Cover art for podcast Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

731 EpisodesProduced by QuickAndDirtyTips.comWebsite

Five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. Grammar Girl provides short, friendly tips to improve your writing and feed your love of the English language. Whether English is your first language or your second language, these grammar, punctuation, style, and business tips will m… read more

episodes iconAll Episodes

Mood & Atmosphere in Fiction. An Interview with Joshua Essoe

September 23rd, 2022

33:46

894. Whether you're getting ready for National Novel Writing Month or just want to watch movies or read novels with more insight, this interview with fiction editor Joshua Essoe will help you about mood and atmosphere …

Split Infinitives. I Can't Even. Macken.

September 16th, 2022

14:31

893. You may be surprised by the origin of the split infinitive "rule" and by the times they are OK...or even necessary! Also, we look at slang …

Why Some People Say 'Might Could.' The Spanish Influence on English. Mickle Story.

September 9th, 2022

19:16

892. We recently got a question about why people use a type of double-verb construction, such as "We might could go to the store." We have the …

Accent Hallucination. False Ranges. Thanks, Chris.

September 2nd, 2022

18:35

891. Your mind will be blown when you learn about accent hallucination. (Mine was!) And then we'll learn how to avoid false ranges.

Transcript:

'Skrrt,' 'Bottle Episode,' 'Skeuomorphs' and more. An Interview with John Kelly of Dictionary.com.

August 26th, 2022

31:38

890. John Kelly, senior director of editorial at Dictionary.com, talks with Mignon about a bunch of fun new words and about how words get added to the dictionary in general. 

Transcript:

What's up with Splooting? Capitalizing Titles. Momilltellya.

August 19th, 2022

12:24

889. Splooting squirrels have taken the internet by storm. We look at where this fun word comes from and how far back it goes. Plus, I help you …

How Gendered Languages Are Changing. Jugopop.

August 12th, 2022

15:16

888. This week we take a fascinating look at how highly gendered languages are dealing with the drive to become more inclusive. Plus, we look at the differences between "simple" and "simplistic" and "backward" and …

How Using Pliers Improves Your Language. Weird Possessives. Ducky File.

August 5th, 2022

16:13

An amazing study shows that tool use and language are connected in the brain and shows how using one can make you better at the other, and vice …

A Riotous Good Time with Ellen Jovin of the Grammar Table

July 29th, 2022

28:25

The delightful Ellen Jovin of the Grammar Table (you may have seen her sitting on the street answering grammar questions in your city) joined me to …

Ripe. Lede. Prevent. Awesome. Fulsome. MacGuffin. Daisy.

July 22nd, 2022

13:12

It's time for our quarterly listener question extravaganza! I answer your questions about the words "ripe," "lede," "prevent," "awesome," and …

Why Nobody Says 'You're Welcome' Anymore. Whose. Chimichanga.

July 15th, 2022

17:16

People often ask why people say "no worries" or "no problem" instead of "you're welcome," and we actually found an answer! Also, we look at whether it's OK to use "whose" for inanimate objects in a sentence such as "The …

Code-Switching. Mignon Snaps Over Numbers. Foomp.

July 8th, 2022

19:51

The numbers sections of style books finally pushed me over the edge, and I have some stories you won't believe! We also talk about how cool …

Surprising Words Related to 'Freedom.' Double Subjects. Foop.

July 1st, 2022

14:21

For Independence Day, we look at the word "freedom" and the surprising words that came from the same roots. Plus, we look at odd sentences with …

'Ant' or 'Ahnt'? Capitalizing Cocktail Names. Archie Bunker.

June 24th, 2022

15:13

What's up with the fancy-schmancy "ahnt" pronunciation of the word "aunt"? And why are the rules about capitalizing cocktail  names so wonky? We have …

The Many Meanings of 'Father.' How Watergate Changed English. Punim

June 17th, 2022

19:41

"Father" as a word shows how we humans love to extend our metaphors. Did you know it was only relatively recently that priests were  referred to as "father," for example? And then, for the 50th anniversary of the …

Demonyms: Why People from North Carolina Are Called Tar Heels. 'Healthy' Versus 'Healthful.' Sussies 3!

June 10th, 2022

20:16

Are people from Liverpool really called "Liverpudlians"? Where does the name "Tar Heel" come from? We have the answers to some of the most …

Are Wisdom Teeth Smart? Capitalizing Degree Names. Sussies 2

June 3rd, 2022

15:29

This week, we look at what makes wisdom teeth so smart, how to properly write the name of your degree, and what's up with the "sussies" familect?

Transcript:

Whatever Happened to "Thou"?

May 27th, 2022

14:58

In an age when eels were sometimes used as currency and castles pierced the sky, “thou” was all the rage. But over time, it disappeared from use. Where did it go? And will it ever make a comeback?

This week, we're …

How Spellers Tackle the 'Dreaded Schwa'

May 20th, 2022

17:12

You'll never view spellers in the bee asking questions the same way again after you learn about the schwa from Brian Sietsema, an associate pronouncer for the Scripps National Spelling Bee. 

Transcript:

Why "'Em" Isn't Short for "Them." The Subjunctive. Sussies.

May 13th, 2022

15:35

When you say "Go get 'em!" you think that's short for "Go get them," but you're wrong! We look at the fascinating history of some English pronouns. Plus, we look at how Neil Gaiman uses the subjunctive mood in "American …

Tomi Adeyemi: The Writing Life and Her New Writing Course.

May 6th, 2022

41:27

With her book "Children of Blood and Bone" spending 120 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, Tomi Adeyemi knows what it takes to write a great book. Listen in on my conversation with this charming writer about …

Scissors, Jeans, and Other Nouns That Are Always Plural. Flat Adverbs. Boteep.

April 28th, 2022

18:20

Today, we'll talk about some weird nouns that are always plural, and then we'll go two-dimensional and talk about flat adverbs.

| Subscribe to the …

If earth looks like a blue marble, why is Earth Day associated with the color green? Also, 'funnest.'

April 21st, 2022

14:39

The famous NASA "blue marble" image could have influenced people to make blue the color of environmentalism and Earth Day, but green won the day. In …

You Know. Doppelganger. Trademarks. Funnily. Chicken Milk.

April 14th, 2022

14:21

It's "listener question extravaganza" time, so I have some quick hits on discourse markers such as "you know," where we get the word "doppelganger," how to punctuate around trademarks, and the difference between "funny" …

I Cannot Tell a Lie (but I Can Mislead)! And Sometimes People Do It With Percentages.

April 8th, 2022

16:39

We look at the linguistic difference between lying and misleading, and then because people often lie with numbers, we look at the difference between "percent" and "percentage" and how to use them.

| SPONSORS:

How Aphasia Causes Difficulty Speaking. Chairdrobe.

March 31st, 2022

24:04

Prodded by Bruce Willis's family's announcement that he is leaving acting after being diagnosed with aphasia, we revisited language disorders, and the kinds of things we can learn from them.

Today's segment was written …

Why Tired People Talk About Being 'Out of Spoons.' Why Nouns Are More Complicated Than You May Think.

March 24th, 2022

10:52

A few months ago, I started to notice people talking about spoons in a weird way, so I investigated and found that people are using an interesting concept called "spoon theory." Also this week, we look at why nouns are …

Barracking, Sheilas and Shouts: How the Irish Influenced Australian English

March 17th, 2022

13:34

"Barracking," "sheilas" and "shouts": How the Irish influenced Australian English. Plus, what makes "NASA" different from "FBI."

| Subscribe to the …

The Oxford Comma. And Should You Start a Sentence with 'And'?

March 10th, 2022

16:50

Have you ever wondered why it's called the "Oxford comma"? We have the answer to that and many more questions you may have about this controversial punctuation mark. Plus, we'll also talk about why it's fine to start a …

Is 'Materiel' Just a Fancy Pronunciation of 'Material'? Are Binomials the Same Across Languages?

March 3rd, 2022

10:42

A listener wondered about the word "materiel." What's its deal (and is it related to "personnel")? Plus, "pepper and salt." "Groom and bride." "White and black." Are binomials the same across languages?

| Subscribe to …

Why Do We Cringe at 'Pepper and Salt'? Why 'Square' Is Uncool. Quickquish.

February 24th, 2022

16:01

"Sticks and stones." "Bride and groom." "Heads or tails." Some word pairs almost always appear in a specific order, and linguists have been investigating why for decades. Plus, after last week's segment about square …

What's Square About a Square Meal? How to Use Parentheses, Brackets, and Braces. Guck.

February 17th, 2022

16:11

The idea of a square meal goes back to the 1800s and possibly mining towns, but the word "square" itself has a longer history. Plus, admit it! You don't know how to use curly braces. (We didn't either, but we figured it …

Are People Using 'Commiserate' Wrong? The Origin of (the Word) 'Influenza.' Hersband.

February 10th, 2022

12:00

How the "Witch of Wall Street" relates to the word "commiserate." Plus, the interesting origin of "influenza" and other disease names.

| Subscribe to …

Do You Call In, Out, or Off Sick? How Kids Learn Language. Hexaboobiated.

February 4th, 2022

17:37

People often tell me they hear others say they'll be absent from work in a different way than they're used to hearing, so I looked into who says what where. Also, we take a deep look at how children learn language and …

Tips for Learning a New Language: The Fluent Show

January 27th, 2022

27:50

Kerstin Cable, host of "The Fluent Show" shares her tips and enthusiasm for learning new languages. We talked about what to do if you're stalled learning a language, what the good things and bad things are about …

Why 'Tiny' Sounds Smaller Than 'Huge.' Nixing the Horrid 'Of.' Kokopelli.

January 20th, 2022

19:21

The sounds of certain words make us think of things that are big or small, round or spiky, and the tendency is nearly universal. For example, people can often pick words that refer to something big or small even in …

'Strollout,' 'Insurrection,' 'Yassify,' and Other Words of the Year for 2021

January 13th, 2022

14:12

"Strollout," "insurrection," "yassify," "hard pants" and other words of the year for 2021.

| Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates.

|Watch …

Cardsharp. The Old-New Singular 'They.' Grignug.

January 6th, 2022

16:11

Was that uncle who wiped the floor with you in a card game a cardsharp or a card shark? Also, we look at what it is about using "they" as a singular …

Questions, Questions, So Many Questions!

December 30th, 2021

14:13

I have a big metaphorical pile of questions from listeners in which the answers are too short to be a whole podcast segment, so today, I'm going to …

Is "Milk and Cookies" One Thing or Two? A New Language Term: The Santaback. Shoedabakers.

December 24th, 2021

16:18

Today we use milk and cookies for Santa to figure out when compound subjects are singular or plural. We also invent a new language term: santaback. …

How Lori Rader-Day Wrote a Historical Novel About War Evacuees in Agatha Christie's Vacation Home

December 16th, 2021

28:30

Accomplished mystery writer Lori Rader-Day was drawn to the story of children who were evacuated to Agatha Christie's vacation home during WWII, but having never written a historical novel before, she faced challenges. …

Pretending to Be British. How to Use Ellipses. Spiders.

December 9th, 2021

18:10

|HOST: Mignon Fogarty

|VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL (833-214-4475)

|Grammar Girl is part of the Quick and Dirty Tips podcast network.

|Theme music by …

Shibboleth. Greeting Card Grammar. Bunkaree.

December 3rd, 2021

11:40

Does your group use shibboleths? Plus, I'll help you avoid common embarrassing greeting card mistakes.

|

Subscribe to the newsletter for regular …

How to Use a Semicolon, Amirite? Partu.

November 25th, 2021

13:29

Amirite? You have the tickets, don't you? Today we talk about those tiny questions at the end of sentences, what purpose they serve, and who is most likely to use them. Plus, we tackle that anxiety producting …

Penultimate. Veni, Vidi, Vici. Smidge.

November 18th, 2021

13:33

In this week's podcast, we discuss why you should never call your girlfriend your penultimate friend. Plus, we have fun and fascinating facts about …

New Words from WWII. How Places Like Featherstonehaugh Get Their Names. Uncoming.

November 11th, 2021

18:46

WWII was a rich source of new words for the English language. Before the 1940s, you couldn't tell an eager beaver to shut his pie hole while you were …

Editing an Anthology: 'Wild Tongues Can't Be Tamed'

November 4th, 2021

28:14

Today, I talked with Saraciea Fennell, who works in publishing, is behind the Bronx Book Festival, and is also the editor of a new anthology, "Wild …

Is That a Tombstone, Gravestone, or Headstone? Why Is the Sound of a Human Scream So Terrifying?

October 28th, 2021

12:26

The words tombstone and gravestone used to refer to large stone slabs that served as a lid for a tomb or covering for a grave. Also, the human scream …

Using Present Tense in a Story About the Past. Beck and Call. Tie-Dye Trees.

October 21st, 2021

16:21

Have you noticed people switching to the present tense when they're telling stories? It actually has a name: It's called the "historical present tense."

This is the article we mentioned if you want to read more about …

Surprise! These Names Are Trademarks. How to Write 'Dos and Don'ts' (or Is That 'Do's and Don'ts'?). Wording Your Mixes.

October 14th, 2021

11:01

Many words we use every day are actually trademarks. Did you know about all the words we talked about today? Plus, we talk about some really weird spellings and dunk on "Eats, Shoots & Leaves."

Subscribe to the …

The Hedonometer and Your Feelings. What Does 'Schnozz' Mean?

October 7th, 2021

20:05

Researchers and companies are harnessing computers to identify the emotions behind our written words. While sentiment analysis is far from perfect, …

How Do You Pronounce 'Tomato'? Why Is 'Chiropractic' Singular. Fish.

September 30th, 2021

11:35

In the world of great debates, there is one that has been long enduring and still keeps language prescriptivists awake at night: Is it "tom-ay-to" or "tom-ah-to"? Now, this may not seem as pressing as whether nuclear …

The Power of Very Specific Words, with Joel Schwartzberg

September 23rd, 2021

29:59

The author of "The Language of Leadership," Joel Schwartzberg, explains how you can make small tweaks to your language to make a big difference in …

How to Really Talk Like a Pirate. When Do You Need a Comma Before 'Because'?

September 16th, 2021

11:50

Based on the history of who was sailing the high seas, it's a good bet pirates sounded a lot more multicultural than Ol’ Long John Silver would have …

Why and When 'Very Unique' Is Wrong. Capitalizing 'Delta Variant' (or Not). Happy to You.

September 9th, 2021

15:18

Instead of grinding your teeth about "very unique," pat yourself on the back for recognizing a widespread case of lexical broadening. Plus, we talk about why some people capitalize "Delta variant" and some don't.

Naked Idioms. Short-Lived. Capitalizing Earth. Hector Protector.

September 2nd, 2021

12:52

We naked apes have been making up sayings with the word "naked" for a long time. Plus, we talk about how to pronounce "short-lived" and when to …

The Origin of 'Honeymoon.' 'Where' Versus 'In Which.' Fevesteter.

August 26th, 2021

11:04

What does getting married have to do with honey and the moon? What is tricky about the word "where"?

Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates.

Weird Words for Alcohol. Starting a Sentence with 'However.' Fam-ished.

August 19th, 2021

16:54

What does "Dutch courage" mean? And 10 other weird words for alcohol. Plus, the special thing you have to pay attention to when you start a sentence …

How Storytelling Makes a Difference (and How to Do It Well)

August 13th, 2021

42:41

As much as we'd like to believe that people are convinced by facts, years of cognitive research show that we are convinced by stories and emotions (and then we often find facts to support our decisions). Since …

What's the Opposite of Deja Vu? Commas Between Adjectives

August 5th, 2021

14:48

You know about deja vu, but do you know about jemais vu, presque vu, deja lu, deja entendu, and deja reve? Plus, we help you figure out when to put commas between adjectives. It's tricky, but we have a simple …

The Best Stories from 15 Years of Grammar Girl

July 29th, 2021

15:37

We've gone through a lot of stories and tips in 15 years—more than a thousand. Today, I picked a few of my favorites for you.

To sign up for my Advanced AP Style webinar, go to http://bit.ly/apstyle21 and use the code …

What the Two Spellings of Stationary/ery Have to Do with Booksellers. Why Pronunciations Change.

