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Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

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WINNER OF BEST EDUCATION PODCAST IN THE 2017 PODCAST AWARDS. Grammar Girl provides short, friendly tips to improve your writing. Whether English is your first language or your second language, these grammar, punctuation, style, and business tips will...Show More
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610 - Top 10 Grammar Myths. How 13 Dog Breeds Got Their Names.

14:32 | Mar 2nd, 2018

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: http://bit.ly/ACES_limerick2018). Also, some dog breed nam...Show More
685 - How to Find Work as a Freelance Writer. Adventure.

18:23 | May 6th

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: http://bit.ly/TwitterGrammarGirl | F...Show More
684 - ‘Unquote’ or ‘End Quote’? Cinco de Mayo. Horse Idioms.

14:00 | May 2nd

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 | Twitter: http://bit.ly/T...Show More
682 - Do You Drop Your T's? 'Sneaked' and 'Snuck.'

17:27 | Apr 25th

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: http://bit.ly/YoutubeGrammar | Twitter: h...Show More
681 - 'The Dictionary of Difficult Words,' an Interview with Jane Solomon

35:11 | Apr 22nd

Doppelganger, estival, and funambulist. Jane Solomon shares the story behind her new book, "The Dictionary of Difficult Words." FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL | YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl |Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl | Facebook: ht...Show More
680 - Wakandan, Groot, and Other Languages of the Marvel Universe. Easter and Passover.

16:38 | Apr 18th

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: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl...Show More
679 - Brussels sprouts? Scotch eggs? Swedish meatballs? Which food names can you trust?

16:26 | Apr 15th

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, Swedish meatballs, French dres...Show More
678 - Moolah, Clams, and Scratch. God, Godsend, and Godfather.

18:03 | Apr 11th

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. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL | YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl | Twitter: http://twitter.co...Show More
BONUS: LeVar Burton Reads

04:25 | Apr 8th

BONUS: LeVar Burton Reads is back! Subscribe and catch all-new episodes at applepodcasts.com/levar. | FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL | YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl | Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl | Facebook: http://facebook.co...Show More
676 - The Language of 'Game of Thrones'

13:42 | Apr 4th

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 series has been the languages the ch...Show More
675 - Why Verbs Like 'Witness' Are Weird

18:05 | Apr 1st

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 | Facebook: http://facebook...Show More
674 - How You Can Benefit Year-Round from NaNoWriMo

20:24 | Mar 28th

Grant Faulkner's organization has worked with hundreds of thousands of writers, and he has some advice for you. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL | YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl | Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl | Facebook: http://fa...Show More
673 - Schwa-ify This! Scrabble Stories

16:03 | Mar 25th

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: http://twitter.com/grammargirl | Facebook: ...Show More
672 - How a Semicolon Brought Two Writers Together

23:59 | Mar 21st

Jennifer Miller and Jason Feifer, authors of "Mr. Nice Guy," talk about how the semicolon brought them together, how they wrangle working as a writing team, and more. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL | YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl | Twitter...Show More
668 - What's Wrong with 'These Ones'? Faith and Begorrah, We Have Irish Phrases for St. Patrick's Day!

14:19 | Mar 7th

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: http://twitter.com/gramma...Show More
666 - Double Negatives.

11:44 | Feb 28th

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 GIRL YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Faceb...Show More
665 - Language News Chat

35:51 | Feb 25th

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: http://facebook.com/gramm...Show More
664 - Benjamin Dreyer and His Unusual Pet Peeves

38:17 | Feb 21st

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 Twitter: http://twitter.com...Show More
663 - D-Day. Why I Want a Salad-Salad.

14:52 | Feb 18th

What does the "D" in "D-Day" mean? What makes a salad-salad different from a plain old salad? FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl ...Show More
662 - Never Misspell 'Bureaucracy' Again.

18:48 | Feb 14th

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: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://fac...Show More
661 - How Paula Brackston picks her characters’ names and uses language to set a tone.

23:54 | Feb 11th

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, how she uses language to set a tone, and how she juggles working on multiple books at once. FOLLO...Show More
660 - 'Irregardless' or 'Regardless'? Crime Words.

