Happy birthday, Grammar Party!



Grammar Party turned two years old today. It has spent the last year like most small human children. There was lots of mess making, putting things in its mouth that didn’t belong, and random tantrums followed by crying jags. Along the way, it managed to write some posts about grammar. Here is a selection of the most popular posts from year 2:

Business jargon to avoid (so you don’t sound like a douche) 

Murder, fluther, cluster, and peep: fun collective nouns for animals

How English sounds to everyone else 

Squeezing blackheads out of kitty’s face

Blond vs. blonde

Hanged vs. hung

Number vs. amount

180? 360? Where are we again?

Capitalizing titles of works

Thanks in advance for the probably millions of birthday wishes Grammar Party will receive. It would like to thank each of you personally, but it is late for a confrontation with its mother–something about it not wanting to take a nap.

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Blond vs. Blonde

Sometimes there’s an E at the end, and sometimes there’s not. This post will teach you the simple rules of which word to use when.

With males—noun usage
If you’re writing about a boy or a man with golden-colored hair, use blond (no E).

Example: The handsome man is a blond.

With females—noun usage
However, if you’re writing about a golden-haired girl or woman, use blonde (with the E).

Example: The pretty woman is a blonde.

With males and/or females—adjective usage
You’ll notice that we have so far been talking about nouns (when we use blond or blonde to represent the person). But what about when you simply want to use an adjective to describe a person as being blond? As an adjective, blond never has an E at the end. It’s always simply blond.

Example: The blond man walked through the door.
Example: The blond woman walked through the door.
Example: The blond family walked through the door.

In the examples above, since blond is used as an adjective to describe the noun (man/woman/family), it follows the adjective rule and doesn’t have an E at the end.

Blame the French
Wonder why we have two spellings of this noun? Blame the French. French regularly assigns gender to words and spells them differently based on whether they are masculine or feminine. Since we inherited the word blond/e from French, we also inherited the two ways of spelling it.

Quiz
Test your skills with a quiz. Fill in blond or blonde in the blanks. The answers are at the bottom.

1. The backyard was filled with _______ children.
2. That tall lady is a _______.
3. The man picking his nose is a _______.
4. The _______ dancers twirled across the stage.

Answers: 1. blond (adjective) 2. blonde (noun) 3. blond (noun) 4. blond (adjective)

Erin Servais is occasionally a blonde. She is also lead book editor at Dot and Dash LLC. Learn how to hire her for your next book project: dotanddashllc.com