Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

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Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
599 - Delicious English Words (Chocolate, Guacamole) with Aztec Roots
Dec 14 • 10 min
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…
598 - Gifting and Regifting. Take a Decision.
Dec 8 • 11 min
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/realgrammargirl…
597 - Eskimo Words for Snow. Write a Book!
Nov 30 • 18 min
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:…
596 - Why Businesses Are Called Houses. Why We Call It “Black Friday.”
Nov 23 • 16 min
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 GRAMMAR GIRL…
595 - ‘Side’ Words. What Is a Bailiwick?
Nov 16 • 12 min
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:…
594 - The Plural of ‘Batman.’ Why Smart People Struggle with Shakespeare Too.
Nov 9 • 18 min
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:…
593 - The Origin of English: Proto-Indo-European.
Nov 2 • 18 min
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:…
592 - “Sofa” or “Couch”? “Skeleton” Idioms.
Oct 26 • 14 min
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 GRAMMAR…
591 - “Cannot” or “Can Not”? “Dead” Idioms.
Oct 19 • 14 min
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 Facebook:…
590 - How to Write an Apology
Oct 12 • 10 min
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…
589 - The “Ruth’s Chris” Apostrophe. Thingamajigs.
Oct 5 • 13 min
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:…
588 - Why People Mimic Accents. Why People “Have Your Six.”
Sep 28 • 13 min
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 Pinterest:…
587 - More British & American Differences. Quotation Marks with Periods and Commas
Sep 21 • 13 min
Quotation Marks with Periods and Commas FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/realgrammargirl Instagram: http://instagram.com/thegrammargirl LinkedIn:…
586 - UK and US English. Bad or Badly?
Sep 14 • 17 min
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:…
585 GG. Rainy Idioms. “Because,” “Due To,” “Since,” and “As”
Sep 7 • 14 min
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 Pinterest:…
584 GG. Pipe Dream. Comma Before a Quotation.
Aug 31 • 13 min
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 rules…
583 GG Important or Importantly? Time Traveler Words
Aug 24 • 8 min
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/grammargirl…
582 GG. How to Use Quotations. Stop Calling Yourself a Grammar Nazi
Aug 17 • 14 min
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:…
581 GG. Riffle and Rifle. Worcestershire Sauce.
Aug 10 • 10 min
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 something…
580 GG. Introductory Paragraphs. One of The…
Aug 3 • 15 min
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 Twitter:…
579 GG Language Games. Jerry-Built. And Female Juniors
Jul 27 • 9 min
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:…
578 GG Words from Obsolete Technology
Jul 20 • 9 min
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:…
577 GG The Trump Jr. Punctuation Kerfuffle. Generation Names.
Jul 13 • 12 min
FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Snapchat: http://snapchat.com/add/thatgrammargirl Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/realgrammargirl Instagram: http://instagram.com/thegrammargirl…
576 GG Critique or Criticize? Games Like Pig Latin
Jul 6 • 12 min
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…
575 GG Gestures. Elbow Grease. Capitalizing Directions.
Jun 29 • 16 min
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 with…
574 GG Commas with Transition Words. Double Whammy.
Jun 22 • 9 min
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’ back…
573 GG Until, Till, and ‘Til. Dad Jokes.
Jun 15 • 14 min
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 straight…
572 GG Themself. Comma Splices.
Jun 8 • 14 min
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 been…
571 GG Lego or Legos? Why English Spelling Reform Is Doomed.
Jun 1 • 26 min
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 spelling…
570 GG Burned or Burnt? Why English Spelling Is a Mess.
May 25 • 14 min
Burned or Burnt? Why English Spelling Is a Mess. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Snapchat: http://snapchat.com/add/thatgrammargirl Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/realgrammargirl…
569 GG. Explain vs. Explanation. How to Outline.
May 18 • 12 min
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 GRAMMAR GIRL…
568 GG. In or Among. Weird Words.
May 11 • 11 min
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 Facebook:…
567 Is Pig Latin a Real Language?
May 4 • 14 min
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:…
566 GG. Off Your Feed. Animal Language.
Apr 27 • 21 min
Off Your Feed. Animal Language.
565 GG. Apple, Podcasts, and Prepositions. Forensic Linguistics.
Apr 20 • 11 min
Apple, Podcasts, and Prepositions. Forensic Linguistics.
564 GG. Preposition or Adverb?
Apr 13 • 17 min
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:…
563 GG Singular ‘They’
Apr 6 • 12 min
Singular ‘They’
562 GG AP Style and Chicago Manual of Style Updates
Mar 30 • 15 min
AP Style and Chicago Manual of Style Updates FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Snapchat: http://snapchat.com/add/thatgrammargirl Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/realgrammargirl Instagram:…
561 GG $10 Million Comma. Ambiguous Sentences. Tribute to Bill Walsh
Mar 23 • 13 min
The $10 Million Comma. Ambiguous Sentences. A Tribute to Bill Walsh.
560 GG Devil’s Advocate. 3 Tips for Creating Sentences with Punch
Mar 16 • 12 min
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/grammargirl…
559 GG. Abbreviations. And Then the Murders Began. Runcible. Haiku.
Mar 9 • 11 min
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 have a…
558 GG How to Write Good Survey Questions
Mar 2 • 14 min
How to avoid biasing your questions and annoying your respondents.
557 GG Double Dactyl Poetry
Feb 23 • 14 min
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.com/grammargirl…
556 GG Tumult. Bull in a China Shop. Always, Never, Usually, Often, Most, and More
Feb 16 • 10 min
FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE Tumult: http://bit.ly/2lSXWtI Absolutes: http://bit.ly/2kD6CTf DISCOVERY CHANNEL ‘BULL IN A CHINA SHOP’ VIDEO http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/videos/bull-in-a-china-shop/ FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter:…
555 GG. Toe/Tow the Line. Pled or Pleaded. Animal Idioms.
Feb 9 • 12 min
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:…
Find older shows at QuickAndDirtyTips.com
Jan 1, 2005 • 0 min
Get the transcript of this podcast, and many other Quick and Dirty Tips Podcasts, at QuickAndDirtyTips.com