18:32 | Feb 7th

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: http://facebook.com/gra...Show More
659 - Normans, Ralls, and Voicemail

03:48 | Feb 4th

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: http://facebook.com/grammargirl P...Show More
658 - 'Wage,' 'Wager,' and 'Wed'

15:10 | Jan 31st

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," treat "wages" as singular when it's most often plural? Plus, what does it mean to 'punt' something? ...Show More
657 - 'Tip of the Hat" or 'Tip Your Hand'? 'Yeah No.'

19:53 | Jan 24th

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: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl Twitter: http://...Show More
656 - ‘Relapse’ or ‘Recur’? 'Kneeled' or 'Knelt.' ’Methinks.’

13:22 | Jan 17th

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 “methinks.” Methinks you’ll like i...Show More
655 - ‘Myriad’ or ‘Myriad Of’? What Is a Run-On Sentence?

13:02 | Jan 10th

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: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl Twitter: htt...Show More
654 - 'Stint' or 'Stent'? How to Pronounce 'Coyote.'

17:53 | Jan 3rd

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 GRAMMAR GIRL YouTube: ht...Show More
653 - How to Use an Asterisk. Journaling.

12:31 | Dec 27th, 2018

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 Facebook: http://facebook.com/g...Show More
652 - ‘Purposely' or 'Purposefully'? Yule.

12:10 | Dec 20th, 2018

In this week's Grammar Girl podcast, I help you stop misusing "purposefully" and delve into the history of yuletide. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://fac...Show More
651 - 'Capitulate' or 'Recapitulate'? Colons.

12:56 | Dec 13th, 2018

This week, we investigate why "capitulate" and "recapitulate" have such different meanings when they seem so similar, and we review how to use colons. It's probably more complicated than you think because different style guides have different recomme...Show More
650 - 'Wreaked' or 'Wrought'? 'Crescendo.' Could We Understand Aliens?

15:29 | Dec 6th, 2018

This week, we'll explore the difference between "wreaked" and "wrought," learn a trick to never misuse or misspell "crescendo" again, and answer the question: Could we understand alien beings? FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL YouTube: https://www.youtube.co...Show More
649 - 'Ado' or 'Adieu'? Pronouns and Antecedents

15:42 | Nov 29th, 2018

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 Facebook: http://facebo...Show More
648 - Does Your Language Influence How You Think?

24:31 | Nov 22nd, 2018

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 fascinating! FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL ...Show More
647 - Pronoun Order. ‘Flier’ or ‘Flyer.’ The Plural of ‘Mouse.’

13:04 | Nov 15th, 2018

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 that "flier"?), and a meaty middle about the plural of the word “mouse.” FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL You...Show More
646 - 'Blond' or 'Blonde'? How 'Trolloping' Became a Word.

16:17 | Nov 8th, 2018

Have you ever wondered why we have two ways to spell "blond(e)"? Also, I share some fascinating American frontier history that reveals how "trolloping' became a word. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl Twitter: ht...Show More
645 - Interview with New York Times bestselling author Courtney Summers

17:28 | Nov 1st, 2018

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 Courtney to write such dark novel...Show More
644 - 'Sit' or 'Set'? Monster Names.

09:24 | Oct 25th, 2018

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: http://facebook.com/gramma...Show More
643 - ‘In the Limelight.’ ‘A’ or ‘An’?

14:15 | Oct 18th, 2018

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 rules (or were taught wrong). FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Faceboo...Show More
642 - 'Regard' Versus 'Regards.' Languages Without Numbers.

15:54 | Oct 11th, 2018

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: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Pi...Show More
641 - 'Myself.' ‘Get the Skinny.’

17:37 | Oct 4th, 2018

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: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: htt...Show More
640 - Can a Screw Screw Itself into a Board? (Middle Voice)

19:10 | Sep 27th, 2018

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: http://pinterest.com/realgrammargirl ...Show More
639 - Great Paragraphs. Falling off the Turnip Truck.

10:33 | Sep 20th, 2018

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 turnip truck. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://face...Show More
638 - 'None.' How Pirates Talked.