July 22nd, 2021

15:13

"Stationary" and "stationery" have the same ultimate origin, but they evolved to have different meanings and one became tied to paper goods. Also, a …

'Fish' or 'Fishes'? Why Do We Call Out 'Nothing' as 'Bupkis'?

July 15th, 2021

10:40

"Fish" really does have two plurals. Usually you want "fish," but we talk about the odd examples when "fishes" is the right choice. Plus, "bupkis" can mean "nothing" or "something worthless," but it has a funny origin!

'If' Versus 'Whether.' Why We Say 'The Exception That Proves the Rule.'

July 8th, 2021

12:12

"If" and "whether" are often interchangeable, but sometimes using one or the other will change the meaning of your sentence. And if you've ever …

Trundle, Amble, Roam, and Shamble. How Some Preposition Use Has Changed Over Time.

July 1st, 2021

17:11

We look at the surprising origins of some of our favorite words for walking. Plus, how do you know when to write "The car almost ran me over" versus …

Starting a Sentence with a Conjunction: Right or Wrong? Good 'Subpar' and Bad 'Subpar.'

June 17th, 2021

15:45

Many people have been taught that it's wrong to start a sentence with a conjunction, but nearly all major style guides say doing so is fine. Neal Whitman investigates why there seems to be such a difference between what …

How Long Is a Good Sentence? 'Cord' or 'Chord'? Grumple.

June 10th, 2021

11:36

How Long Is a Good Sentence? 'Cord' or 'Chord'?

Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates.

Watch my LinkedIn Learning writing course.

Join the …

What Made 'Friends' Funny. How Cicadas Got Their Name. Dog Replacer.

June 3rd, 2021

13:41

You laughed and laughed while watching "Friends." One reason it was funny is that the writers took what you expect from a conversation and flipped it on its head. Plus, how cicadas got their name, and why they aren't …

Is 'Graduated College' Wrong? Five Wonderful Latin Phrases.

May 27th, 2021

11:44

I'm hearing "graduated college" much more often. Is it still wrong? Plus, five bona fide Latin phrases you can use to describe something wonderful.

'Bring,' 'Take,' and 'Carry.' 'The Queen's Gambit.' Sweepy Thing.

May 20th, 2021

15:11

We go through the simple rules for "bring" and "take," but then talk about the fun exceptions and dialect forms. Plus, how "The Queen's Gambit" can …

Writing Dialogue. 'Associate Degree' or 'Associate's Degree'? Wiffy.

May 13th, 2021

13:17

Is that dialogue feeling off? We're here to help! Plus, how to write about degrees this graduation season.

Subscribe to the newsletter for regular …

'Ketchup' or 'Catsup'? How to Punctuate Questions. Gmoing Gmoing.

May 6th, 2021

13:43

Have you seen the tomato sauce spelled two different ways? "Ketchup" is the better spelling, but the history of the word is pretty interesting. We also look at how to punctuate questions, especially the weird ones!

What Does ‘Op-Ed’ Really Mean? The Perfect Paragraph Length. Items.

April 29th, 2021

11:20

"Op-ed" may not mean what you think it means. Then we discuss how long a paragraph should be.

Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates.

Watch …

The Intrusive "Of." What Makes English Weird.

April 22nd, 2021

14:18

We talk about the difference between "a prince of a fellow" and "not too good of a time," and then we look at two things that make English especially …

How to Write Faster. The Origin of the Odd Letter W

April 15th, 2021

14:41

12 practical tips and tools that will help you write faster in the time you already have. Also, we explore why we call a letter that looks like two …

'Borrow' and 'Lend.' When to Use 'Nor.' Boncho.

April 8th, 2021

11:12

We use a children's book and a Shakespeare play to talk about "borrow" and "lend," and then we help with the complexities of using "neither" and …

1) Squirrelly Animal Verbs. 2) 'People,' 'Peoples,' and 'Persons': Why It Matters.

April 1st, 2021

10:29

To hog, to ram, to bird dog. We run through a fun list of animal-inspired verbs. Plus, amazingly, it wasn't that long ago that usage experts recommended "persons" instead of "people." And what's the deal with "peoples."

A vast number of words have surprising origins. We talked about some today, including "scientist," "impressionist," "beatnik," and "paradigm."

March 25th, 2021

18:22

A vast number of words have surprising origins. We talked about some today with author Ralph Keyes, including "scientist," "impressionist," …

'Normalcy' or 'Normality'? A Punctuation Question from a Famous Movie Line. Taco Cats.

March 18th, 2021

10:03

Did you know that in the book "Gone with the Wind," Rhett Butler said "My dear..." instead of "Frankly, my dear..."? Also, are we getting back to …

It's Not Just March. Other Months Have 'Ides' Too! Are You on the Pig's Back Today?

March 11th, 2021

11:23

Instead of bewaring the ides of March, I'm going to beware engaging with the Roman calendar. What a fascinating mess! In honor of St. Patrick's Day, we also look at some fun Irish phrases. On the pig's back, anyone?

813 - The History of National Grammar Day. My Favorite Resources. Anniversity

March 4th, 2021

14:01

Have you ever wondered WHY we celebrate National Grammar Day? Who started this thing anyway? And if you want to do your own grammar research, I'll …

812 - Kibosh. Sidekicks. Misolation.

February 25th, 2021

17:29

The origin of "kibosh" is a long-standing mystery in the English language. Yiddish? A whip? Clog-makers tools? We investigate. Also, sidekicks play …

811 - Inigo Montoya and Coining Phrases. 'Dose' or 'Dosage'?

February 18th, 2021

12:49

Coin a phrase? It does not mean what you think it means. And get your dose (or dosage?) right.

Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates.

810 - Words out of Time. Why 'OK' Is OK.

February 11th, 2021

15:22

Would words and phrases like "operative" and "pump him for information" be out of place in a novel set in the 1800s? We investigate! And we also look …

809 - Rethink Descriptions Like 'Diabetic.' The Wonderful World of Italics,

February 4th, 2021

14:25

Should you call someone a diabetic or a person with diabetes? Also, are you confused about when to use italics? We have the basics (and something …

807 - Why We Call Them Sea 'Shanties.' A Trick to Remember How to Spell 'Conscience'

January 21st, 2021

12:15

If you're enjoying sea shanties these days, have you wondered why they're called "shanties"? Plus, I always have a hard time remembering how to spell "conscience." Here's my trick for getting it right.

Subscribe to the …

806 - Why You Should Try Fanfiction. How to Find Tricky Pronunciations.

January 14th, 2021

16:14

Why writing fanfiction can make you a better overall writer. Plus, my tricks for figuring out tricky pronunciations.

Subscribe to the newsletter for …

805 - 'Acedia': the lost name for the emotion we're all feeling right now

January 7th, 2021

11:09

"Acedia": the lost name for the emotion we're all feeling right now. Plus, when does "thank you" need a hyphen?

Subscribe to the newsletter for …

804 - Another Think/Thing Coming. 'Sanction,' 'Cleave,' 'Dust,' and More

December 31st, 2020

14:22

Are Americans ruining the put-down "You've got another think coming," or was it the British band Judas Priest? Also, everyone loves Janus words like "sanction," "cleave," and "dust." We talk about what makes them …

803 - Pandemic, COVID, anderhalvemetersamenleving: 2020 Words of the Year

December 24th, 2020

22:51

It's the Oscars of the language world: word-of-the-year data analysis and voting! A spirited conversation with Merriam-Webster's Emily Brewster about …

802 - Brandon Sanderson on Writing, Character and Place Names, and the Future

December 17th, 2020

34:08

Brandon shares funny stories about character and place names gone wrong, his writing struggles, and what the future holds for his work.

Subscribe to …

801 - How to Get Your 'Just Deserts.' Comma After 'But'? Why?

December 10th, 2020

11:54

More people get the phrase "just deserts" wrong than get it right, but we're here to help! Also, why do some people put a comma after "but"? They …

800 - What Did You Step On? And Is That a Desert or a Dessert?

December 3rd, 2020

9:37

Here's why you can ignore zombie rules and why it's actually better to write "What did you step on?" than "On what did you step?" (But also when you …

799 - What 'Whence' Has to Do with 'Where Are You At?' 'Regime' or 'Regimen'?

November 26th, 2020

11:42

Why the decline of 'whence' and 'whither' led to 'Where are you at?' And weird memory tricks to help you remember the difference between 'regime,' 'regimen,' and 'regiment.' (Don't say you weren't warned!)

Use the …

798 - Why 'Hilarious' Is Funnier than 'Hysterical.' How to Start a Novel.

November 19th, 2020

15:30

The root of "hysterical" may surprise you (and make you want to use "hilarious" instead). Also, things to remember when starting a novel.

Use the hashtag #WhereIListen and tag me to show me where you listen to the …

797 - Why Dickens' Character Names Are So Revealing. 'Continual' or 'Continuous'?

November 12th, 2020

14:29

What Dickens can teach you about choosing your characters' names. Plus, how to remember the frustratingly different meanings of "continuous" and "continual."

Use the hashtag #WhereIListen and tag me to show me where you …

796 - What Is a 'Crony'? Why Doesn’t 'Veterans Day' Have an Apostrophe?

November 6th, 2020

12:36

What Is a 'Crony'? Why Doesn’t 'Veterans Day' Have an Apostrophe?

Use the hashtag #WhereIListen and tag me to show me where you listen to the Grammar …

795 - Why People Use Scare Quotes. 'Dialog' or 'Dialogue'?

October 29th, 2020

10:48

We have some theories on why people write things such as "'fresh' meat." Plus, we dig in to the two spellings of "dialog" (or is that "dialogue"?).

Read the transcript: Scare Quotes. 'Dialog' or 'Dialogue'?

Use the …

794 - Create Characters as Great as Hamlet. How to Format Internal Dialogue

October 22nd, 2020

14:42

6 steps to help you create gripping characters. Plus, we talk about how to format internal dialogue: italics, quotation marks, or nothing?

Read the transcript: Character Creation. Formatting Internal Dialogue.

Reedsy …

793 - Why Journalists Use Misspellings Like 'Lede' and 'Spox'

October 15th, 2020

15:30

Journalists "bury the lede," not the "lead." But why do they spell it that way? And what do HTK, TK, and CQ stand for? From "hed" to "spox," here's all the journo jargon that's fit to print.

Read the transcript: Lede

792 - A Totally, Like, Bitchin' Podcast About 'Like'

October 8th, 2020

15:58

It's not lazy and it's not just filler, but using "like" too much can still get you in trouble.

Read the transcript: Like

Use the hashtag …

791 - 'Although' Versus 'While.' Why We Write with Cliches (and How to Stop)

October 1st, 2020

11:50

What happens when I discover that my pet peeve is wrong? Also, why do we write with cliches? Should we stop, and if so, how?

Read the transcript:

790 - 'Laureate' Is Good. Why Is 'Resting on Your Laurels' Bad? 'Smarmy.'

September 24th, 2020

15:21

If getting laurels is good, and being a Nobel laureate is good, how did we get to "resting on your laurels" being bad? Also, we learn that the word "smarmy" started as a joke (in fact, a kind of familect story).

Read …

789 - How to Make Your Readers Laugh. 'Whoa' or 'Woah'?

September 17th, 2020

14:53

Believe it or not, there are actually rules to being funny. Also, do you think "woah" is a separate word from "whoa"? Some people do, and they think …

788 - Why 'Out of Pocket' Means Both 'Inappropriate' and 'Unavailable'

September 10th, 2020

16:02

People have been asking about the "unavailable" meaning of "out of pocket" for decades, but there's also an "inappropriate" meaning that is spreading.

Read the transcript: Out of Pocket

Use the hashtag #WhereIListen and …

787 - Why We Associate Political Parties with the Colors Red and Blue

September 3rd, 2020

24:40

Nick and Hannah explain "red" and "blue," the origin of "POTUS," why the Declaration of Independence is the greatest break-up letter ever written, …

786 - 'Doomscrolling' (OK, Doomer). 'Each Other' or 'One Another'?

August 27th, 2020

14:38

Whether you call it "doomscrolling" or "doomsurfing," it's not your fault that you feel compelled to do it. "Doom" has an interesting history though. …

785 - 'Gantlet' or 'Gauntlet'? Do You Want to Say 'Had Went'?

August 20th, 2020

12:12

Have you been told to write "run the GANTLET"? Here's why you shouldn't. Also, editor Ben Yagoda explains why he's so tempted to use "had went" …

784 - A Historical Tip for Remembering When to Use 'Historical.' Put More Thought into Your Punctuation.

August 13th, 2020

14:40

Kamala Harris's selection as Joe Biden's running mate is important, significant, and a number of firsts, but should we call it "historic" or …

783 - How Hurricanes Get Their Names. When You Should Avoid Using Contractions.

August 6th, 2020

18:11

Isaias. Mitch. Andrew. Jimena. How hurricanes get their names, and why you'll see some names twice and others never again. Also, have you ever heard …

782 - What are those dots over letters? Why does 'money' have a plural, and how do you spell it?

July 30th, 2020

10:20

What are those double dots over letters in English? Why does "money" have a plural, and how do you spell it?

Read the transcripts: Diaeresis. 'Monies' or 'Moneys'?

Use the hashtag #WhereIListen to show me where you …

781 - Blursday or Whensday? Middle Grade Versus Young Adult Fiction

July 23rd, 2020

16:32

Blursday is a popular word to use when you don't know what day of the week it is. It captures that disoriented feeling when everything is a blur. And …

780 - Which Comes First? Who or Where?

July 16th, 2020

14:50

We started to wonder about the question words in the phrase "Who does what and goes where when."

Read the transcript.

Use the hashtag #WhereIListen to show me where you listen to the Grammar Girl podcast.

Subscribe to …

779 - How You Can Help the OED. Capitalizing 'Black.' How Playwriting Techniques Can Improve Your Writing.

July 9th, 2020

14:15

Imagine the bragging rights: The OED needs your help antedating words. Why you should capitalize "Black." How playwriting techniques can improve your …

778 - Do We Say 'Red Skies at Night, Sailor's Delight' Because of the Saharan Dust Plumes? Also, 'Yoiks!'

July 2nd, 2020

14:03

The Saharan dust plumes can make the sky red, but they aren't the source of the old saying "Red skies at night, sailor's delight. Red skies in the …

777 - How to Write Fight Scenes (and How to Get Started as a Fiction Editor)

June 25th, 2020

29:07

Fiction editor Joshua Essoe gives his best tips for writing fight scenes (hint: it's not about the fighting). And he describes how he got his first …

776 - Why a Detective Searched for 'Clews' in a 1929 Novel. ‘Systemic’ or ‘Systematic’?

June 18th, 2020

11:59

Our writer was surprised when he came across "clew" instead of "clue" in a detective novel from 1929, and the explanation includes a great story about the origin of the word "clue." Also, people have been wondering …

775 - Why We Talk About 'Bad Apples.' 'A Few' Versus 'a Couple'

June 11th, 2020

11:23

We started to wonder why people seem to forget the second half of the saying about bad apples. Plus, we settle a dispute about the difference between "a couple" and "a few."

Read the transcripts: Bad Apples. A Couple …

774 - Roy Peter Clark on Civic Clarity

June 4th, 2020

33:16

Roy Peter Clark has been teaching writing at the Poynter Institute since 1977 and regularly offers up some of the best writing advice I see. Today, …

773 - Postal Zones. Reenter. Bougie.

May 28th, 2020

11:41

How postal zones led to ZIP codes. Why I like to put a hyphen in "re-enter." How "bougie," which today has a negative connotation, came from an older …

772 - The History of ZIP Codes and Addresses (Plus How to Write Them)

May 21st, 2020

21:50

If you've ever wondered how to capitalize 'ZIP Code' (or is that 'ZIP code' or 'zip code'?), this one is for you. Plus, I have an interview with Deirdre Mask about this history and importance of addresses in general. …

771 - Writing Lessons from Bad Job Applications

May 14th, 2020

15:42

Our guest, Lindsay McMahon of the All Ears English podcast, recently hired and now shares the lessons she learned going through a lot of bad résumés and cover letters.

