About Grammardog


Mary Jane McKinney
Grammardog was founded in 2001 by Mary Jane McKinney, a high school English teacher and dedicated grammarian. She and other experienced English teachers in both high school and college regard grammar and style as the key to unlocking the essence of an author. Their philosophy that grammar and literature are best understood when learned together led to the formation of Grammardog, a means of sharing knowledge about the structure and patterns of language unique to specific authors. These patterns are what make a great book a great book. The arduous task of analyzing any work for grammar and style has yielded a unique product guaranteed to enlighten the reader of literary classics. 

How Grammardog Started
The story of Grammardog began in June 2001, five months after my mother died. I was struggling emotionally to get through the spring semester teaching senior English at a large high school in West Texas. Then something wonderful happened. Two weeks before school was out, I received an envelope in the mail. In it was a key with this note from my brother and sister-in-law: “The condo is yours for June.”

On June 1st, I left the faculty meeting early, got in my packed car and headed for South Padre Island, Texas. I took with me my computer and some American literature books I was scheduled to teach in the fall. The challenge I gave myself was to try to find a way to teach grammar, proofreading, figurative language, and literary analysis at the same time. I saw no one except grocery store clerks for four weeks. My only company? Mark Twain, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edith Wharton, Jack London, Stephen Crane, and Henry David Thoreau. Grammardog was born from the solitude of grieving, strolling the beach, and problem-solving.

When I tried out the quizzes on students in the fall, the results were amazing. After taking tests on three titles, they got it. The format was instructive. Students started to recognize alliteration, sensory imagery and metaphors as they read the books. The grammar quizzes improved their writing. After sharing Grammardog with colleagues I decided to share Grammardog with teachers everywhere.

"Grammardog's strategy is to put an author's words under the microscope. The result yields an increased appreciation of the art of writing and awareness of the importance and power of language."  Woof! Mary Jane McKinney (a.k.a. Fifi)

Trisha McKinney Lyons
Trisha is an English teacher’s dream. She learned what was taught in school. Trisha is an artist and social media ace who is also an excellent writer, proofreader, and editor. She handles design, marketing, and social media for Grammardog.com and our sister company Movieversion.com. Not only did Trisha learn to write and master close reading and grammar, she learned to think. She has an artist’s eye and imagination, a marketer’s intuition, and social media skills grounded in pop culture and the exuberance of youth. She’s also my niece and business partner.