12:15 | Sep 13th, 2018

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: http://facebook.com/gram...Show More
637 - ‘MacGyver.’ ‘Semicolons.’

10:37 | Sep 6th, 2018

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 marks: the semicolon. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http:/...Show More
636 - 'To Boot.' Duck Tape. 'Can' and 'May.' Pronouns.

16:46 | Aug 30th, 2018

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 bathroom," and an excerpt from an in...Show More
635 - 'Quick and Dirty.' 'Momentarily.' Short Subjects.

13:52 | Aug 24th, 2018

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 annoyed you should get when people use "momentarily" to mean "in a moment" and why you should favor shorter...Show More
634 - 'Rack' or 'Wrack'? How to Eliminate Adverbs.

09:14 | Aug 16th, 2018

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: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Pinte...Show More
BONUS: Words for Color

11:17 | Aug 14th, 2018

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 Stitcher Premium and use the c...Show More
632 - 'Ask' as a Noun. Ships as 'She.'

13:34 | Aug 2nd, 2018

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: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Pinterest: htt...Show More
631 - Anniversaries. Conversate.

15:11 | Jul 26th, 2018

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 it. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Tw...Show More
630 - Who Wrote the ABC Song? Shark Idioms!

13:15 | Jul 19th, 2018

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: http://facebook.com/gra...Show More
629 - 'Gourmet' or 'Gourmand'? Why July 14 Is Called Bastille Day.

13:06 | Jul 12th, 2018

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 to insult each other. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: h...Show More
628 - Why 'Bag' and 'Beg' Sound the same to some people? Does 'Texas' Mean 'Crazy'?

14:24 | Jul 5th, 2018

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 “crazy.” FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Tw...Show More
627 - How to Write a Great Cover Letter. 'Kinda' and 'Wanna': Real Words or Not?

13:01 | Jun 28th, 2018

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: http://pinterest.c...Show More
626 - ‘Aggravate’ Versus ‘Irritate’ What Is a Functional Shift?

10:09 | Jun 21st, 2018

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 people use "invite" as a noun? FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Face...Show More
624 - ‘Trooper’ and ‘Trouper.” Why Is It Called a Spelling Bee?

12:11 | Jun 7th, 2018

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: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://fa...Show More
623 - 'Calvary' or 'Cavalry'? Spelling Bee Interview.

20:06 | May 31st, 2018

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 executive director of the Scripps ...Show More
622 - Is a Troop One Person or a Group? Repetition

15:50 | May 24th, 2018

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   FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: ...Show More
621 - ‘Council’ or ‘Counsel’? Direct and Indirect Quotations. Oxymorons.

11:21 | May 17th, 2018

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: "bridegroom," "spendthrift," and "fail...Show More
620 - When to Capitalize 'Mom.' In the Doldrums.

16:41 | May 10th, 2018

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 WEBSITE Capitalizing "Mom": http://bit.ly/capitalize-mom In the Doldrums: http://bit.ly/in-the-d...Show More
619 - Co-worker. Barefaced and Baldfaced Lies. Mixed Metaphors.

13:22 | May 3rd, 2018

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 Mixed Metaphors: http://bit.ly...Show More
618 - Jazz and Thunder. Say Your Piece (or Peace)?

13:21 | Apr 26th, 2018

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 http://bit.ly/say-your-piece FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook:...Show More
617 - 'Lay' and 'Lie.' 'Grill' and 'Grille.' 'Warsh.'

12:14 | Apr 19th, 2018

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" and "lie." FOLLOW ALONG ON THE ...Show More
616 - The Prodigal Tongue. Odoriferous. Battle Royale.

20:43 | Apr 12th, 2018

This week, I have a delightful excerpt from Lynne Murphy's new book "The Prodigal Tongue" about the differences between British and American English, a tip about words for smells, and a tidbit about the term "battle royale." FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL ...Show More
615 - Humor with Adverbs. Noisome. Receipts. Case Quarters.

18:46 | Apr 5th, 2018

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," and about the meaning and origi...Show More
614 - Illeism. Named For or After? Misinformation and Disinformation.

