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Grammar Police Monday - A Grisly Lesson

First, some announcements!

Today is release day for Cally Jackson's debut novel, The Big Smoke. Woohoo! :D  

I'll be launching a special post this Friday about the book, including an interview with Cally.

Peter Cruikshank over at It Is What It Is tagged me in The Next Big Thing blog hop with questions about my current WIP.  Thanks, Peter! :) 

Since I participated in the Be Inspired meme this summer, answering virtually the same questions, I decided to spare you a repeat and simply link the post. If you haven't seen it yet, click here


Now for GPM...

Today I have another lesson on usage.  I promise to break these up soon with different grammar topics, but life has been too busy for me to do the research. 

In keeping with that promise, I'm currently putting together a GPM post in which I address visitor requests. So, if you have some nagging PUGS question you'd like answered, now's the time to speak up. 

(PUGS = Punctuation, Usage, Grammar, Spelling)

Poisonous vs Venomous

Poisonous (adj.) means full of or containing poison; harmful; malevolent.

Some houseplants are poisonous.

Venomous (adj.) describes animals that have glands which secrete venom and are able to inflict a poisonous bite or sting; can mean full of or containing venom; spiteful.

Milk snakes are harmless but rattlesnakes are venomous.

(*It is also correct to say venomous snakes are poisonous.)

Fearful vs Fearsome

Fearful is an adjective that means causing, feeling or showing fear.

The teens screamed and ran when the saw a fearful apparition in the woods.

Although timid/afraid is given as one meaning of fearsome (adj.), it is typically used to mean causing fear or inspiring awe or respect.

Campers cowered at the fearsome noise echoing through the hills.

Grisly vs Grizzly

Grisly is an adjective that means terrifying, ghastly.

The room where the murders occurred was a grisly scene.

Grizzly is a noun—a large brown bear found in North America. It’s also the another form of the word grizzled, which means gray or streaked with gray.

I hope you don't encounter a grizzly on your hike.

Thanks for visiting. 
Hope to see you Wednesday & Friday. :)


  1. I love your blog... Very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for the compliments!

      I got the background here:

      My friend and CP, Carrie Butler, designed some of the page elements and helped me build the blog. You can find her here:

  2. Hi Melisa, never a grizzly, but I've seen a few black bears too close for comfort. Thanks, as always, for the great reminders. Congrats on the award-- well deserved.

  3. Ah yes! My husband has a decidedly grizzled chin. ;)

    As to poisonous and venomous - I get the difference - in dialog most people would say a snake was poisonous. In the interest of being real with dialog, I think I'd leave it at that.

    1. Very true. The point was something can be poisonous without being venomous. :)

  4. I remember when you did the Cover Reveal for The Big Smoke.

    PUGS…LOVE it!

    1. I love the expression, too, although someone had to define it for me the first time. :D

  5. Thanks Melissa. Great information. When I finish my WIP I might need to contact you as I am Grammar-Challenged :-)

    1. LOL - If it wasn't for my English teacher mother browbeating me with it all my life, I would be, too. :D

      (Love ya, mom.) She knows I'm kidding...sort of. :P

  6. Think I'd rather encounter a grisly than a grizzly!
    And congratulations to Cally.

  7. This is one of the few areas I do well in. Thanks, Melissa!

  8. Hey,

    I'm always fearful about missing one of your wonderful GPM posts, so thanks for the weekly tips :)

  9. Woohoo! I'll be sure to stop by on Friday. :)

  10. @ Alex - I second both! :)

    @ Nancy - I usually do, too, but I check them sometimes to be sure. (Thank goodness for!)

    @ Mark - Ha! You're welcome. :D

    @ Carrie - Nice to know I'll have at least one visitor. hahaha :P

  11. Thanks for announcing my book launch. Looking forward to visiting on Friday!

    Thanks for these usage tips too. I think I've definitely mixed up venomous and poisonous before. :-)

  12. Thanks for the spelling advice - I still think I have to pay more attention. Fun blog tours going on over here!

    There's some other blog tours coming up next year if you're interested: and I'm participating in them. Sorry, if it feels like I'm promoting others but they could use some help...

    See ya on Wednesday and Friday :)

  13. As always, I found this information incredibly useful! Thanks! ;)

  14. I never knew there was a difference between poisonous and venomous! Wow...I would have said they were synonyms. Can ex-boss's be considered venomous too? :)

    1. Sometimes they can by synonyms...depends. (A venomous snake is poisonous, but a poisonous plant is not venomous.) And yes, venomous also means 'spiteful.' LOL

  15. This was fun, Melissa! And very appropriate for this spooky time of year! I always love your posts... I love that I always learn something! ;-)

    1. Thanks, Morgan. That's kind of you to say. :)


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