It’s been two months, and her Internet must be down—I haven’t heard back.
However, although appearing on her show would undoubtedly help with book sales, after what happened at one of my book signings, I am kind of relieved that the Wi-Fi in Ellen’s neighborhood is spotty.
Here’s what happened: this lovely lady came up to me and asked if I had a trick to remember the difference between “continually” and “continuously.” Not only did I not have a trick to remember the difference; I didn’t really even know the difference myself. That got me thinking: What would happen if Ellen asked, “Jenny, how do you feel about the nominative absolute?” I imagine my head would start spinning around Exorcist-style.
I certainly don’t know all the grammar rules off the top of my head. But I am pretty good at knowing what I don’t know. For example, I just had to look up whether “backup,” “back-up,” or back up” was correct. (It’s “backup” for a noun or adjective and “back up” for a verb.)
I honestly believe that, although it’s great to actually know proper spelling and grammatical rules, it’s equally or more important to be aware of what you don’t know and how to access the resources that will help you. (For example, there’s this great writing skills guide called Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares you might want to check out. I hear it’s life-changing.)
So I looked up the difference between “continually” and “continuously” and here’s the difference:
Continually- of regular or frequent recurrence; often repeated; very frequent
Continuously- uninterrupted in time; without cessation
Therefore, I continually look up grammar rules. It would be impossible to look them up continuously. That would mean that I never stop—that I even look them up in my sleep.
However, what if there was a Matrix-style contraption that fed me grammar rules in my sleep? Then, I would be totally ready for Ellen.
Will someone get on that?