Torquil!) into examples of dangling participles and other horrors of the English language.

The "bureau chiefs" who perpetrate the Twitter misadventure known as @FakeAPStylebook have compiled their satire of the Associated Press' from-on-high pronouncements on acceptable usage into Write More Good: An Absolutely Phony Guide ($10), which contains such gems as "The passive voice should be avoided by you."

Unnecessary Quotation Marks

Last year, BlogHer Publishing Network member Bethany Keeley bookified her "excellent" blog documenting punctuation gone awry on signs across the globe; The Book of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks ($17) includes my favorite depressing senior class graduation theme, "The Best" Is Yet to Come!

Noah Lukeman's A Dash of Style: Mastery of the Art of Punctuation ($11) is not only an insightful grammar text, but also a tool for any writer's kit: "Often it's hard for writers to take a step back and gain true objectivity on their own work. Punctuation, though, never lies. Whether you like it or not, punctuation reveals the writer. Analyzing your punctuation forces you to take a step back, to gain a bird's-eye view of your own writing."

Grammatically Correct Attire

air quote mittens

I assume your "friend" won't "misuse" this gift of air quote mittens by Kate Spade ($65) in the interest of "sarcasm."

punctuation cufflinks

Repurposed from a vintage Smith-Corona typewriter by Chaosbarbie, punctuation cufflinks ($20) would add a dash of panache to a black-tie ensemble, n'est-ce pas?.

Paragraph necklace

I want to give this paragraph symbol necklace ($16) by Rosalind of Arden to every copy editor I know.

Family Grammar

Go to Press

It's a copy editing board game that takes place at a newspaper. I would have really enjoyed Go To Press! had I discovered it 30 years ago. Now, it's a touch heartbreakingly quaint (there's a copy room!). Heather Sanders posted a great review of the game over at Pioneer Woman, by the way.

Schoolhouse Rock

Interjection! For excitement! And emotion! It's generally set apart from a sentence by an exclamation point, or by a comma if the feeling's not as strong. If your family doesn't already know Schoolhouse Rock, the charming '70s series of catchy grammar ditties, by heart, you need to grab them the DVD set ($15) posthaste. My favorite's Conjunction Junction, because he will get you there, if you're very careful. What's yours?


In order to comment on BlogHer.com, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.