Grammar Hammer: Why So Tense?

“While I was walking through the park, this giant spider appears out of nowhere and scared the living daylights out of me!” What’s wrong with that sentence? Absolutely nothing, if you’re as terrified of spiders as I am*, but at least a few things if you’re a stickler for verb tense. Verb tense is a…

Grammar Hammer: Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

I grew up in southern West Virginia and heard phrases like “would of went” and “should of went” all the time. Thanks to my late grammarian grandfather, The Colonel, those phrases never made it into my vernacular. I heard “would of went” as recent as a few weeks ago listening to a group of adults…