16:08 | Mar 29th, 2018

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 be a useful psychological technique. Then, we explore the difference between being named for someone...Show More
613 - Dictionary.com Starts Defining Emoji (an interview with Jane Solomon)

29:57 | Mar 22nd, 2018

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 lot more linguistically complex than you may imagine. Plus, I remind you of the difference between "...Show More
612 - The Pin/Pen Merger. American. 'Half-Staff' or 'Half-Mast'?

20:55 | Mar 16th, 2018

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 at half-mast or half-staff.  ...Show More
611 - Pudding. "There Are" Sentences. Winning Limerick

13:48 | Mar 8th, 2018

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 Grammar Day limerick contest. ...Show More
609 - Pull Idioms. Surprising Food Names. Dillydally.

13:53 | Feb 22nd, 2018

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 from the dish in which they're cooked and the difference between "dilly dilly" and "dillydally." FO...Show More
608 - Dilly Dilly. How Many Prepositions Can You Put in a Row?

15:44 | Feb 15th, 2018

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: http://facebook.com/grammar...Show More
607 - Brainstorming. Call Out Sick? Synesis.

14:49 | Feb 8th, 2018

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 break some rules. FOLLOW GRAM...Show More
606 - Levidromes, Tom Swifty Jokes, and new OED Words.

13:25 | Feb 1st, 2018

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: http://pinterest.com/realgrammargirl ...Show More
605 - A Homophone Error at the SAG Awards. Lectern or Podium? Capitalizing Award Names

13:48 | Jan 25th, 2018

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: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: h...Show More
BONUS: Introducing Launch

14:38 | Jan 22nd, 2018

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. What does it take to take that from dream to reality? Screenwriter John August (Go, Big Fish, Charlie...Show More
604 - Origin of 'Gerrymandering.' Is 'Data' Singular or Plural?

11:21 | Jan 18th, 2018

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 GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Pint...Show More
603 - Words of the Year, Why You Shouldn't Use 'Eskimo,' 'Canon' or 'Cannon'?

15:29 | Jan 11th, 2018

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 difference between "canon" and "cannon." SPONSOR: Visit http://audible.com/GG or text GG to 500-500 to sta...Show More
602 - I'm Chuffed.

05:15 | Jan 4th, 2018

This week we talk about Janus words (or contronyms), which get their name from the same Roman god that gives us the name "January." FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Pinter...Show More
601 - "Based In" or "Based Out Of"? Omitting "That"

17:53 | Dec 28th, 2017

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 it sometimes. FOLLOW GRAMMA...Show More
600 - How to Pronounce 'Caramel.' Sports Idioms

11:00 | Dec 21st, 2017

Have you been pronouncing "caramel" wrong your whole life? Also, we discuss interesting sports idioms including "in the crosshairs," "jump the gun," and "slam dunk." FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://fa...Show More
599 - Delicious English Words (Chocolate, Guacamole) with Aztec Roots

10:43 | Dec 14th, 2017

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 with Sir Walter Scott. Read the transcript at http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/de...Show More
598 - Gifting and Regifting. Take a Decision.

11:02 | Dec 8th, 2017

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: http://pinterest.com/realgrammargi...Show More
597 - Eskimo Words for Snow. Write a Book!

18:13 | Nov 30th, 2017

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: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http:/...Show More
596 - Why Businesses Are Called Houses. Why We Call It "Black Friday."

16:57 | Nov 23rd, 2017

Today has been called "Black Friday" longer than you think, and there are other "black" days too! Also, have you ever wondered why some businesses are called "houses"? SPONSORS http://heifer.org/grammar http://texture.com/grammar FOLLOW GRAMM...Show More
595 - 'Side' Words. What Is a Bailiwick?

12:40 | Nov 16th, 2017

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: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Pinterest: htt...Show More
594 - The Plural of 'Batman.' Why Smart People Struggle with Shakespeare Too.

18:38 | Nov 9th, 2017

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 you're smart. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://...Show More
593 - The Origin of English: Proto-Indo-European.