Read the transcripts: Dos and Don'ts for Job …

770 - 'Muslim' or 'Moslem'? 'Fishfolk'? 'Fishist'? What Is the Gender-Neutral Term for 'Fisherman'?

May 7th, 2020

13:20

Why do we use the new spelling "Muslim" and not the older spelling "Moslem" anymore? Also, we talk about AP Stylebook updates and end up on a fun …

769 - Why Do We Say 'Cool Your Heels'? What's Up With 'Zhuzh'?

April 30th, 2020

18:06

Here's why we say "cool your heels" and "cool your jets"—they're different! Also, we take a close look at the word "zhuzh" which means to make …

768 - Why Aren't We 'Whelmed'? And Cabin 'Fever,' Anyone?

April 23rd, 2020

11:29

We know we can be overwhelmed. Why aren't we ever just whelmed? Also, maybe it was having cabin fever that made us start thinking about all the English idioms that use the word "fever."

Read the transcripts: Whelmed.

767 - The semicolon is so much more interesting than you imagine

April 16th, 2020

29:25

From 19th century grammatical duels to modern day suicide prevention campaigns, the semicolon has a long history of inspiring strong emotions.

Read …

766 - 'Flaunt' and 'Flout.' 'Band Together.'

April 9th, 2020

11:35

The word "flaunt" and "flute" are strangely related (flue of shame, anyone?), but don't use either of them to mean "flout."

Read the transcripts. 'Flout' and 'Flaunt.' 'Band Together.'

Subscribe to the newsletter for …

765 - Say No to Marshall Law. How 'Vaccine' Is Related to 'Cow.'

April 2nd, 2020

9:50

Why you could be forgiven for (briefly) getting excited about "Marshall Law." Plus, the word "vaccine" is related to cows. That's a surprise!

Read …

764 - Skeleton Crew. Hunker Down. Uncharted. Existential.

March 26th, 2020

10:39

Times are terrible, but no matter what is happening, we will always have interesting words and phrases to explore.

Read the transcripts. Skeleton Crew. Hunker Down. Uncharted. Existential.

Subscribe to the newsletter

763 - How to Write Better Email. 'Pandemic' vs. 'Epidemic.' 'Canceled' vs. 'Cancelled.'

March 19th, 2020

13:41

Are you writing more email? We have seven ways to do it better. Also, we'll help you understand the difference between an epidemic and a pandemic and …

762 - How to Pronounce 'Celtic.' 'Whiskey' or 'Whisky'?

March 12th, 2020

10:58

Sports fans say "Seltik." Historians say "Keltik." Here's the deal. Plus, have you ever noticed that Irish whiskey and Scottish whisky are spelled differently?

Read the transcripts. Celtic. Whiskey.

Subscribe to the …

761 - Why It's Called 'Daylight Saving Time.' The Origin of the Word 'Woman.'

March 5th, 2020

14:14

We're moving our clocks forward this weekend, but do you know why we call it "daylight saving time"? Plus, I have some other time-related tips. Finally, in honor of International Women's Day, we look at the surprising …

760 - What Is Genre. 'Bangs' Versus 'Fringe.'

February 27th, 2020

11:26

How to figure out which genre you love or how to describe the book you're writing so the publishing industry will understand where it fits. Also, we explain how Americans came to call fringe "bangs."

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

759 - What Does ‛Mardi Gras’ Mean? "Drive to Work" Versus "Drive Home"

February 20th, 2020

8:34

It’s the end of February, which means Mardi Gras is almost here! When we think of Mardi Gras, we picture parties, parades, and beads. But did you ever wonder what “Mardi Gras” means? Also, we answer a questions about …

758 - Why 'XOXO' Means 'Hugs and Kisses'

February 13th, 2020

6:18

You may write "XOXO" to means "hugs and kisses," but do you know how those symbols get their meaning?

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Learn how you can get my …

757 - The days of the week are names you've known your whole life, but do you know their origin?

February 6th, 2020

9:53

Saturday and Tuesday come from different places. The days of the week are names you've known your whole life, but have you ever wondered about their …

756 - High Odds or Low Odds?

January 30th, 2020

10:18

In this Super-Bowl-themed episode, we learn why "high odds" and "low odds" are confusing, we learn why you want a disinterested referee, and in honor of the Puppy Bowl, we learn when to capitalize breed names.

LINKS AND …

755 - How to Write Anything

January 23rd, 2020

8:14

Develop this one skill and you'll write better essays, profiles, movie reviews, complaint letters, and more.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Learn how you can get my LinkedIn Learning course free: https://t.co/coQuXJRtrT |

GRAMMAR …

754 - The Tie Between Ann Landers and 'Could Care Less.'

January 16th, 2020

7:40

Language experts actually have theories about why people say they "could care less" (instead of they "couldn't care less"). We dig deep to find the …

753 - Take Heart! Here's Why You Still Have Time to Write Your First Novel

January 9th, 2020

15:58

In this interview, I talk with Bourne Morris about starting a writing career after you've retired. Bourne had one amazing career running a large advertising agency, a second as a journalism professor, and is now the …

752 - Why Do Asian Languages Have So Many Different Scripts?

January 2nd, 2020

6:55

You don’t have to learn a new script when you learn Norwegian, Czech, or Portuguese, let alone French, so why does every East Asian language require you to learn a new script?

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Learn how you can get …

751 - Why Are There So Many Spellings for 'Hanukkah'? (Or Is That 'Chanukah'?)

December 26th, 2019

7:15

Hebrew and English don't use the same alphabet, which is why you see so many different spellings for "Hanukkah." The word is transliterated from Hebrew instead of being directly translated from Hebrew.

LINKS AND …

750 - Pitch Black. Frankincense and Myrrh.

December 19th, 2019

9:36

The sky is so dark in the Northern Hemisphere these days that it feels pitch black by 5:00 PM. Here's why call it "pitch black." Also, we know what …

749 - How to Identify Your Main Point. It's Harder Than You Think!

December 16th, 2019

26:44

You think you know what you're trying to say, but are you making it clear? Joel Schwartzberg, author of "Get to the Point" has some great tips for, well, getting to the point.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Learn how you can get …

748 - Your Language Affects Your Perception of Time. 'Star Wars' Languages.

December 12th, 2019

15:18

Do you think of the future as being in front of you or behind you? It might depend on what language you speak. Also, we explore the many languages of 'Star Wars.'

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Learn how you can get my LinkedIn …

747 - You Don't Have to Get Up on Stage for Improv to Boost Your Creativity

December 9th, 2019

32:40

Are you looking for a way to jumpstart your creativity and writing? You may be surprised to find out how much techniques from improv can help! You'll love this interview with Jorjeana Marie, the author of "Improv for …

746 - How to Make Family Names Plural. How Come We Ask 'How Come?'

December 5th, 2019

13:13

Making last names plural? Addressing more than one sister-in-law? More than one Mister? We show you how to address them properly. Also, we investigate why we sometimes ask "How come?" instead of "Why?"

LINKS AND …

745 - 'More Than' Versus 'Over.' Is a Hamburger a Sandwich?

December 2nd, 2019

16:22

The AP Stylebook changed its stance on using "over" to mean "more than." Plenty of people were shocked, but they shouldn't have been. And then we …

744 - Cold Turkey, Talk Turkey, and More. The Weird Origin of the Cornucopia.

November 28th, 2019

11:16

Have you ever wondered what cold turkey has to do with quitting a habit? We have the answer to that and we look at other turkey idioms. And …

743 - How to Get Your Characters Right (Especially When They Aren't Like You)

November 25th, 2019

29:35

In this interview, Diana Pho, a two-time Hugo nominated editor with Tor.com Publishing, helped me understand the role of sensitivity readers and how …

742 - Famous Quotations. Silent Letters.

November 21st, 2019

13:48

You may think that quotation you love came from Plato or G. K. Chesterton, but are you sure? Also, we look at why it's tricky to to figure out why a letter is silent in certain words.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Ways to get my …

741 - Behind the Scenes in Publishing.

November 18th, 2019

19:08

If you're interested in publishing a YA novel (or are just interested in how publishing works), this interview with Kat Brzozowski about Swoon Reads and what happens behind the scenes is for you.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

740 - Do You Know When to Use Quotation Marks? Also, How to Create a House Style.

November 15th, 2019

13:31

Do you know when to use quotation marks? How about single quotation marks? Also, you know about the major style guides (AP, Chicago, etc.), but do …

739 - The Problem with Sarcasm. Filthy Lucre.

November 11th, 2019

12:37

People have been trying to create sarcasm punctuation marks for years, but the solution is already in our hands. Plus, have you ever wondered why we …

738 - Can a Boy Raised by Wolves Learn to Speak Human Language? It Depends.

November 7th, 2019

13:02

The story of Victor of Aveyron, a boy who was raised by wolves and taught us about language.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Learn how you can get my LinkedIn …

737 - Curtis Chen: Using NaNoWriMo to Kickstart Your Novel

November 4th, 2019

33:37

How you can use NaNoWriMo to jumpstart your fiction writing. Plus, more extreme measures to move your writing forward...if you're up for it.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Learn how you can get my LinkedIn Learning course free:

736 - Ghastly Words for Ghosts. Quid pro Quo.

October 31st, 2019

15:57

In honor of Halloween, we look at ghastly words for ghosts. Also, people have been asking how to properly use the phrase "quid pro quo," so we have the answer. (Do you know the plural?)

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Learn how …

735 - Dave Itzkoff on Writing a Biography of Robin Williams

October 28th, 2019

34:28

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Ways to get my LinkedIn Learning course free: https://t.co/coQuXJRtrT |

Capterra: https://capterra.com/grammar |

GRAMMAR GIRL EMAIL NEWSLETTER |

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/newsletters |

734 - Ghost Words

October 24th, 2019

12:03

In honor of Halloween, we talk about ghost words such as "phantomnation," "gravy," "twill," and more. Words that shouldn't exist.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

733 - Why People Hate Words Like 'Moist'

October 21st, 2019

23:07

When people have a negative physical reaction to a specific word, it's called word aversion (not misophonia as some people mistakenly presume). …

732 - How to Write a Conclusion. ‘Rebut’ or ‘Refute’?

October 17th, 2019

9:41

Writing a conclusion can be the hardest part of writing an essay. We have help! Also, a listener asked me to explain the difference between "rebut" and "refute."

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Learn how you can get my LinkedIn …

731 - Compound Possession. 'Friday' or 'On Friday'?

October 14th, 2019

11:37

In this show, we answer two listener questions: 1. Should you write about "Bill and Ted's trip" or "Bill's and Ted's trip"? 2. Should you say you'll …

730 - Turning a Podcast into a Novel: 'The Bright Sessions' to 'The Infinite Noise'

October 10th, 2019

30:39

Lauren Shippen, the creator of one of my new favorite audio dramas, "The Bright Sessions," talks about turning a podcast into a novel and about going …

729 - Making Words That End in Y Plural.'Primer' Pronunciation.

October 7th, 2019

10:48

If you've ever wondered why "primer" is sometimes pronounced "primmer," this show is for you! We also talk about why you make words that end in Y plural in different ways.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Learn how you can get my …

728 - How English Words Came Into French After World War II

October 3rd, 2019

16:29

French authorities tried to keep English out of their language, but “tank,” “bulldozer,” and “jeep” got the ball rolling, and it kept going from …

727 - The Quirky Australian 'Crime' Tense. 'Hopefully.'

September 30th, 2019

14:34

A listener asked why Australians use the present perfect tense in a way you won't hear in British or American English. You'll often hear it in crime reports or on the radio. Also, we look at a slightly controversial use …

726 - A Cup of Joe. ‘Smokey’ and ‘Smoky.’

September 26th, 2019

11:30

In honor of National Coffee Day, we talk about the origin of coffee and all its nicknames. Plus, I'll help you remember the difference between "smoky" and "smokey" with a little help from Smokey Bear.

LINKS AND SPONSORS …

725 - Interviewing, Story Structure, and Writing Tools with Jonathan Small

September 23rd, 2019

35:09

If you've ever been nervous before interviewing someone, struggled to write a good lede, or just want to get some tips on handy tools for writers, …

724 - Why Esperanto Is an Amazing Language. 'Fall' or 'Autumn'?

September 19th, 2019

11:16

Created on purpose and easy to learn, Esperanto will amaze you. Once you learn the origin of "fall," you'll look at trees in a whole new way.

LINKS …

723 - Grammar Girl #723. Tips for Fact Checking. Why We Use the Term 'Watershed Moment.'

September 16th, 2019

11:17

Learn from our fact checking tips that come from years of experience. Also, we answer a listener question about why we call something a "watershed moment."

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Merrill Financial Advisor Development …

722 - 'Math' or 'Maths'? Irregular Verbs.

September 12th, 2019

14:30

Have you ever wondered why the British say "maths" and "in hospital" and Americans say "math" and "in the hospital"? We have some answers. Also, we …

721 - Verbing Nouns. 'It Is I' or 'It Is Me'?

September 9th, 2019

12:22

Alan wonders what to think about his co-workers "solutioning" problems. Also, we investigate whether you should tell people "It is I" or "It is me."

720 - Getting Your Tricky Conditionals Right. Wheelhouse.

September 5th, 2019

14:21

We think there are better ways to talk about conditionals (such as "If Squiggly knew the answer...") than to use the vague terms first, second, and third conditionals. Also we look at why people talk about things being …

719 - Why 'Literally' Doesn't Mean 'Literally' Anymore. Video Games for Language Learning.

September 2nd, 2019

15:53

If you hate how people misuse words like "literally" and "awesome," at least you can learn that there's a name for that kind of misuse: semantic bleaching. Also, have you ever considered using World of Warcraft or Final …

718 - Writing Scripts and Speeches. Ask and Aks.

August 29th, 2019

13:52

Writing for speech is different from writing for print. The "aks" pronunciation for "ask" has a nearly 1000-year history.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Magoosh: http://magoosh.com code: GRAMMAR |

Babbel: http://babbel.com |

717 - Words that Sound Funny

August 26th, 2019

11:11

Use these tricks to get a laugh.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Merrill Financial Advisor Development Program: http:/careers.bankofamerica.com |

Magoosh: http://magoosh.com code: GRAMMAR |

Proactiv: http://proactiv.com/grammar |

716 - What's Up With Words That Are Spelled the Same but Sound Different?

August 23rd, 2019

11:39

SUS-pect and sus-PECT. IN-valid and in-VALID. English is filled with words that are spelled the same but sound different. We dug in and found a few interesting reasons.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Magoosh: http://magoosh.com

715 - POV. Plus 'Tinderella,' 'phubbing,' and more words at the intersection of relationships and technology.

August 19th, 2019

14:12

We rock. You rock. They rock. Understanding point of view in fiction. "Tinderella," "phubbing," and more words at the intersection of relationships …

714 - Eponyms: Cardigan, Dunce, Quisling, and More.

August 16th, 2019

16:02

Some words get their names from people, and when they do, the stories are usually fascinating.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Magoosh: http://magoosh.com code: GRAMMAR |

True & Co.: http://trueandco.com/grammar code: GRAMMAR |

713 - More Apostrophe Mayhem. Dyslexia Writing Tips

August 12th, 2019

16:46

One of the most common questions I get is how to make a word like "Kansas" possessive. There isn't a right or wrong answer, but I can help you decide which is best for you. Also, we have tips on how to make your work …

712 - Apostrophe Catastrophe. What (or Who) Is a Cipher?

August 8th, 2019

14:25

It's not your fault apostrophes are confusing. We have help. Also, I called someone a "cipher," and my husband didn't know what that meant.

LINKS AND …

711 - Misheard Song Lyrics and Eggcorns. The Ampersand.

August 5th, 2019

21:55

When you mishear song lyrics, the resulting (often funny) error is called a mondegreen. We have the story about why and the run-down on similar funny …

710 - Vacay. Why Some People Call Green Peppers 'Mangoes'

August 1st, 2019

11:04

It's time to take off, and we have 10 words to describe it. Also, we dig in to an interesting mystery: Why some people call green peppers "mangoes."

