August 8, 2022
Writer Ellen Jovin Responds to the Country’s Grammatical Dilemmas

New Hope, Pennsylvania – What would you think if you were out walking, shopping or doing any other gerund, and out of nowhere on the street a woman would preface you – “That’s my grammar table.”

You must be thinking that who is this crazy lady? Who sees grammar as such an imperative that she sets up a table to talk about it?

“Because I love Grammarly,” Ellen Jovin told CBS News. “It’s the anchor—like we’re just using words right now. It might not even be happening. We’re just looking at each other.”

as i have before Reported in 2019, Jovin runs a company that trains people in business communication. But his real passion is linguistics. So to share her knowledge — and to have some fun — Jovin set up her grammar table around New York City, where she lives.

It went so well, she moved the table to the collective noun which is America.

“It’s been so much fun taking it on the road across the country,” she said.

Jovin also wrote a book about the experience called, “Rebel with a Clause.”

I caught up with him in New Hope, Pennsylvania, where Jovin reminded people to draw sentences, explained when and which to use, and even answered something I thought about. Always wondered – does the period have to go inside the quotation mark or can it sometimes go outside?

“It always goes in,” she said.

But she says resolving grammatical disputes between husbands and wives is her favorite part.

“In my experience, usually if a couple comes along, the woman is usually right,” she said. “I mean, in my limited experience.”

He hung me like a hanging modifier. But you have to love his passion.

Jovin has visited 47 out of 50 states so far. She said those experiences have proved to her that Americans are more interested in grammar than some cynical journalists would like you to believe. And she may be right. I mean, the guy at the red light just had to know, then and there, do you always capitalize after a colon?

“If it’s only a fragment of a sentence, there’s definitely no hat,” he told her.

Which made his day. This is yet another fair use in his never-ending quest to better us all at the content of words.


to contact On th ewayOr to send us a story idea, email us: OnTheRoad@cbsnews.com,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.