18:51 | Nov 2nd, 2017

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 Pinterest: http://pi...Show More
592 - "Sofa" or "Couch"? "Skeleton" Idioms.

14:48 | Oct 26th, 2017

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 http://topcashback.com/grammar FOLLOW...Show More
591 - "Cannot" or "Can Not"? "Dead" Idioms.

14:22 | Oct 19th, 2017

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: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Fac...Show More
590 - How to Write an Apology

10:27 | Oct 12th, 2017

How to avoid the worst apologies (the "if" apology, the passive voice apology, the reverse apology, and the florid fauxpology) and write a good apology letter. THE GRAMMAR DAILY 2018 CALENDAR http://amzn.to/2f8jPDG GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS http://www...Show More
589 - The "Ruth's Chris" Apostrophe. Thingamajigs.

13:36 | Oct 5th, 2017

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 "doohickey." FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://facebo...Show More
588 - Why People Mimic Accents. Why People "Have Your Six."

13:00 | Sep 28th, 2017

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: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Pintere...Show More
586 - UK and US English. Bad or Badly?

17:57 | Sep 15th, 2017

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 badly." FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://facebook.c...Show More
585 GG. Rainy Idioms. "Because," "Due To," "Since," and "As"

14:31 | Sep 7th, 2017

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: http://snapchat.com/add/thatgrammargirl ...Show More
584 GG. Pipe Dream. Comma Before a Quotation.

13:47 | Sep 1st, 2017

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 than you think. We have four ru...Show More
583 GG Important or Importantly? Time Traveler Words

08:31 | Aug 25th, 2017

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 Facebook: http://facebook.com/gram...Show More
582 GG. How to Use Quotations. Stop Calling Yourself a Grammar Nazi

14:16 | Aug 17th, 2017

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: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: ...Show More
581 GG. Riffle and Rifle. Worcestershire Sauce.

10:27 | Aug 10th, 2017

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 between riffling through somet...Show More
580 GG. Introductory Paragraphs. One of The...

15:01 | Aug 3rd, 2017

Listeners sent in many more interesting phrases from obsolete technologies, and we also talk about how to write a great introductory paragraph and tricky sentence that include "one of the [plural nouns]"--which verb do you use? FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL...Show More
579 GG Language Games. Jerry-Built. And Female Juniors

09:02 | Jul 27th, 2017

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 GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http:...Show More
578 GG Words from Obsolete Technology

09:53 | Jul 20th, 2017

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 telephones, and more. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://f...Show More
576 GG Critique or Criticize? Games Like Pig Latin

12:55 | Jul 6th, 2017

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 languages, and I have the run down! This segment is just for fun. Or should that be unfay? Or fubun? Or f...Show More
575 GG Gestures. Elbow Grease. Capitalizing Directions.

16:08 | Jun 29th, 2017

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 mind. Do you wonder why you talk w...Show More
574 GG Commas with Transition Words. Double Whammy.

09:21 | Jun 22nd, 2017

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,' 'therefore,' and other conjunctive adverbs and transition words. Also, you can trace 'double whammy' ...Show More
573 GG Until, Till, and 'Til. Dad Jokes.

14:12 | Jun 15th, 2017

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 words and why you should just str...Show More
572 GG Themself. Comma Splices.

14:23 | Jun 8th, 2017

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.' Don't worry, the new Chicago Manual of Style has you covered, and we talk about it today. Also, I've bee...Show More
571 GG Lego or Legos? Why English Spelling Reform Is Doomed.

26:24 | Jun 1st, 2017

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 talk about why English spellin...Show More
569 GG. Explain vs. Explanation. How to Outline.

12:23 | May 18th, 2017

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? Here's why composing an outline is key. (Plus, could Grammar Girl be replaced by a robot?) FOLLOW GRAM...Show More
568 GG. In or Among. Weird Words.

11:49 | May 12th, 2017

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: http://twitter.com/grammargirl ...Show More
567 Is Pig Latin a Real Language?

14:07 | May 4th, 2017

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: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Snapchat: ...Show More
566 GG. Off Your Feed. Animal Language.