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Magoosh: http://magoosh.com code:GRAMMAR |

709 - Surprise! The History of Semicolons Is Exciting.

July 29th, 2019

28:37

I talked with Cecelia Watson, author of the new book "Semicolon" about how grammar writers in the 1800s became fabulously wealthy, struggled to …

708 - Why Alcohol Is 'Hard.' 'Phenomena' or 'Phenomenon'?

July 25th, 2019

11:11

A listener asked why we call some kinds of alcohol hard drinks and spirits, so we found the answer! Also, I'll help you remember the difference …

707 - How and Why the Internet Is Changing Language

July 22nd, 2019

29:49

Gretchen McCulloch studies how people use language on the internet, and today we talked about her new book, "Because Internet." I bet you'll …

706 - Sometimes It's Not a Bad Idea to Dumb Down Your Language.

July 18th, 2019

10:53

Why sometimes it's not a bad idea to dumb down your language.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

True & Co: http://trueandco.com/grammar code:GRAMMAR |

Grammar Girl Email Newsletter | https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/newsletters

705 - 'Blue Collar,' 'Bluestocking,' and 'the Blue Hair Brigade.' 'Oral' Versus 'Verbal.'

July 16th, 2019

12:10

We talk about the origins of the phrases "blue collar," "bluestocking," and "blue hair," and discuss whether you should follow a rule you may not …

704 - Present Tense When Writing About Fiction. The Poop Emoji and Eggcorns.

July 11th, 2019

9:26

If you're writing about fiction, especially time-shifting fiction, it can be tricky figuring out whether to use present tense or past tense. We have help! Also, I answer a listener question about a funny mix up about …

703 - Why There Are 9 Different Ways to Pronounce the Letter T

July 8th, 2019

22:20

We count nine different allophones of the letter T. Odds are good you'll recognize them all (and some of them may annoy you).

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Babbel: http://babbel.com/grammar |
True & Co:

702 - ‘All of a Sudden’ or ‘All of the Sudden’? ‘Baited’ or ‘Bated’ Breath?

July 4th, 2019

9:45

I had a listener insist the wrong way of saying "suddenly" was right, so I had to look into it. Also, I'll help you spell "bated breath" properly (and explain why it looks so weird).

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Babbel:

701 - ‘Biweekly’ or ‘Semiweekly’? ‘Foward' and ‘Forward.’

July 1st, 2019

9:57

Today I have a Quick and Dirty Tip about the difference between “biweekly” and “semiweekly,” and I respond to a listener question about why I pronounce “forward” without the R.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Babbel:

700 - When to Capitalize 'Google.' Why Zero is 'Love' in Tennis.

June 27th, 2019

9:48

Today I answer a listener question about how to write "Google" when you use it as a verb, and we talk about the strange scoring system in tennis. Wimbledon is upon us!

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Blinkist:

699 - When to Capitalize Computer Terms. StetWalk

June 24th, 2019

7:32

Today I answer listener questions about how to write about a Word document, a PDF file, or a zip file. And learn how to play along with #StetWalk!

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Stitcher App: http://stitcherapp.com/grammar |

698 - 'Subpoena.' When To Capitalize 'The' in Titles.

June 20th, 2019

6:37

I could never remember how to spell "subpoena" until I came up with a memory trick! Also, we go over the tricky cases of when to capitalize the word …

697 - What Anyone Can Learn From the College Essay Process

June 17th, 2019

26:13

Even if you're not applying to college right now, the format of the college essay has a lot to teach about writing and self-reflection. A college …

696 - Hyphens in Ages. The Emphatic 'This.'

June 13th, 2019

8:02

We talk about when to use (and not use) hyphens in ages, and when it's OK to say, "I listen to THIS podcast that covers language" instead of "I listen to A podcast that covers language."

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Start With …

695 - 'Armageddon' or 'Apocalypse'? Numbers in Dialogue.

June 10th, 2019

11:45

Watching the new show "Good Omens," we started wondering about the difference between Armageddon and the apocalypse. Also after helping a friend with an editing dispute about numbers in dialogue, we wanted to pass on …

694 - Country Names and “The”: The Ukraine or Ukraine. Theater Idioms.

June 6th, 2019

13:29

You used to hear people say "the Ukraine," but now it's just "Ukraine." We know why! Plus, in honor of the Tony Awards, we talk about idioms from the theater.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

How to Be Yourself Book:

693 - What's Wrong with Saying Something Is 'Very Unique'?

June 4th, 2019

16:10

What's wrong with saying something is "very unique"? Plus, autological words like "longer."

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Family Ghosts Podcast:

692 - Godzilla, Cryptids, and Dilemma Comments.

May 30th, 2019

10:13

Merriam-Webster added the word “cryptid” to its dictionary, and “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” is hitting theaters, so it seemed like a good time to talk about a few monster words and to answer an important question: …

691 - BONUS: Introducing Science Rules! with Bill Nye

May 27th, 2019

2:54

Bill Nye is on a mission to change the world—one phone call at a time. On his new podcast, Science Rules!, he tackles the curliest questions on just …

690 - The Spelling Bee Kids

May 23rd, 2019

21:59

The author of "Beeline" reveals where those funny example sentences come from in the spelling bee and what the success of young spellers can tell us about Generation Z.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Grammar Girl Email …

689 - More or most? Majority or plurality? The many (how many?) ways to describe amounts.

May 20th, 2019

8:00

How many do you need for a "majority." When "a couple" isn't two. And more.

688 - Dangling Participles

May 16th, 2019

9:06

What are participles and why do they dangle?

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Graduation Sweepstakes: http://bit.ly/qdtlifeaftercollege |

Grammar Girl's AP …

687 - What It's Like to Be a Book Editor and Translator

May 13th, 2019

16:12

Palgrave Macmillan executive editor Elisabeth Dyssegaard is from Denmark and also works as a translator.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

http://bombas.com/grammar |

Grammar Girl's AP style webinar: http://bit.ly/GrammarWebinar2019

686 - The 'Dilemma' Dilemma. 'Big Bang Theory" Words and Language.

May 9th, 2019

14:25

The 'Dilemma' Dilemma. 'Big Bang Theory" Words and Language.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

http://stamps.com Code:GRAMMAR |

http://startwiththispodcast.com |

Grammar Girl's AP style webinar: http://bit.ly/GrammarWebinar2019 |

685 - How to Find Work as a Freelance Writer. Adventure.

May 6th, 2019

16:12

Tips for new graduates or anyone who is trying to get started as a freelance writer. Plus, the adventurous origin of the word "adventure."

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL |

YouTube: http://bit.ly/YoutubeGrammar |

Twitter:

684 - ‘Unquote’ or ‘End Quote’? Cinco de Mayo. Horse Idioms.

May 2nd, 2019

12:57

Today we have a couple of fun, timely segments (Cinco de Mayo! The Kentucky Derby!) and we answer a listener question about whether Grammar Girl is misspeaking.

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL |

YouTube: http://bit.ly/YoutubeGrammar

683 - ‘So’ and ‘So That’: What Type of Conjunction Are They?

April 29th, 2019

21:29

‘So’ and ‘So That’: Coordinating or Subordinating Conjunction?

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL |

YouTube: http://bit.ly/YoutubeGrammar |

Twitter: http://bit.ly/TwitterGrammarGirl |

Facebook: http://bit.ly/FacebookGrammarGirl |

682 - Do You Drop Your T's? 'Sneaked' and 'Snuck.'

April 25th, 2019

14:41

Young women are leading language change again! This time, it's dropping T's in words like "Vermont" and "important." Also, we look at how "snuck" is sneaking up on "sneaked."

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL |

YouTube:

681 - 'The Dictionary of Difficult Words,' an Interview with Jane Solomon

April 22nd, 2019

31:57

Doppelganger, estival, and funambulist. Jane Solomon shares the story behind her new book, "The Dictionary of Difficult Words." FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL | …

680 - Wakandan, Groot, and Other Languages of the Marvel Universe. Easter and Passover.

April 18th, 2019

13:54

Wakandan, Groot, and more. The movies in the Marvel universe are filled with interesting real and made-up languages. Plus, did you know Easter and Passover are linguistically related? FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL | YouTube:

679 - Brussels sprouts? Scotch eggs? Swedish meatballs? Which food names can you trust?

April 15th, 2019

14:42

Some foods really do come from a certain city or region, others have names that are tied to the location but not in the way you think, and some are outright fakers. We get to the bottom of Brussels sprouts, Scotch eggs, …

678 - Moolah, Clams, and Scratch. God, Godsend, and Godfather.

April 11th, 2019

15:15

Paying our taxes made us think about slang words for money, and all the upcoming religious holidays made us wonder which "god" words to capitalize. …

676 - The Language of 'Game of Thrones'

April 4th, 2019

13:42

There’s so much excitement about the 'Game of Thrones' finale that we just had to include a segment about on it this week’s show. Not just because we love dragons and swords—we do! — but because a core part of the …

675 - Why Verbs Like 'Witness' Are Weird

April 1st, 2019

16:00

A listener asked why a sentence using the verb "witness" sounded weird, and we found a surprising answer.

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL |

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl |
Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl |

674 - How You Can Benefit Year-Round from NaNoWriMo

March 28th, 2019

19:45

Grant Faulkner's organization has worked with hundreds of thousands of writers, and he has some advice for you.

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL |

YouTube:

673 - Schwa-ify This! Scrabble Stories

March 25th, 2019

14:51

A scene from "The Princess Bride" will help you understand the schwa. Plus, how one Scrabble tournament got out of hand.

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL |

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl |
Twitter:

672 - How a Semicolon Brought Two Writers Together

March 21st, 2019

20:58

Jennifer Miller and Jason Feifer, authors of "Mr. Nice Guy," talk about how the semicolon brought them together, how they wrangle working as a …

670 - Equinox. Is Irish the Same as Gaelic?

March 14th, 2019

14:08

What Is the Equinox? Is Irish the Same as Gaelic? |

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL |

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl |
Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl |
Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl |
Pinterest:

669 - 'Red Tape,' 'Red Herring,' 'Paint the Town Red,' and More 'Red' Idioms.

March 11th, 2019

11:05

This week, we investigate the origin of "red tape" and other "red" idioms.

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl
Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl
Facebook:

668 - What's Wrong with 'These Ones'? Faith and Begorrah, We Have Irish Phrases for St. Patrick's Day!

March 7th, 2019

13:15

Faith and begorrah, we have Irish phrases for St. Patrick's Day! Plus, a listener asks whether it's wrong to say "these ones" and "those ones." FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl Twitter:

666 - Double Negatives.

February 28th, 2019

11:10

In this week's Grammar Girl podcast, we talk about why double negatives aren't always wrong. You just need to be careful with them.

FOLLOW GRAMMAR …

665 - Language News Chat

February 25th, 2019

34:32

Mignon and Neal talk about language influencing memory, OFOM, university language programs, and more.

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl
Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl
Facebook:

664 - Benjamin Dreyer and His Unusual Pet Peeves

February 21st, 2019

35:53

New York Times bestselling author Benjamin Dreyer talks about his pet peeves, how he found his voice, why his book largely ignores AP style, and more.

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl

663 - D-Day. Why I Want a Salad-Salad.

February 18th, 2019

13:12

What does the "D" in "D-Day" mean? What makes a salad-salad different from a plain old salad?

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL

YouTube:

662 - 'Racket' or 'Racquet'? Never Misspell 'Bureaucracy' Again.

February 14th, 2019

16:08

When to use "racket" and "racquet," never forget how to spell "bureaucracy" again, the origin of winter storm words. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl Twitter:

661 - How Paula Brackston picks her characters’ names and uses language to set a tone.

February 11th, 2019

22:37

Mignon and Paula Brackston (author of "The Witch's Daughter" and "The Little Shop of Found Things") talk about how Paula picks her characters’ names, …

660 - 'Irregardless' or 'Regardless'? Crime Words.

February 7th, 2019

16:18

Why do people say "irregardless" and where do we get words like "sleuth," "red herring," and "gumshoe"?

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl
Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl
Facebook:

659 - Normans, Ralls, and Voicemail

February 4th, 2019

3:48

I want you to share your family's word stories, and I tell one of my own to get you started. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook:

658 - 'Wage,' 'Wager,' and 'Wed'

January 31st, 2019

12:59

It's a Super Bowl episode! Grammar Girl investigates how "wager" is related to "wed" and "mortgage." Why does the saying "The wages of sin is death," …

657 - 'Tip of the Hat" or 'Tip Your Hand'? 'Yeah No.'

January 24th, 2019

17:02

This week, we figure out why you tip both your hat and your hand, and then we take a fascinating look at why people use the seemingly illogical phrase "Yeah no."

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL

YouTube:

656 - ‘Relapse’ or ‘Recur’? 'Kneeled' or 'Knelt.' ’Methinks.’

January 17th, 2019

10:14

This week, I have a Quick and Dirty Tip about the difference between the words “relapse” and “recur,” another Quick and Dirty Tip about the difference between “kneeled” and “knelt,” and a meaty middle about the word …

655 - ‘Myriad’ or ‘Myriad Of’? What Is a Run-On Sentence?

January 10th, 2019

10:12

This week, we talk about the controversy over "a myriad of" and (clutch your pearls!) "myriads" and explain why a run-on sentence isn't just a really long sentence. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL YouTube:

654 - 'Stint' or 'Stent'? How to Pronounce 'Coyote.'

January 3rd, 2019

14:23

This week, I give you a memory trick--based on an amazing story from history--for remembering the difference between "stint" and "stent," and we look at why people pronounce "coyote" at least five different ways.

FOLLOW …

653 - How to Use an Asterisk. Journaling.

December 27th, 2018

11:42

This week, we learn the ins and outs of using an asterisk and talk about the many ways to keep a journal. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl

652 - ‘Purposely' or 'Purposefully'? Yule.

December 20th, 2018

10:14

In this week's Grammar Girl podcast, I help you stop misusing "purposefully" and delve into the history of yuletide.

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL

YouTube:

651 - 'Capitulate' or 'Recapitulate'? Colons.

December 13th, 2018

10:42

This week, we investigate why "capitulate" and "recapitulate" have such different meanings when they seem so similar, and we review how to use …

650 - 'Wreaked' or 'Wrought'? 'Crescendo.' Could We Understand Aliens?

December 6th, 2018

13:11

This week, we'll explore the difference between "wreaked" and "wrought," learn a trick to never misuse or misspell "crescendo" again, and answer the …

649 - 'Ado' or 'Adieu'? Pronouns and Antecedents

November 29th, 2018

13:12

This week, we'll tease apart the ado/adieu eggcorn and make some funny sentences using pronoun/antecedent errors.

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl
Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl

648 - Does Your Language Influence How You Think?

November 22nd, 2018

22:38

The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis claims that the language you speak determines the way you think. It's been widely debunked, but we go through some studies that seem to support it and some studies that don't. It's all …

647 - Pronoun Order. ‘Flier’ or ‘Flyer.’ The Plural of ‘Mouse.’

November 15th, 2018

11:01

This week, I have a Quick and Dirty Tip about pronouns and how you should order them, another Quick and Dirty Tip about how to spell “flyer” (or is …

646 - 'Blond' or 'Blonde'? How 'Trolloping' Became a Word.

November 8th, 2018

14:16

Have you ever wondered why we have two ways to spell "blond(e)"? Also, I share some fascinating American frontier history that reveals how …

645 - Interview with New York Times bestselling author Courtney Summers

November 1st, 2018

15:07

This week is a special show. I interview Courtney Summers, the author of the New York Times best-selling novel "Sadie," and learn what it was like to work on a book that also had a podcast component and what inspires …

644 - 'Sit' or 'Set'? Monster Names.

October 25th, 2018

8:50

This week, teaching a dog to sit can help you remember "sit" versus "set," and we get ready for Halloween with words that come from monster names.

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL

Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl
Facebook:

643 - ‘In the Limelight.’ ‘A’ or ‘An’?

