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
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…
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:…
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…
610 - Top 10 Grammar Myths. How 13 Dog Breeds Got Their Names.
Mar 1 • 14 min
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 names…
609 - Pull Idioms. Surprising Food Names. Dillydally.
Feb 22 • 13 min
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.” FOLLOW…
608 - Dilly Dilly. How Many Prepositions Can You Put in a Row?
Feb 15 • 15 min
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/grammargirl…
607 - Brainstorming. Call Out Sick? Synesis.
Feb 8 • 14 min
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 GRAMMAR GIRL…
606 - Levidromes, Tom Swifty Jokes, and new OED Words.
Feb 1 • 13 min
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 Instagram:…
605 - A Homophone Error at the SAG Awards. Lectern or Podium? Capitalizing Award Names
Jan 25 • 13 min
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:…
BONUS: Introducing Launch
Jan 21 • 14 min
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 and…
604 - Origin of ‘Gerrymandering.’ Is ‘Data’ Singular or Plural?
Jan 18 • 11 min
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 Pinterest:…
603 - Words of the Year, Why You Shouldn’t Use ‘Eskimo,’ ‘Canon’ or ‘Cannon’?
Jan 11 • 15 min
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 start your…
602 - I’m Chuffed.
Jan 4 • 5 min
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 Pinterest:…
601 - “Based In” or “Based Out Of”? Omitting “That”
Dec 28, 2017 • 17 min
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 GRAMMAR GIRL…
600 - How to Pronounce ‘Caramel.’ Sports Idioms
Dec 21, 2017 • 11 min
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:…
599 - Delicious English Words (Chocolate, Guacamole) with Aztec Roots
Dec 14, 2017 • 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, 2017 • 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, 2017 • 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, 2017 • 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…
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