21:30 | Apr 27th, 2017

Off Your Feed. Animal Language.
565 GG. Apple, Podcasts, and Prepositions. Forensic Linguistics.

11:26 | Apr 20th, 2017

Apple, Podcasts, and Prepositions. Forensic Linguistics.
564 GG. Preposition or Adverb?

17:15 | Apr 13th, 2017

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: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Snapchat:...Show More
563 GG Singular 'They'

12:54 | Apr 7th, 2017

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

13:53 | Mar 23rd, 2017

The $10 Million Comma. Ambiguous Sentences. A Tribute to Bill Walsh.
560 GG Devil's Advocate. 3 Tips for Creating Sentences with Punch

12:31 | Mar 16th, 2017

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 writers. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://facebook.com/gra...Show More
559 GG. Abbreviations. And Then the Murders Began. Runcible. Haiku.

11:14 | Mar 10th, 2017

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 meme called #LaidlawsRule. And, to finish our little poetry kick over the last couple of weeks, I hav...Show More
558 GG How to Write Good Survey Questions

14:01 | Mar 3rd, 2017

How to avoid biasing your questions and annoying your respondents.
557 GG Double Dactyl Poetry

14:12 | Feb 23rd, 2017

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 Facebook: http://facebook...Show More
555 GG. Toe/Tow the Line. Pled or Pleaded. Animal Idioms.

12:34 | Feb 9th, 2017

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: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Snapchat: http:...Show More
554 GG 'Reticent' or 'Reluctant.' Which' or 'That.'

10:29 | Feb 2nd, 2017

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 Snapchat: http://snapchat.com...Show More
553 GG Not Only, But Also. Leave in the Lurch. Month Names.

12:40 | Jan 27th, 2017

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 lurch." What's a lurch? And finally, we look at the interesting origins of the month names in English....Show More
551 Capital vs Capitol. Citing Podcasts and Websites

11:06 | Jan 19th, 2017

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 Dunkin' app and enroll in DD Perks with the code PODCAST to get a free Dunkin' beverage. Glasse...Show More
551 GG. Words of the Year. Writing Tips.

15:29 | Jan 12th, 2017

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: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Faceboo...Show More
550 GG Enormity or Enormousness? Badminton

07:16 | Jan 5th, 2017

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 http://www.ragan.com/Z5AC03-MACMIL FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIR...Show More
549 GG Hone/Home In. Apostrophes.

11:48 | Dec 29th, 2016

A great memory trick to remember the difference between homing and honing (plus a complete aside about spiderwebs). Also, an solution to the mystery of why you sometimes see "farmers market" with and apostrophe and sometimes you see it without an apo...Show More
548 GG. What Makes Good Stories.

10:14 | Dec 22nd, 2016

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 stories push our psychological and neurological buttons. How does good writing grab you by the brain? My fe...Show More
547 GG 'A While' or 'Awhile'? Writing Dialogue

11:11 | Dec 15th, 2016

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 Twitter: http://twitte...Show More
546 GG Anxious/Eager. If Not.

16:11 | Dec 8th, 2016

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 COURSE http://www.ra...Show More
545 GG Read the Riot Act. The Changing English Language.

14:30 | Dec 1st, 2016

FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE English Is Flexible http://bit.ly/EnglishIsFlexible Read the Riot Act http://bit.ly/ReadTheRiotAct SPONSORS http://sockclub.com/grammar and the code "grammar" http://blurb.com/grammar and the code "grammar" UPDAT...Show More
544 GG. Pilgrim Names. Pronouncing Foreign Words

21:27 | Nov 24th, 2016

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 AP STYLE INTERACTIVE WE...Show More
543 GG. By the Wayside. How to Pronounce 'Biopic'

11:12 | Nov 17th, 2016

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 GRAMMAR GIRL Tw...Show More
542 GG. 'Aloud' or "Out Loud'? Strong Voice

09:31 | Nov 11th, 2016

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 http://www.ragan.com/Z5AC03-MA...Show More
541 GG Before or Prior To? Foreign Language Syndrome

09:46 | Nov 3rd, 2016

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 http://www.ragan.com/Z5AC03...Show More
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