October 18th, 2018

12:09

This week, we figure out why we say people are "in the limelight," and we explain the rules for using "a" and "an"--many people misunderstand the …

642 - 'Regard' Versus 'Regards.' Languages Without Numbers.

October 11th, 2018

12:09

This week, we tease out when to use "regard" and when to use "regards," and we learn about fascinating languages that don't have numbers. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook:

641 - 'Myself.' ‘Get the Skinny.’

October 4th, 2018

16:00

This week, I help people learn how to use the word "myself" (and talk about some interesting dialects) and investigate about why we say we "get the skinny" on something. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter:

640 - Can a Screw Screw Itself into a Board? (Middle Voice)

September 27th, 2018

16:34

This week, we look at an interesting kind of sentence that's written in the "middle voice."

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL

Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl
Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl
Pinterest:

639 - Great Paragraphs. Falling off the Turnip Truck.

September 20th, 2018

9:23

Go beyond formulaic essay rules and create paragraphs that will hook your readers. Also, we figure out why people say they didn't just fall off the …

638 - 'None.' How Pirates Talked.

September 13th, 2018

11:03

Some people say only "none is" is right, but we tackle "none are." Plus, we have an extra fun segment about pirate-speak for Talk Like a Pirate Day. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook:

637 - ‘MacGyver.’ ‘Semicolons.’

September 6th, 2018

9:28

Last week, I talked about "MacGyvering" things, so this week, I explain what I meant. Plus, I talk about one of the most contentious punctuation …

636 - 'To Boot.' Duck Tape. 'Can' and 'May.' Pronouns.

August 30th, 2018

14:39

This week, I have more evidence that "quick and dirty" is from the Pacific Northwest, why we say "to boot," whether the correct name is "duct tape" or "duck tape," whether it's really wrong to say "Can I go to the …

635 - 'Quick and Dirty.' 'Momentarily.' Short Subjects.

August 24th, 2018

11:48

For everyone who has wondered why we're called the "Quick and Dirty Tips" podcast network, I have the origin story. Plus, we'll talk about how …

634 - 'Rack' or 'Wrack'? How to Eliminate Adverbs.

August 16th, 2018

8:30

Did you know that "wrack" is a word for seaweed? I didn't! Also, getting rid of adverbs usually improves your writing, but not always.

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL

Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl
Facebook:

BONUS: Words for Color

August 14th, 2018

11:17

Hear one of my favorite segments from a recent Stitcher Premium bonus episode. These are normally available for only Stitcher Premium subscribers, but we want you to see what you're missing! Subscribe to Grammar Girl at …

632 - 'Ask' as a Noun. Ships as 'She.'

August 2nd, 2018

11:46

This week we answer a listener question about "the ask" and look at whether it's OK to call boats, cars, and countries "she."

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL

Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl
Facebook:

631 - Anniversaries. Conversate.

July 26th, 2018

13:48

It's the 12th anniversary of the Grammar Girl podcast! Or is that the 12-year anniversary? No! In honor of this illustrious event, we look at why people say they "conversate" and why they may want to think twice about …

630 - Who Wrote the ABC Song? Shark Idioms!

July 19th, 2018

11:55

This week, we talk about who wrote the alphabet song that helps people learn their ABCs, and we investigate six silly idioms about sharks. #SharkWeek

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL

Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl
Facebook:

629 - 'Gourmet' or 'Gourmand'? Why July 14 Is Called Bastille Day.

July 12th, 2018

11:49

In honor of Bastille Day (July 14), we talk about the difference between a gourmet and a gourmand, and we talk about words the French and English use …

628 - Why 'Bag' and 'Beg' Sound the same to some people? Does 'Texas' Mean 'Crazy'?

July 5th, 2018

12:16

This week, we’ll talk about why I pronounce the word “aggravate” in a way that irritated many of you, the difference between “interment” and “internment,” and why Norwegians use the word "Texas" to mean “wild” or …

627 - How to Write a Great Cover Letter. 'Kinda' and 'Wanna': Real Words or Not?

June 28th, 2018

11:40

How to write a great cover letter. Also, we say "kinda," "wanna," and "gonna," so why don't we write them?

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL

Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl

Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl

Pinterest:

626 - ‘Aggravate’ Versus ‘Irritate’ What Is a Functional Shift?

June 21st, 2018

8:56

Some people say you shouldn't use "aggravate" to mean "irritate" or "annoy." It has to do with the word's origin. Also, does it irritate you when …

625 - ‘Dinner’ or ‘Supper’? How to Write a Thank-You Note

June 14th, 2018

12:54

‘Dinner’ or ‘Supper’? How to Write a Thank-You Note FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/realgrammargirl Instagram:

624 - ‘Trooper’ and ‘Trouper.” Why Is It Called a Spelling Bee?

June 7th, 2018

10:06

This week, we talk about the difference between a "trooper" and a "trouper," about why a spelling bee is called a "bee," and about a bunch of other "bee" idioms.

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL

Twitter:

623 - 'Calvary' or 'Cavalry'? Spelling Bee Interview.

May 31st, 2018

17:34

If you have trouble remembering how to pronounce "cavalry," I have a memory trick for you. Plus, if you love the spelling bee (or are just curious about how it works), I have a great interview with Paige Kimble, the …

622 - Is a Troop One Person or a Group? Repetition

May 24th, 2018

13:30

Is a troop one person or a group, and what's up with obviously repetitive phrases such as "It is what it is"?

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE

Troops: http://bit.ly/troop-troops
Repetition: http://bit.ly/drink-drink

621 - ‘Council’ or ‘Counsel’? Direct and Indirect Quotations. Oxymorons.

May 17th, 2018

9:35

People have been confusing "council" and "counsel" since the 16th century. Sometimes you put single words such as "yes" and "no" in quotation marks, and sometimes you don't. We investigate three weird oxymorons: …

620 - When to Capitalize 'Mom.' In the Doldrums.

May 10th, 2018

14:53

Whether you capitalize "mom" depends on how you are using the word, and did you know that "the doldrums" are an actual location?

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE …

619 - Co-worker. Barefaced and Baldfaced Lies. Mixed Metaphors.

May 3rd, 2018

11:17

Co-worker. Barefaced and Baldfaced Lies. Mixed Metaphors.

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE

Does Co-Worker Always Take a Hyphen? http://bit.ly/co-worker-hyphen

Barefaced or Baldfaced Lie? http://bit.ly/barefaced-baldfaced

618 - Jazz and Thunder. Say Your Piece (or Peace)?

April 26th, 2018

11:39

Are sports team names singular or plural? Do you say your piece or say your peace?

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE

http://bit.ly/sports-teams

617 - 'Lay' and 'Lie.' 'Grill' and 'Grille.' 'Warsh.'

April 19th, 2018

10:21

This week, we talk about why people say "warsh" instead of "wash"(it's called in the intrusive R), about why we have two spellings for the word that sounds like "grill," and how to remember the difference between "lay" …

616 - The Prodigal Tongue. Odoriferous. Battle Royale.

April 12th, 2018

18:18

This week, I have a delightful excerpt from Lynne Murphy's new book "The Prodigal Tongue" about the differences between British and American English, …

615 - Humor with Adverbs. Noisome. Receipts. Case Quarters.

April 5th, 2018

15:34

This week, we talk about how adverbs can be squishy in what they modify and how that can lead to funny double meanings, about the difference between "noisy" and "noisome," about why people say they "have the receipts," …

614 - Illeism. Named For or After? Misinformation and Disinformation.

March 29th, 2018

14:27

When famous characters or people like Hercule Poirot and LeBron James refer to themselves by their own name, it's called illeism, and it can actually …

613 - Dictionary.com Starts Defining Emoji (an interview with Jane Solomon)

March 22nd, 2018

26:47

Dictionary.com has added emoji definitions to its site, and I have an interview with the lexicographer behind the decision, Jane Solomon. Emoji are a …

612 - The Pin/Pen Merger. American. 'Half-Staff' or 'Half-Mast'?

March 16th, 2018

17:40

This week, we talk about why some people say "pin" and "pen" the same way, why citizens of the United States call themselves "Americans" when other people live on the American continent too, and why flags can be flown …

611 - Pudding. "There Are" Sentences. Winning Limerick

March 8th, 2018

11:50

This week, we talk about why we say "the proof is in the pudding," why "there are" sentences can be so confusing (what the heck is the subject in such as sentence?), and read the winning limerick from the ACES National …

610 - Top 10 Grammar Myths. How 13 Dog Breeds Got Their Names.

March 2nd, 2018

12:28

Celebrate National Grammar Day (March 4) by forsaking these common language myths. Also, enter our limerick contest and we might read your limerick in the next Grammar Girl podcast. (Details:

609 - Pull Idioms. Surprising Food Names. Dillydally.

February 22nd, 2018

12:09

You're sure to be surprised by the origin of at least one of these idioms that use the word "pull." Plus, we talk about foods that get their names …

608 - Dilly Dilly. How Many Prepositions Can You Put in a Row?

February 15th, 2018

13:47

This week, we look a sentence from "Cannery Row" and wonder how it can have so many prepositions in a row, and we find the origin of "dilly dilly."

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL
Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl
Facebook:

607 - Brainstorming. Call Out Sick? Synesis.

February 8th, 2018

12:54

This week, we talk about tricks to help you get started writing a new essay, article, or novel; whether it's wrong to say you "call out sick"; and what's up with a grammatical concept called "synesis" that can let you …

606 - Levidromes, Tom Swifty Jokes, and new OED Words.

February 1st, 2018

11:45

Levidromes, Tom Swifty Jokes, and new OED Words. Plus, how "phony" is related to a jewel con.

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL
Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl
Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl
Pinterest:

605 - A Homophone Error at the SAG Awards. Lectern or Podium? Capitalizing Award Names

January 25th, 2018

11:48

How a homophone mix up led to Judi Dench bread jokes. Also, the difference between a lectern, a podium, and a dais, and a Quick and Dirty Tip about capitalizing award names. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter:

BONUS: Introducing Launch

January 22nd, 2018

14:38

This week, I'm excited to share a bonus clip from a new podcast called Launch. Three out of five people dream of writing a book. Few follow through. …

604 - Origin of 'Gerrymandering.' Is 'Data' Singular or Plural?

January 18th, 2018

9:05

This week we explore the origin of the word "gerrymander" and dive into the debate about whether "data" is singular or plural (or both).

FOLLOW …

603 - Words of the Year, Why You Shouldn't Use 'Eskimo,' 'Canon' or 'Cannon'?

January 11th, 2018

13:21

This week I apologize for using the word "Eskimo," go through all the interesting 2017 words of the year, and give you a tip to remember the …

601 - 'Based In' or 'Based Out Of.' Omitting 'That'

December 28th, 2017

15:23

Based on, based off, based in, based out of...people are changing the way they use prepositions with "based." Also, people can get overzealous about deleting every "that" they can find in a sentence. Here's why you need …

600 - How to Pronounce 'Caramel.' Sports Idioms

December 21st, 2017

8:50

Have you been pronouncing "caramel" wrong your whole life? Also, we discuss interesting sports idioms including "in the crosshairs," "jump the gun," …

599 - Delicious English Words (Chocolate, Guacamole) with Aztec Roots

December 14th, 2017

10:05

Chocolate, guacamole, and more yummy words we get from Aztec languages. Also, why "lock, stock, and barrel" means "all of it" and what it has to do …

598 - Gifting and Regifting. Take a Decision.

December 8th, 2017

9:05

Is "gifting" a word, and is regifting rude? Also, do you "take" a decision or "make" a decision? FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Pinterest:

597 - Eskimo Words for Snow. Write a Book!

November 30th, 2017

16:01

I bust the myth that Inuit have hundreds of words for snow, and I share an excerpt from Jack Gantos' new book "Writing Radar" that will help you pledge to write a book.

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL
Twitter:

595 - 'Side' Words. What Is a Bailiwick?

November 16th, 2017

11:04

While you're planning your Thanksgiving side dishes, enjoy a segment about English "side" words. Plus, what is a bailiwick?

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL

Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl
Facebook:

594 - The Plural of 'Batman.' Why Smart People Struggle with Shakespeare Too.

November 9th, 2017

17:08

I debate what the plural of "Batman" should be (it's not straightforward!) and explore why the language of Shakespeare is hard to understand, even if …

593 - The Origin of English: Proto-Indo-European.

November 2nd, 2017

16:55

We explore the origin of English (and other languages) all the way back to the language known as Proto-Indo-European.

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL

Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl
Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl

592 - "Sofa" or "Couch"? "Skeleton" Idioms.

October 26th, 2017

13:36

This week, we talk about the difference between "sofa," "couch," and all the other words for that piece of furniture. Plus, to get in the mood for Halloween, we explore four idioms about skeletons.

SPONSOR

591 - 'Cannot' or 'Can Not'? 'Dead' Idioms.

October 19th, 2017

12:01

This week, we talk about the difference between "cannot," "can not," "can't," and (horrors!) "cant." Plus, in honor of Halloween, we reveal the origin of three idioms about death. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter:

590 - How to Write an Apology

October 12th, 2017

10:27

How to avoid the worst apologies (the "if" apology, the passive voice apology, the reverse apology, and the florid fauxpology) and write a good …

589 - The "Ruth's Chris" Apostrophe. Thingamajigs.

October 5th, 2017

10:45

This week, I talk about what's up with the weird apostrophe in "Ruth's Chris Steak House" and where we get placeholder names like "thingamajig" and …

588 - Why People Mimic Accents. Why People "Have Your Six."

September 28th, 2017

10:51

This week, I talk about why we mimic accents, about how to pronounce "espresso," about interesting idioms that include the number six. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook:

586 - UK and US English. 'Bad' or 'Badly'?

September 15th, 2017

15:51

Unusual differences I noticed between British and American English on a recent trip. Plus, why you should say you "feed bad" and not that you "feed …

585 GG. Rainy Idioms. "Because," "Due To," "Since," and "As"

September 7th, 2017

12:39

This week, we talk about rainy idioms and when to use "because" for "due to" and "since." FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Snapchat:

584 GG. Pipe Dream. Comma Before a Quotation.

September 1st, 2017

11:49

The woman who won more than $750 million in the Powerball lottery described it as a "pipe dream," so we look at the origin of the term. Also, whether to use a comma to introduce a quotation is probably more complicated …

583 GG Important or Importantly? Time Traveler Words

August 25th, 2017

7:14

This week I tell you why you can ignore people who don't like "more importantly," and we talk about words that were new in 1555, 1967, 1977, and more.

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL
Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl

582 GG. How to Use Quotations. Stop Calling Yourself a Grammar Nazi

August 17th, 2017

11:48

What do you call yourself? A grammar lover, grammar peever, stickler, grammar grouch, grammando, grammar Nazi? Sure, it's all in fun, but it's time to rethink that last one.

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL
Twitter:

581 GG. Riffle and Rifle. Worcestershire Sauce.

August 10th, 2017

9:05

Worcestershire is pronounced nothing like it is spelled, and Gloucester and Leicester are the same way. We'll talk about some linguistic phenomena that explain the drastic changes. Also, did you know there's a different …

580 GG. Introductory Paragraphs. One of The...

August 3rd, 2017

13:06

Listeners sent in many more interesting phrases from obsolete technologies, and we also talk about how to write a great introductory paragraph and …

579 GG Language Games. Jerry-Built. And Female Juniors

July 27th, 2017

8:24

We talked about "jury-rigged" a few months ago, and everybody wanted to know about "jerry-built," so here you go! Also, we have lots of listener feedback about non-English language games that are like Pig Latin.

