Skip to content
Apr 3 / King Kaufman

NoRedInk: High school grammar class redux, but this time it’s fun

A Chicago high school English teacher has created an app to help students brush up on their grammar skills, and since we’re all students in the scheme of things, we get to use it too.

Jeff Scheur created NoRedInk as a more engaging way for his students to improve their grammar than by looking over the corrections on their grammar quizzes, which let’s face it no student in the history of the world has ever done.

Anyone can sign up for NoRedInk as a “student.” Having done so, we students can choose various interests so that the sample sentences will include references to people and things that engage us. I chose NFL, NBA, MLB, Soccer and NHL—all of the sports available—as well as Actresses and Hip-Hop, in an attempt to replicate the Bleacher Report mind-set.

Having done so, I can choose practice sessions about apostrophes, subject-verb agreement, or commas, fragments and run-on sentences. Scheur told Mashable that he hopes to incorporate more complex writing and grammar skills.

With my interests chosen, I got sentences about Julie Andrews’ lizards—not exactly the generation of actress I had in mind, but OK!—Pavel Datsyuk’s views on the extended school day and the Orlando Magic hoping that Jennifer Garner will buy them breakfast.

At the end of each quiz, the app invites you to view a short tutorial about any of your wrong answers.

It’s a fun and educational little toy, and while it only deals with a few grammar subjects, one of them—subject-verb agreement—is an area where a lot of writers, at B/R and elsewhere, can stand to improve. I even learned something: When the second half of a neither/nor pair is plural, the sentence takes a plural verb.

So neither Isla Fisher nor her parents are interested in buying me breakfast. I thought it would be is.

  • Michael Schottey

    Isla Fisher is such a cheapskate!

    • Anonymous

      I know right? Not to mention her parents.

  • Aaron Dodge

    This is quickly turning into one of my favorite blogs, thanks for the tool.

  • Gene Strother

    You really thought that would be “is?” I guess, in the words of a slick former Prez, “That depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is.”

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, I thought neither/nor either/or always take a singular verb. I didn’t know that the verb was tied to the latter of the pair. Learn something new every 10 years or so.