For a while now, I’ve followed an occasional web comic called The Oatmeal. It is almost always at least a little irreverent, so if you’re sensitive to swear words or ribald humor, it might not be for you. I mention the comic here because its author every once in a while draws a cartoon about grammar or usage. As he uses colorful examples to illustrate the rules he presents, the cartoons might be useful to you if you have trouble remembering some of the rules (for example how to use “it’s” and “its”). Take a look if you’re game and brave. If there’s a grammar or usage topic you’d especially like to see covered here, speak up in the comments, and I may be able to work up a post about any topics for which there seems to be some interest.

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  1. Love The Oatmeal ๐Ÿ™‚

    My two biggest usage issues that my brain just can’t seem to remember: who vs. whom and then vs. than.

    I’ve heard one ‘then/than’ has to do with time and the other… no clue. Of course, I can’t remember which has to do with time, or if that is even true, so any usage help would be appreciated!

    As for who/whom, yeah, even more clueless with that one!


  2. I love that he used “a lot” and the 3 types of their, they’re and there … among others. Every time I see “a lot” spelled as one word, I want to hunt down the person who taught them that spelling and read Vogon poetry to them (it is the 3rd worst poetry in the universe, according to “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”)


  3. The Oatmeal is great. I was so flustered in my first week at uni that,in the Effective Communication course, I was over thinking apostrophes and typed its’. Cringe-worthy? Yep!


  4. I’ve been a fan of The Oatmeal for a while – it’s a gift, really, teaching all of those grammar peasants the ways of the wordy-world.


  5. Wow, you’re right – the “cartoon about grammar or usage” is AMAZING! It is really creative and a source of good lessons. Thank you for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. Ah, I love The Oatmeal. Last Year my fellow English student teachers and I used these posts in our high school classrooms. They get the point across in a fun, accessible way.

    And really, who can resist an A Lot?


  7. This guy is hilariousโ€ฆโ€ฆ and educational at the same time. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks. I laughed out loud on a day when I’m feeling sad. It’s a good outcome.