FOLLOW …

578 GG Words from Obsolete Technology

July 20th, 2017

9:11

Some words survive long after the technology that made us use the words in the first place. Today, we look at words we get from typewriters, old …

576 GG Critique or Criticize? Games Like Pig Latin

July 6th, 2017

11:12

Do you "critique" a novel or "criticize" it? People used to object to one of these two words. And you told me about Pig-Latin-type games in your …

575 GG Gestures. Elbow Grease. Capitalizing Directions.

June 29th, 2017

14:07

Knowing when to capitalize a directional word such as "south" can be tricky. I have some guidelines. We also explain why we tell people to use "elbow grease" and review some research on gesturing that will blow your …

574 GG Commas with Transition Words. Double Whammy.

June 22nd, 2017

6:58

Have you ever wondered how to use a comma with 'however' (or if you even should)? We’ve got the scoop on using commas and semicolons with 'however,' …

573 GG Until, Till, and 'Til. Dad Jokes.

June 15th, 2017

13:23

You've heard them called "dad jokes," but have you ever wondered why? We have a definition and also what we think is the perfect example of a dad joke. Also I'll explain how "until" and "till" are completely separate …

572 GG Themself. Comma Splices.

June 8th, 2017

11:57

You've finally accepted that it's OK to use the singular 'they'--sometimes--but now you have to decide whether to use 'themself' or 'themselves.' …

571 GG Lego or Legos? Why English Spelling Reform Is Doomed.

June 1st, 2017

24:20

If it bothered you last week that I called the toys Legos, you'll like this week's first topic: Lego or Legos? You'll probably like it if you weren't bothered too! Also, in honor of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, we …

569 GG. Explain vs. Explanation. How to Outline.

May 18th, 2017

9:50

If you've ever wondered why "explain" has an I but "explanation" doesn't, we have the answer. Also, need help jumpstarting your writing process? …

568 GG. In or Among. Weird Words.

May 12th, 2017

10:20

This week we talk about why you might describe someone as "among bushes" instead of "in the bushes," and we talk about how we get weird words like "gaga," "flip-flop" and "dillydally." FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter:

567 Is Pig Latin a Real Language?

May 4th, 2017

11:24

This week we talk about the origin of the word "harbinger" (and I sing about swans) and whether Pig Latin qualifies as a language. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook:

564 GG. Preposition or Adverb?

April 13th, 2017

16:20

The weird complications about words such as "up" and "over" that make people fight about whether they are prepositions or adverbs.

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL
Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl
Facebook:

561 GG $10 Million Comma. Ambiguous Sentences. Tribute to Bill Walsh

March 23rd, 2017

12:30

The $10 Million Comma. Ambiguous Sentences. A Tribute to Bill Walsh.

560 GG Devil's Advocate. 3 Tips for Creating Sentences with Punch

March 16th, 2017

11:09

This week we talk about why we call someone a "devil's advocate" and why the rules of writing are the same for good lawyers and good thriller …

559 GG. Abbreviations. And Then the Murders Began. Runcible. Haiku.

March 10th, 2017

9:32

This week, I have a Quick and Dirty Tip about how to define abbreviations that you use over and over in a document and a tidbit about a fun internet …

558 GG How to Write Good Survey Questions

March 3rd, 2017

12:45

How to avoid biasing your questions and annoying your respondents.

557 GG Double Dactyl Poetry

February 23rd, 2017

13:28

Write a double dactyl poem in honor of National Grammar Day.

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE
Double Dactyl Poetry: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/node/9136

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL
Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl

555 GG. Toe/Tow the Line. Pled or Pleaded. Animal Idioms.

February 9th, 2017

10:29

This week we talk about "toeing the line," "pled" versus "pleaded," and animal idioms such as "There's an eel under the rock."

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL
Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl
Facebook:

554 GG 'Reticent' or 'Reluctant.' Which' or 'That.'

February 2nd, 2017

8:40

This week we talk about the difference between "reluctant" and "reticent" and when to use "which" or "that."

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL
Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl
Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl

553 GG Not Only, But Also. Leave in the Lurch. Month Names.

January 27th, 2017

10:41

This week we talk about a common error you should avoid when using "not only" with "but also." We examine why we talk about leaving someone "in the …

551 Capital vs Capitol. Citing Podcasts and Websites

January 19th, 2017

12:55

Are people in the capitol or capital this weekend? Also, why do citations even matter and what should you look for in a source?

SPONSORS
Download the …

551 GG. Words of the Year. Writing Tips.

January 12th, 2017

12:55

This week, we discuss the words of the year and four simple ways to write better in the new year.

UPDATED AP STYLE INTERACTIVE WEB COURSE http://www.ragan.com/Z5AC03-MACMIL

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL
Twitter:

550 GG Enormity or Enormousness? Badminton

January 5th, 2017

5:40

This week we discuss whether there is really a difference between "enormity" and "enormousness" and about how badminton (not badmitten) got its name. UPDATED AP STYLE INTERACTIVE WEB COURSE

549 GG Hone/Home In. Apostrophes.

December 29th, 2016

9:26

A great memory trick to remember the difference between homing and honing (plus a complete aside about spiderwebs). Also, an solution to the mystery …

548 GG. What Makes Good Stories.

December 22nd, 2016

8:45

What’s your favorite book and why? The questions are more than just a way to fill your online dating profile—they’re insights into how beloved …

547 GG 'A While' or 'Awhile'? Writing Dialogue

December 15th, 2016

8:37

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE

Writing Dialogue http://bit.ly/writing_dialogue
'A While' or 'Awhile'? http://bit.ly/a-while

UPDATED AP STYLE INTERACTIVE WEB COURSE http://www.ragan.com/Z5AC03-MACMIL

FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL

546 GG Anxious/Eager. If Not.

December 8th, 2016

13:34

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE
Anxious or Eager? http://bit.ly/anxiouseager
If Not: http://bit.ly/ifnot

SPONSORS
http://sockclub.com/grammar and the code "grammar"
http://www.audible.com/gg

UPDATED AP STYLE INTERACTIVE WEB …

544 GG. Pilgrim Names. Pronouncing Foreign Words

November 24th, 2016

19:23

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE Pronouncing Foreign Words: http://bit.ly/2fiPCQf SPONSOR http://blurb.com/GRAMMAR and the promo code GRAMMAR for 25% off. http://sockclub.com and the promo code GRAMMAR for 15% off. UPDATED …

543 GG. By the Wayside. How to Pronounce 'Biopic'

November 17th, 2016

9:34

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE By the Wayside http://bit.ly/2fNt0aq Pronouncing "Biopic" http://bit.ly/2fwymYl SPONSOR http://audible.com/gg UPDATED AP STYLE INTERACTIVE WEB COURSE http://www.ragan.com/Z5AC03-MACMIL FOLLOW …

542 GG. 'Aloud' or "Out Loud'? Strong Voice

November 11th, 2016

7:52

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE
'Aloud' or 'Out Loud'? http://bit.ly/aloud-out-loud
Crafting a Strong Voice: http://bit.ly/strong-voice

SPONSOR
http://blueapron.com/grammar

UPDATED AP STYLE INTERACTIVE WEB COURSE

541 GG Before or Prior To? Foreign Language Syndrome

November 3rd, 2016

8:08

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE
'Prior To' or 'Before'? http://bit.ly/prior-to
Foreign Language Syndrome: http://bit.ly/foreign-language-syndrome

SPONSOR
http://Audible.com/gg

UPDATED AP STYLE INTERACTIVE WEB COURSE

537 GG "Further" Versus "Farther." Horse's Mouth

October 7th, 2016

11:02

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE "Further" Versus "Farther" http://bit.ly/FurtherFarther Straight from the Horse's Mouth http://bit.ly/HorsesMouth SPONSORS ModCloth http://modcloth.com Code: grammar Casper

536 GG Hit the Bestseller List: How to Style Your Words Like a Bestselling Author

September 29th, 2016

13:14

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE

Canceled or Cancelled? http://bit.ly/cancelled-canceled
Why Homecoming is HoCo: http://bit.ly/homecoming-hoco
The Bestseller Code: Jodie Archer and Matthew Jockers, the authors of The …

535 GG Anyways or Anyway? Topic Sentences

September 22nd, 2016

10:54

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE

Anyway or Anyways? http://bit.ly/AnywayAnyways
How to Write a Good Topic Sentence: http://bit.ly/Topic-Sentence

SPONSORS
http://ag.co/grammar Use the code "grammar" at checkout for a discount.

534 GG. Bridget Jones. Pay Dirt. Dashes.

September 15th, 2016

16:59

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE Bridget Jones's Baby: http://bit.ly/JonesPossessive Pay Dirt: http://bit.ly/PayDirtIdiom Dashes: http://bit.ly/HowToUseEmDash SPONSORS http://ag.co/grammar Use the code "grammar" at checkout …

533 GG. Etc. Short Shrift. Prepositions

September 8th, 2016

17:39

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE
How to Pronounce 'Etcetera': http://bit.ly/pronounce-etc
Short Shrift http://bit.ly/short-shrift
Prepositions Aren't Literal: http://bit.ly/not-literal

SPONSORS
http://ag.co/grammar Use the …

532 GG Loose or Lose. You Wazzock.

September 1st, 2016

20:33

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE 'Loose' or 'Lose'? http://bit.ly/LooseLose Origin of 'Loose as a Goose' http://bit.ly/LooseGoose You Wazzock! http://bit.ly/wazzock SPONSOR http://ag.co/grammar Use the code "grammar" at …

531 GG Writing Dual POVs. Space Operas and Soap Operas.

August 25th, 2016

9:58

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE
Writing Dual POVs: http://bit.ly/DualPOVs
Soap Operas: http://bit.ly/Space-Opera

SPONSORS
http://magoosh.com Use the code "grammar" at checkout for 20% off.
http://ag.co/grammar Use the code …

530 GG Whom. Preorder. Badger, Weasel, Ferret.

August 18th, 2016

12:35

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE
"Who" Versus "Whom": http://bit.ly/Who-Whom
Preorder: http://bit.ly/CanISayPreorder
Idioms of the Forest: http://bit.ly/BadgerWeaselFerret

SPONSORS
http://magoosh.com Use the code "grammar" …

529 GG Latin Words. Batten Down the Hatches

August 11th, 2016

10:06

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE
Words from Latin: http://bit.ly/words-with-latin-origins
Batten Down the Hatches: http://bit.ly/batten-down

SPONSORS
http://magoosh.com Use the code "grammar" at checkout for 20% off.

528 GG Adjectives. Logical Fallacies

August 4th, 2016

11:11

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE
5 Types of Fallacies: http://bit.ly/2agt9oQ
Order of Adjectives: http://bit.ly/2at4U1U

SPONSORS:
http://magoosh.com Use the code "grammar" at checkout for 20% off.
http://audible.com/gg

527 GG 'Lit' or 'Lighted.' Why Some Words Become Homophones

July 29th, 2016

15:44

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE

'LIT' OR 'LIGHTED'? http://bit.ly/LitOrLighted

ALVEOLAR FLAPPING: http://bit.ly/AmericanHomophones

SPONSORS:
http://magoosh.com Use the code "grammar" at checkout for 20% off.

526 GG Types of Third Person Point of View. Flammable and Inflammable

July 22nd, 2016

8:50

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE

WHY DOES "INFLAMMABLE" MEAN "FLAMMABLE"? When we’re describing something that burns easily, we say it’s flammable, but "inflammable" means the same thing and was the original word, so why do …

525 GG Food Idioms. 'Affective' or 'Effective'

July 15th, 2016

12:47

Why do we say 'Take it with a grain of salt' and other food idioms? Is it 'affective' or 'effective'? FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE: http://bit.ly/affective-effective http://bit.ly/food-idioms SPONSORS: http://magoosh.com

524 - Affect Versus Effect. How to Pronounce The

July 7th, 2016

12:59

HOW TO PRONOUNCE "THE": Did you know there are two ways to pronounce "the," and the rule that governs which pronunciation you choose is kind of like …

523 GG Sightseeing. On Accident Versus by Accident

June 30th, 2016

11:15

SIGHTSEEING: A listener asked, “Why is it sightseeing and not siteseeing? Aren't you seeing sites? Sightseeing sounds redundant.” Interesting question! ON ACCIDENT or BY ACCIDENT: A listener asked, "What is the deal …

522 GG Hearty or Hardy? How English Became English. Jury-Rigged.

June 23rd, 2016

17:44

HEARTY OR HARDY? A listener named Cheryl left a comment on the Grammar Girl Facebook page asking me to write about the difference between hearty and hardy. She wrote, “I am a writer and get confused on the usage of the …

521 GG Is Funnest a Word? How to Pronounce Adirondack.

June 16th, 2016

9:27

HOW TO PRONOUNCE ADIRONDACK: Apparently, I’ve been mispronouncing "Adirondack" my whole life, and thanks to the listeners who let me know. WRITING …

520 GG Band Names. Woman or Female?

June 10th, 2016

7:27

BAND NAMES: When referring to a rock band, do I use the single form "is" or "are"? Does the band name dictate the usage? WOMAN OR FEMALE? The question of word choice is rising again—Is Hilary Clinton the first "female" …

519 GG RBIs. Principal and Principle. Run of the Mill

June 2nd, 2016

11:35

HOW TO MAKE RBI PLURAL: Baseball season has started, so it’s a good time to answer questions from listeners who have asked how to make an abbreviation such as "RBI" plural. PRINCIPAL OR PRINCIPLE? Today we’re going to …

518 GG Are You Interurban? Vonnegut's Famous Semicolon Quotation Was Taken Out of Context. Off the Cuff.

May 26th, 2016

11:30

ARE YOU INTERURBAN? When you split your time between the East Coast and the West Coast, you can call yourself “bicoastal.” What about when you’re splitting your time between two cities, like a listener named Jeff, who …

517 GG Why Do We Call It Commencement? When to Delete "It"

May 19th, 2016

8:09

COMMENCEMENT: Last week a professor in my department asked me why we call a graduation ceremony “commencement” when the event marks the end of …

516 GG Celsius Versus Centigrade. 'Between' Versus 'Among'

May 12th, 2016

8:33

Celsius Versus Centigrade: Anders Celsius was a Swedish astronomer who invented a thermometer based on the boiling point and freezing point of water. We know a slightly improved version of his thermometer by the Celsius …

515 GG Home vs. Away? How to Make Product Names Plural

May 5th, 2016

9:14

Away Versus Home? A listener named Alan wrote, “When using the word versus, does it make a difference as to what is placed before and what is placed after? For example: Roe versus Wade or Red Sox versus Yankees. In …

514 GG Brouhaha. New Words. One Fell Swoop.

April 29th, 2016

10:03

Last week, ESPN fired Curt Schilling because of offensive remarks he made on social media, and in his follow-up statement, Schilling referred to the …

513 GG North or Northbound. Subjunctive Verbs.

April 21st, 2016

7:34

Carrie from New Orleans asked me to help her understand whether she should say "I wish I were more perceptive" or "I wish I was more perceptive." …

511 GG Pronouncing Pulitzer. Navajo Codes in WWII

April 7th, 2016

12:06

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE Pronouncing Pulitzer: http://j.mp/227C9M1 Navajo Codes: http://j.mp/1S3FXIA SPONSORS http://verbling.com (Discount Code: …

509 GG Charlie Chaplin Grammar. S-Backing.

March 24th, 2016

12:28

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE Charlie Chaplin Grammar: http://j.mp/22qGqfA S-Backing: http://j.mp/1nT2mR5 SPONSORS http://verbling.com Promo code: grammargirl http://lifelock.com Promo code: grammar AMAZON AFFILIATE LINK

508 GG. Haiku Winners. Great Story Ideas

March 17th, 2016

18:37

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE

National Grammar Day Haiku Winners: http://j.mp/1Uk71t5
14 Tips for Coming Up with Freelance Story Ideas You Can Sell: http://j.mp/1Uk7746

"The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing" by …

507 Patty or Paddy? Needs Washed

March 10th, 2016

10:13

Follow along on the website:

'Patty' Versus 'Paddy' http://j.mp/1U4uezm
'Needs Washed' http://j.mp/1QF9QS2

Find Grammar Girl on social media
Twitter:

506 GG Subordinate Clause Examples

March 4th, 2016

8:53

“Subordinate clause” is the name you’re more likely to have learned in school, but the other name, “dependent clause,” may help you better understand …

505 GG Maudlin. Vocabulary Words

February 25th, 2016

9:55

Follow along on the website:

Maudlin: http://j.mp/1LdS5K8
Vocabulary Words: http://j.mp/20W9uc9

See all of Grammar Girl's books:

504 GG Shined or Shone? Idioms About Tea

February 18th, 2016

9:28

Follow along on the website: Shined or Shone? http://j.mp/1WuMUGd Idioms About Tea http://j.mp/1PURxpj Sponsor: http://casper.com/gg Amazon Affiliate …

503 GG What Is a Canard?

February 11th, 2016

9:04

Follow along on the website:

What Is a Canard? http://j.mp/23YcgBZ
What's the Origin of 'Straw Man'?

