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
634 - ‘Rack’ or ‘Wrack’? How to Eliminate Adverbs.
Aug 16 • 9 min
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 Pinterest:…
BONUS: Words for Color
Aug 14 • 11 min
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 code…
633 - Is That Comment Facetious, Sarcastic, or Sardonic? Cleft Sentences.
Aug 9 • 15 min
Is That Comment Facetious, Sarcastic, or Sardonic? Cleft Sentences. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/realgrammargirl Instagram:…
632 - ‘Ask’ as a Noun. Ships as ‘She.’
Aug 2 • 13 min
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:…
631 - Anniversaries. Conversate.
Jul 26 • 15 min
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 Twitter:…
630 - Who Wrote the ABC Song? Shark Idioms!
Jul 19 • 13 min
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/grammargirl…
629 - ‘Gourmet’ or ‘Gourmand’? Why July 14 Is Called Bastille Day.
Jul 12 • 13 min
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:…
628 - Why ‘Bag’ and ‘Beg’ Sound the same to some people? Does ‘Texas’ Mean ‘Crazy’?
Jul 5 • 14 min
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 Twitter:…
627 - How to Write a Great Cover Letter. ‘Kinda’ and ‘Wanna’: Real Words or Not?
Jun 28 • 13 min
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?
Jun 21 • 10 min
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 Facebook:…
625 - ‘Dinner’ or ‘Supper’? How to Write a Thank-You Note
Jun 14 • 15 min
‘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: http://instagram.com/thegrammargirl…
624 - ‘Trooper’ and ‘Trouper.” Why Is It Called a Spelling Bee?
Jun 7 • 12 min
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:…
623 - ‘Calvary’ or ‘Cavalry’? Spelling Bee Interview.
May 31 • 20 min
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…
622 - Is a Troop One Person or a Group? Repetition
May 24 • 15 min
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:…
621 - ‘Council’ or ‘Counsel’? Direct and Indirect Quotations. Oxymorons.
May 17 • 11 min
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…
620 - When to Capitalize ‘Mom.’ In the Doldrums.
May 10 • 16 min
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-doldrums…
619 - Co-worker. Barefaced and Baldfaced Lies. Mixed Metaphors.
May 3 • 13 min
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:…
618 - Jazz and Thunder. Say Your Piece (or Peace)?
Apr 26 • 13 min
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:…
617 - ‘Lay’ and ‘Lie.’ ‘Grill’ and ‘Grille.’ ‘Warsh.’
Apr 19 • 12 min
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…
616 - The Prodigal Tongue. Odoriferous. Battle Royale.
Apr 12 • 20 min
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 Twitter:…
615 - Humor with Adverbs. Noisome. Receipts. Case Quarters.
Apr 5 • 18 min
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 origin of…
614 - Illeism. Named For or After? Misinformation and Disinformation.
Mar 29 • 16 min
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 and…
613 - Dictionary.com Starts Defining Emoji (an interview with Jane Solomon)
Mar 22 • 29 min
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 “aw”…
612 - The Pin/Pen Merger. American. ‘Half-Staff’ or ‘Half-Mast’?
Mar 15 • 20 min
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. FOLLOW…
611 - Pudding. “There Are” Sentences. Winning Limerick
Mar 8 • 13 min
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. FOLLOW…
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