Sponsor: http://audible.com/gg

Amazon Affiliate …

502 GG. Straw Man. Wicked.

February 4th, 2016

16:38

Follow along on the website:

What Is a Straw Man Argument? http://j.mp/1T0UtGo
Why Do We Pronounce the '-ed' in 'Wicked'? http://j.mp/1K1lg2H

501 GG Word Families. Caucus

January 28th, 2016

8:16

Follow along on the website:

Word Families http://j.mp/1PkoXk9
What Is a Caucus? http://j.mp/23v6TKx

Sponsor
http://feverbornbook.com

Amazon …

498 GG A Joke About a Mongoose. Writing Dates.

January 7th, 2016

7:35

Follow along on the website:

Mongoose Joke: http://j.mp/1RmNGqh
Writing Dates: http://j.mp/1OSwvWV

Sponsor: http://audible.com/gg

When you shop at …

496 GG Plural of Hippopotamus

December 24th, 2015

2:23

Follow along on the website: http://j.mp/1O78HCs

Support the show by using our Amazon affiliate link: http://quickanddirtytips.com/amazon

Grammar Pop …

495 GG Pair. Misusing “So” and “Very.” Even Keel

December 17th, 2015

9:50

Follow along with the articles on the website: http://j.mp/QDTgrammar

Recommended book: The Grammar Devotional

Sponsors:
http://mackweldon.com (20% …

494 GG Pair. Forensic Linguistics. In Cold Blood

December 10th, 2015

8:34

Follow along on the website: http://j.mp/QDTgrammar

Pair
Forensic Linguistics
In Cold Blood

Sponsor: http://thirdlove.com/grammar
Sponsor:

492. GG. Blue. Kith and Kin

November 27th, 2015

12:19

This week, we look at 10 different meanings of the word "blue," including two that are the opposite of each other, and we learn what "kith" means in …

490 GG Formatting URLs in Text

November 12th, 2015

8:41

Follow along on the website: How to Format URLs: http://j.mp/1HIBW8x

489 GG Dialogue Tags. Writing Fight Scenes. NaNoWriMo

November 5th, 2015

12:45

Follow along on the website:

Dialogue Tags: http://j.mp/1Q4HqCm
Dialog or Dialogue? http://j.mp/1MbksDL
Writing Fight Scenes: http://j.mp/1Mgc4pR

486 - Suffragette. Ginormous

October 15th, 2015

11:42

Follow along on the website: Suffragette: http://bit.ly/1jruUj6 Ginormous: http://bit.ly/1R1M5SG Amazon Shopping Link:

484 GG Mantel or Mantle? Bulleted Lists

October 1st, 2015

8:35

Follow along on the website: 'Mantel' or 'Mantle'? http://bit.ly/1L5bN8A How to Format a Bulleted List: http://bit.ly/1j1P2bz Amazon Affiliate Link:

483 GG Sort, Kind, or Type? Homophones, Homographs, and Homonyms

September 24th, 2015

6:14

Follow along on the website:

Sort, Kind, or Type? http://bit.ly/1Fvq3a9

Homophones, Homographs, and Homonyms: http://bit.ly/1YCzN98

Amazon Affiliate …

481 GG And/Or. That Should Be a Word.

September 10th, 2015

6:44

Follow along on the website:

And/Or: http://bit.ly/1JT153a

That Should Be a Word: http://bit.ly/1f59xlb

Start your Amazon shopping from our link and …

478 GG Why English Has Silent Letters

August 20th, 2015

20:14

Follow along on the website:

Fictitious Versus Fictional: http://bit.ly/1Nmnr0A

Silent Letters: http://bit.ly/1hqOjQl

Adult, Adolescent, Adultery:

477 GG Scrabble Extravaganza

August 13th, 2015

16:22

Follow along on the website:

Scrabble Expert Interviews: http://bit.ly/1MqVrZF

281 How Do Words Get in the Dictionary?

July 31st, 2015

6:04

Follow along on the website:

How Do Words Get in the Dictionary?
http://j.mp/1IHGSKr

474 GG Flesh Out. Last Names. Hat Trick.

July 16th, 2015

14:13

Follow along on the website:

Flesh Out or Flush Out? http://j.mp/1TDrE0x

Last Names: http://j.mp/1V57cHH

Hat Trick: http://j.mp/1Mv2j4O

Help the show …

473 GG How Understanding Toy Story Can Help You Get into College

July 9th, 2015

12:47

Follow along on the website: Ban Together or Band Together? http://j.mp/1JTe7xl How Understanding 'Toy Story' Can Help Get You into College.

471 GG Size versus Sized. When Is It OK to Be Redundant? Mind Your P’s and Q’s.

June 18th, 2015

12:10

Follow Along on the Website:

'King-size' or 'King-sized'?
http://bit.ly/1AN2M1x

When Is It OK to Be Redundant?
http://bit.ly/1eRM9rl

What Does "Mind …

470 GG Prepositions in Shakespeare

June 12th, 2015

12:27

Follow Along on the Website:

How Many Spaces After a Colon?
http://bit.ly/1EFJVQF

Prepositions in Shakespeare
http://bit.ly/1Rwb7KU

A Treat

469 GG Kudos. Crossword Puzzles. Squad Goals. June 4, 2015.

June 4th, 2015

12:13

Follow Along on the Website:

The Meaning of Kudos
http://bit.ly/1SEAko0

What Does 'Squad Goals' Mean?
http://bit.ly/1JhBqmC

Crosswords

466 GG Healthy Versus Healthful. The Best SAT Essay Ever. Fast and Loose

May 14th, 2015

16:34

Follow along on the website:

Healthy Versus Healthful
http://bit.ly/1Hem0wb

The Best SAT Essay Ever
Article: http://bit.ly/1H4dr4c
PDF of the Essay:

465 GG Two Spaces After a Period?

May 7th, 2015

12:18

Follow Along on the Website: Yay, Yea, Yeah, and Yes. Two Spaces After a Period? http://bit.ly/1IlSO7G English Words from Spanish Grammar Pop iPad

464 GG Weird Conditionals

April 30th, 2015

13:44

Follow along on the website:

Fiance or Fiancee: http://j.mp/1HI4wcy

If-Clauses: http://j.mp/1DA19Qe

Dark Horse: http://j.mp/1Othuk5

Sponsors:

463 GG Most or Almost. Parallel Structure. Follow Suit

April 23rd, 2015

11:14

Follow along on the website: Most or Almost http://j.mp/1bz6joG Parallel Structure http://j.mp/1EwygtV Follow Suit http://j.mp/1yUH2PL Try my iOS …

462 GG Everyday. Ain't. Eponyms

April 16th, 2015

11:03

Follow Along on the Website:

Everyday Versus Every Day
http://j.mp/1FvEiFz

Ain't
http://j.mp/1cjF1CP

Eponyms
http://j.mp/1EjPhGa

Try my iOS game, …

461 GG Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen

April 9th, 2015

10:20

Follow along on the website:

Smitten
http://j.mp/1aLWFyC

Between You and Me (Excerpt)
http://j.mp/1H6eg0b

Spick and Span
http://j.mp/1a7LdMr

Try my …

105 Yoda Grammar (Reissue)

April 2nd, 2015

6:01

Follow along on the website: Yoda Grammar http://j.mp/1P06VCE

460 GG Global English: Prepone, Do the Needful, and More

March 26th, 2015

9:28

Follow along on the website:

Parentheses and Subject-Verb Agreement
http://j.mp/1FWMySM

Global English
http://j.mp/19U43aG

Stand in Line or Stand on …

459 GG Subject-Verb Agreement

March 19th, 2015

10:41

Follow Along on the Website:

'Wrong' Versus 'Wrongly'
http://j.mp/1xjQN9H

Subject-Verb Agreement
http://j.mp/1xClTnM

Is 'Heighth' a Word?

458 GG Can You Process These Tricky, but Grammatical, Sentences?

March 13th, 2015

14:17

Follow along on the website:

Does E-Book Need a Hyphen?
http://j.mp/1wCjVs6

Can You Process These Tricky, but Grammatical, Sentences?

456 GG Is Starting a Sentence With So Condescending?

February 26th, 2015

15:20

Follow Along on the Website

When "First" Is Redundant
http://j.mp/1wtjhgT

Is Starting a Sentence With So Condescending?
http://j.mp/1wthqsn

Synecdoche

Announcement

February 20th, 2015

0:33

There was a death in my family, so I don't have a show this week. I'll be back next week. If you're looking for something new to listen to while I'm away, try one of the other Quick and Dirty Tips podcasts. Some of them …

455 GG Why Do We Drive on Parkways and Park on Driveways?

February 12th, 2015

11:13

Follow along on the website:

Dreamed or Dreamt?
http://j.mp/1E2oQBF

Parkway, Driveway, and Dooryard
http://j.mp/1zNdcei

Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo

454 GG Splitting Infinitives

February 5th, 2015

11:31

Capitalizing Theories. Splitting Infinitives. Samuel Johnson.

453 GG Less Versus Fewer

January 29th, 2015

12:51

Follow along on the website: Capitalizing Time Periods http://j.mp/1z4W6bX Less Versus Fewer http://j.mp/1yP50d4 Bee's Knees http://j.mp/1DiC0dw ---- …

452 GG Why People Misuse Prepositions

January 22nd, 2015

18:25

Follow along on the website:

Compliment Versus Complement
http://j.mp/184vjlA

Saving Our Prepositions
http://j.mp/1yOHBdJ

How 8 Fonts Got Their Names

451 GG Impossible Participals

January 15th, 2015

13:58

Follow along on the website.

Commas Before "Jr."
http://j.mp/1BYaNOx

Impossible Participles
http://j.mp/1u2BXCZ

Onomatopoeia
http://j.mp/1AXQQZa

Try …

450 GG Is Sign Language Universal?

January 8th, 2015

32:26

Tons of fascinating tidbits about sign language from interpreter David Peach

Follow along online:
http://j.mp/1EQ3dsJ

Find David online:

449 GG Double Possessives

January 1st, 2015

9:31

Follow along on the website: Transitive Versus Intransitive Verbs http://j.mp/1AUkNaZ Double Possessives http://j.mp/1x8OVy2 Try my iOS game, Grammar …

446 GG Why Don't People Say "Thou" Anymore

December 11th, 2014

10:27

Read along on the website: What Does "Xmas" Really Mean? http://bit.ly/1xkSUsL Why Don't People Say "Thou" Anymore? http://bit.ly/1sv4joy Who Says "Kitty-Corner" and Who Says "Catty-Corner" http://bit.ly/1yTXXkt Grammar …

445 GG Why Do People Say "Like" All the Time?

December 4th, 2014

14:52

Read along on the website"

Is "Boughten" a Word?
http://j.mp/1tUEecu

Did Valley Girls Invent "Like"?
http://j.mp/12CCHlG

Is German Chocolate Cake …

444 GG Between You and Me

November 27th, 2014

11:19

Read along on the website:

Lightning versus Lightening
http://bit.ly/121kVb0

Between You and Me
http://bit.ly/1AnHpif

How Teddy Bears Got Their Name
http://bit.ly/1AnH8fc

Sign up for my December 12 corporate webcast.

442 GG Make Me a Sandwich

November 13th, 2014

12:18

Based on Versus Based off. Make Me a Sandwich: A Joke About Verbs. How to Pronounce Zero

441 GG Mic or Mike? Simple or Simplistic? Uppercase and Lowercase

November 6th, 2014

11:33

Mic or Mike? Simple or Simplistic? Uppercase and Lowercase. Visit the website: http://bit.ly/1qEiW2m

440 GG How to Plan a Novel

October 30th, 2014

11:52

For NaNoWriMo: How to format a character's thoughts, how to plan a novel, and the surprising newness of the novel format. Visit the website: http://bit.ly/13DNlJ8

439 GG Texting, Coffins, and Death

October 23rd, 2014

12:18

Today, with Halloween in mind, I have a Quick and Dirty tip about the difference between a casket and a coffin; and an excerpt from David Crystal’s new book, Words in Time and Place, that goes through the many words we …

438 GG Why Do People Say Punctuation Out Loud?

October 16th, 2014

21:40

"Vaccine" Versus "Vaccination." Syelle Graves explains why people say things such as "We never leave any soldier behind. Period," and more generally, …

437 GG What’s the difference between England, Great Britain, and the UK?

October 9th, 2014

7:32

I know all you European listeners think it’s ridiculous that Americans don’t know the difference between England and Britain, but a British friend …

436 GG Why People Have Always Been Confused About Apostrophes

October 2nd, 2014

13:05

An interview with Ammon Shea about the confusing history of apostrophes. Hanged Versus Hung. The story of the Victorian Great Exhibition, where …

435 GG We Might Could Harvest the Corn

September 25th, 2014

13:56

Yes, you can start a sentence with "because." Here's how to do it.
What are helping verbs (also called auxiliary verbs), and why do people in some …

434 GG Ya Shank: The Made-Up Swear Words of 'The Maze Runner'

September 18th, 2014

10:01

Insults, swear words, and world-building for young adults: In an interview with James Dashner, I got the inside scoop on the language of "The Maze …

433 GG Why People Mix Up the Pronouns "Me" and "I"

September 11th, 2014

13:38

I can tell you which pronouns to use, but it takes a linguist to explain WHY people get confused. Here, Gretchen McCulloch reveals the fascinating …

431 GG Words That Aren't Words

August 28th, 2014

12:16

In this podcast, you get a Quick and Dirty Tip about where to put periods and commas relative to quotation marks, an excerpt from Ammon Shea's book "Bad English," and a tidbit about a 1921 poem called "Alphabet of …

430 GG The Plural of Money. This Is Your Brain on Writing. Egregious

August 21st, 2014

13:11

In this week's podcast, Grammar Girl discusses the plural of money, how to use "egregious," and talks with Ellen Hendriksen from The Savvy …

429 GG How to Use the Conjunction “Nor”

August 14th, 2014

16:16

How do you use the conjunction "nor" and why is it so special it deserves a podcast of its own? Neil Whitman explains. Visit the website to read the …

428 GG Crash Blossoms

August 7th, 2014

11:12

Why the Associated Press accidentally made people think another Malaysian airplane had crashed, and what it tells us about language. Visit the …

427 GG 7 French Food-Related Words That Became English

July 31st, 2014

13:46

When the Normans took over England in 1066, they brought their food and their language. We talk about seven interesting French words that made it into English, and guest Clever Cookstr shares some of her favorite …

426 GG A Language Lover's Trip to England

July 24th, 2014

11:18

During a short but delightful trip to England, I saw the Rosetta Stone, the White Tower at the Tower of London, ancient alphabet tiles and wax seals, …

425 GG Why Weird Al's Word Crimes Video Made Me Want to Quit

July 17th, 2014

8:40

Why Weird Al's Word Crimes Video Made Me Want to Quit. Visit the website to watch the video and comment: http://bit.ly/1qArtIJ

424GG There's Something Weird About "For," "Yet," and "So"

July 10th, 2014

8:30

FANBOYS are a myth and there's something weird about "for," "yet," and "so."

423 GG Is the Semicolon in TL;DR Ironic?

July 3rd, 2014

3:09

"TL;DR" means "too long; didn't read," but the semicolon is usually associated with long or complex sentences. What is it doing in this abbreviation? …

422GG Manipulating Words to Make Things Funny

June 26th, 2014

5:58

Why sentences like this are funny: A woman gives birth in the UK every 48 seconds. She must be exhausted.

421 - Part II: Why Do People Say 'A-Whole-Nother'?

June 19th, 2014

11:15

Why do people say "a-whole-nother"?It's the same reason we say "an apron" instead if "a napron."

420 - Why 'A-Whole-Nother' Isn’t Like 'Ala-Frickin’-Bama' and 'Hizzouse'

June 12th, 2014

7:24

While researching why people say "a-whole-nother," Syelle Graves discovered that even knowing what to call the phrase gets complicated (and …

419 - Using Stick Figures to Understand First, Second, and Third Person

June 5th, 2014

6:25

Using Stick Figures to Understand First, Second, and Third Person

417 - An Unparalleled Letdown

May 22nd, 2014

3:32

The authors of "The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation" help us understand parallel structure.

415 - Commas Are Like People on the Subway

May 8th, 2014

6:47

Commas are like people on the subway: You think you know them, but they're awfully complex. This week, we'll dig deeper and get to know some of their …

414 - Luisa Zissman's Missing Apostrophe

May 1st, 2014

7:47

Sometimes companies leave apostrophes out of their names when it seems as if the name would need an apostrophe. Why do they do it, and is it wrong?

413 - Words Invented by Shakespeare

April 24th, 2014

6:13

In honor of Shakespeare's 450th birthday, we'll look at Shakespeare's words, phrases, insults, and false friends. I bet you don't know them all.

412 - Can I Help Who's Next?

April 18th, 2014

7:22

Neal Whitman addresses some annoying phrases you hear in stores and restaurants, such as "Can I help who's next?" and "Did you want cream in your coffee?" Find out why people say such things.

410GG Just Because

March 30th, 2014

6:45

It's tricky to pick apart the grammar of a sentence such as "Just because you’re correct doesn’t mean you’re not annoying." Guest writer Neal Whitman explains why such sentences work and what they really mean.

408 - Why We Don't End Sentences With "You're"

March 21st, 2014

6:32

Some words have strong forms, weak forms, and even weaker forms.

407GG Why Canadians Don't Really Say "Aboot"

March 13th, 2014

7:57

Gretchen McCulloch from the All Things Linguistic explains why Canadians don't say "aboot" and why most Americans think they do.

406GG Begging the Question

March 7th, 2014

4:40

Language is changing but that doesn't mean you have to go with the flow.

404 - Why "Substitute" Is Weird

February 27th, 2014

9:12

Why it’s hard to talk about substituting one thing for another without confusing people. Guest Writer: Neal Whitman Sponsor: AudiblePodcast.com/GG

403 - Preventative and Orientate

February 22nd, 2014

5:23

Today, we’re going to talk about two cases in which English has two words that mean the same thing and whether one choice is better than the other. Preventative and preventive, and orient and orientate. Sponsor: Grammar …

402 - Little Bunny Foo Foo

February 21st, 2014

8:44

The Hoax Behind Little Bunny Foo Foo

401 - How Clipping Creates New Words

February 14th, 2014

5:00

Great tales of English word evolution: From pantaloons to pants, caravan to van, and much more. Guest Writer: Bonnie Trenga Sponsor:

400 - How Reading Tickles Your Neurons

February 9th, 2014

4:35

When you read about a character, in some ways your brain acts as though it thinks you ARE the character. It's amazing. Grammar Girl and the Savvy …

399 - Your Brain on Fiction

February 7th, 2014

5:44

How Literature Changes Your Brain for the Better. If you liked this podcast, check out our new show, The Savvy Psychologist.

071 Units Of Measure

January 30th, 2014

4:34

Units Of Measure: Feet, Ft., Lb., Degrees, and Percents

398GG Why Some Band Names Take "The" and Some Don't

January 24th, 2014

9:01

Why can we say "the Jefferson Airplane" but not "the Led Zeppelin"?

397 - Secrets of Bestselling Novels

January 16th, 2014

7:16

A new study uncovered things that successful novels have in common.

395 GG How to Use Quotation Marks

December 24th, 2013

7:52

How to mix quotation marks with other punctuation.

394GG Hashtag Rap

December 17th, 2013

7:30

Did Kanye West Coin the Term "Hashtag Rap"?

393 GG Nonsense Syllables

December 13th, 2013

7:24

Why we sing "fra la la" instead of "fa spla spla"

392 GG Orangehead

December 6th, 2013

6:01

Why do we call people redheads instead of orangeheads? Guest writer Gretchen McCulloch has the amazing answer. Grammar Pop Winterfest is a new …

391 GG Scrabble Words

November 22nd, 2013

5:47

A fun romp through some quirky words you may see when you're playing Scrabble.

Remember to check out my new game, Grammar Pop, for your iPhone or iPad.

390 - Passive Voice

November 15th, 2013

4:49

Avoid one of the biggest passive voice mistakes!

389 GG English Plurals: Wugs and Blicks

November 7th, 2013

7:12

Your subconscious controls how you speak. We show why you already know how to make imaginary words such as "wugs" and "blicks" plural.

Try the new …

388 GG Style Sheets

October 23rd, 2013

5:41

Don't make the mistake of treating your style sheet like a style guide.

The new grammar game, Grammar Pop, is now available for the iPhone. Look for it in the App Store and try it today!

387 GG "Because" as a Preposition

October 14th, 2013

10:32

What's up with sentences such as I didn't do my homework because Skyrim?

Try Grammar Girl's new iPad and iPhone game: Grammar Pop.

386 - Negation in Night Vale

October 10th, 2013

10:13

Welcome to Night Vale: Where even “not” isn’t what it seems.

117 - Biweekly Versus Semiweekly

October 3rd, 2013

3:57

Why "biweekly" can have multiple legitimate meanings. Check out the new word game Grammar Pop in the App Store:

385 - Irony

September 27th, 2013

7:48

More than five different types of irony? No wonder it's confusing! Guest writer Keith Houston, author of "Shady Characters: The Secret Life of …

384 - Homophones

September 19th, 2013

6:52

Which English homophones came from polysemy and which came from spelling variation? Try our new iPad game, Grammar Pop. If you like the Grammar Girl …

383 GG Could Care Less

September 12th, 2013

9:32

An excerpt from Bill Walsh's book "Yes, I Could Care Less."

50 GG Like Versus As

September 5th, 2013

6:32

Find out which of these words is a preposition and which is a conjunction. Try Grammar Girl's new iPad game called Grammar Pop. You match words with their part of speech to pop clouds. You can also find Grammar Girl's …

381 GG Prepositions

August 30th, 2013

7:29

The fascinating history of English prepositions (yes, really). If you are trying to learn about prepositions, try Grammar Girl's new iPad game called Grammar Pop. You match words with their part of speech, including …

380 GG Participles and Gerunds

August 22nd, 2013

8:59

Prove you know your parts of speech with the new iPad game Grammar Pop. You don't have to know the difference between participles and gerunds to play, but if you're up to the challenge, it's there waiting for you! Look …

378 GG Apostrophes and Plurals

August 9th, 2013

7:02

Learn how to use apostrophes by pondering a Victoria's Secret ad. Buy Grammar Girl's books: http://j.mp/allGGbooks

377 GG Royal "We"

August 2nd, 2013

6:03

In honor of the new royal baby, more formally known as Prince George Alexander Louis, we're pondering a pompous pronoun choice known as the "royal we." Buy Grammar Girl's books at http://j.mp/allGGbooks.

376 GG Why Do We Have Both A and An?

July 19th, 2013

7:32

How English evolved to give us two indefinite articles (a and an), and the odd mix of possessive pronouns that don't quite match. Buy Grammar Girl's …

375 GG What Is It Called When You Mishear Song Lyrics?

July 11th, 2013

10:22

Spoonerisms, Mondegreens, Malapropisms, and Eggcorns. Like the podcast? See Grammar Girl's books: http://j.mp/allGGbooks

374 GG Rebracketing

July 5th, 2013

6:40

How to Make Weird Product Names Plural

372 GG Retronyms

June 21st, 2013

6:29

Retronyms: Scourge of the Language or Helpful Tool?

371 GG Commma Splice

June 14th, 2013

10:21

How to Avoid a Common Comma Error: The Comma Splice

370 GG Why Isn't "Gruntled" A Word?

June 7th, 2013

6:38

Why Aren't We Gruntled When We're Happy?

369 GG Why Does "I" Take Plural Verbs?

May 31st, 2013

8:00

"I" is singular, so why do we say "I go" instead of "I goes"?

367 GG The Old Editor Says

May 17th, 2013

9:29

John E. McIntyre, a veteran editor at The Baltimore Sun, shares pithy editing maxims from his new book.

285 GG "Moot" Versus "Mute"

May 3rd, 2013

4:17

Moot isn't moot, but it can mean something different in Britain and the U.S.

363 GG Writing Flashbacks

April 12th, 2013

9:06

How to manage verb tense when writing flashbacks.

362 GG Why Are Some Portmanteaus So Awful?

April 5th, 2013

6:20

My failed entries for the Clorox Ick-tionary.

361 GG Is That a Wool Sweater or a Woolen Sweater?

March 29th, 2013

5:43

What to do when you can use an attributive noun or an adjective.

051 GG I'm Good

March 22nd, 2013

5:12

Is it OK to answer "How are you?" with "I'm good"?

358 GG "Only": The Most Insidious Misplaced Modifier

March 1st, 2013

7:14

How putting the word "only" in the wrong place can confuse your readers.

356 GG Where Do I Use Commas?

February 15th, 2013

7:17

Are you a comma-kaze? Do you use commas like confetti? Don't use a comma everywhere you would pause when speaking. Check out the rules.

355 GG Subject Object

February 8th, 2013

5:57

Why "I love you" is the easiest way ever to remember the difference between subject and object.

352 GG How to Create and Use Figures of Speech Pt.1

January 18th, 2013

8:04

Make your messages more vivid, more memorable, and trigger emotional responses using anaphora, antithesis, and chiasmus.

351 GG Pronouns: Is a Company a "Who" or a "That"?

January 11th, 2013

5:19

What pronoun should you use when referring to a company?

350 GG "Who" Versus "That"

January 4th, 2013

5:35

Is Your Dog an "It" or a "She"?

348 GG How Webster's Screwed Up

December 21st, 2012

7:25

How an editor who hated the word "radical," became a radical.

347 GG How to Use a Hyphen

December 14th, 2012

9:41

Learn how to use properly use hyphens with compound adjectives.

346 GG Tuxedo Verbs

December 7th, 2012

7:49

Use rich verbs, but don't put them in tuxedos.

342 GG Writing for Dyslexic Readers

November 9th, 2012

6:54

Tricks to make make your writing more accessible to people with dyslexia and visual impairments.

341 GG Google Ngram and "Impact" as a Verb

November 2nd, 2012

6:16

The updated Ngram Viewer gives new insight into word usage.

151 GG Just Say No to Drugs

October 12th, 2012

2:54

"Dragged" versus "drug." The Grammar Girl print book is now available on Amazon.com! http://tinyurl.com/2pkej7

142 GG When Are Double Words OK?

September 28th, 2012

5:43

Are "is is" and "had had" acceptable?

334 GG Using Present Tense in a Story About the Past

August 31st, 2012

7:16

The girl who sat next to me is or was? named Stephanie.

333 GG When Is W a Vowel

August 24th, 2012

8:08

A E I O U and sometimes Y, but also W?

330 GG The Rules of Story

July 27th, 2012

8:47

Why the Rules of Story Are Even More Immutable than the Rules of Grammar.

329 GG "Versus"

July 20th, 2012

6:31

Get ready to write about the Olympics.

328 GG "Decimate" and "All Right"

July 13th, 2012

5:51

Two troublesome words from Grammar Girl's new book.

323 GG How to Write Numbers

June 1st, 2012

6:34

When do you write out numbers, and why do they call it "maths" in England?

318 GG Dashes, Colons, and Commas

April 20th, 2012

4:42

They can change the way your sentences feel. Learn how they differ.

317 GG What Does "Proper English" Mean?

April 13th, 2012

9:05

You say "proper English," but you mean Standard English

316 GG Sentence Fragments

April 6th, 2012

5:16

Will they make editors reject your fiction?

315 GG Possessives

March 30th, 2012

7:11

Possessives: They aren't just for possession.

314 GG Mary Sue

March 23rd, 2012

5:06

Truth may be stranger than fiction, but fiction is usually more interesting.

312 GG This NGD story is "all right."

March 2nd, 2012

5:08

A Grammar Day tale: When Mr. Brown Met Miss Fox: A Love Story

308 GG Should We Abandon Standard Spelling?

February 10th, 2012

7:27

Should we be more lenient? "L8r" for "later"?

111 GG Everybody Wants Some

January 27th, 2012

5:48

Indefinite pronouns. The Grammar Girl print book is now available on Amazon.com! http://tinyurl.com/2pkej7

304 GG Should You Point Out Errors?

December 30th, 2011

5:52

How can you correct people's errors without coming off like a jerk?

302 GG Passive Voice

December 9th, 2011

5:29

It's about more than just what verb you use.

301 GG Active Voice

December 2nd, 2011

7:48

It's about more than just what verb you use.

300 GG Christmas Carol Grammar

November 25th, 2011

6:09

Learn about the odd grammar in "What Child Is This?"

299 GG Ten Tips to Banish Typos

November 18th, 2011

6:58

Computer and printing tricks to eliminate errors.

298 GG Color Your Readers' Imagination with Words

November 4th, 2011

7:02

"Dogs" or "mastiffs"? "Beer" or "ale"? It really does matter.

297 GG How to Search a Corpus

October 28th, 2011

7:54

It's a database, not a dead body.

029 GG "They" as a Singular Pronoun

October 21st, 2011

7:43

Can you use "they" as a gender-neutral singular pronoun?

284 Who Says “Fun” Can’t Be an Adjective?

July 14th, 2011

3:39

Who Says “Fun” Can’t Be an Adjective?

209 Does the Olympic Theme Song “I Believe” Have a Grammar Error?

February 19th, 2010

5:47

Does the Olympic Theme Song “I Believe” Have a Grammar Error?

183 Verbs Sandwiched Between Singular and Plural Nouns

August 14th, 2009

3:35

Verbs Sandwiched Between Singular and Plural Nouns

178 Do Rhetorical Questions Need a Question Mark?

July 10th, 2009

4:18

Do Rhetorical Questions Need a Question Mark?

168 Troublesome Contractions (e.g., I'd've)

May 1st, 2009

5:03

Troublesome Contractions (e.g., I'd've)

177 Why Are British English and American English Different?

April 3rd, 2009

6:06

Why Are British English and American English Different?

087 Used to Versus Use to, and Other Listener Questions

December 7th, 2007

4:18

Used to Versus Use to, and Other Listener Questions

070 The Asterisk (Trust Me About Grammar, Not About Baseball)

August 10th, 2007

3:33

The Asterisk (Trust Me About Grammar, Not About Baseball)

056 Generating Story Ideas and Overcoming Writer's Block

May 22nd, 2007

8:54

Generating Story Ideas and Overcoming Writer's Block

266 When Should You Capitalize Cocktail and Food Names?

March 11th, 2007

4:22

When Should You Capitalize Cocktail and Food Names?

Loading ...

Are you the creator of this podcast?

Verify your account

and pick the featured episodes for your show.

Listen to Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

RadioPublic

A free podcast app for iPhone and Android

  • User-created playlists and collections
  • Download episodes while on WiFi to listen without using mobile data
  • Stream podcast episodes without waiting for a download
  • Queue episodes to create a personal continuous playlist
RadioPublic on iOS and Android
Or by RSS
RSS feed
https://feeds.simplecast.com/XcH2p3Ah

Connect with listeners

Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fans

Yes, let's begin connecting
Browser window

Find new listeners

  • A dedicated website for your podcast
  • Web embed players designed to convert visitors to listeners in the RadioPublic apps for iPhone and Android
Clicking mouse cursor

Understand your audience

  • Capture listener activity with affinity scores
  • Measure your promotional campaigns and integrate with Google and Facebook analytics
Graph of increasing value

Engage your fanbase

  • Deliver timely Calls To Action, including email acquistion for your mailing list
  • Share exactly the right moment in an episode via text, email, and social media
Icon of cellphone with money

Make money

  • Tip and transfer funds directly to podcastsers
  • Earn money for qualified plays in the RadioPublic apps with Paid Listens