Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

By QuickAndDirtyTips.com

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Subscribers: 4535
Reviews: 7


 Mar 24, 2022

Fábio
 Jan 1, 2021
Too much wordy.

𝗚𝗥𝗔𝗠𝗠𝗔𝗥 ℬℴ𝓎®
 Jun 1, 2020
𝑼𝒔𝒆𝒇𝒖𝒍 ☆☆☆☆☆

Pavel
 May 18, 2019
Great show, Mignon! Tuning in from Havana 🇨🇺

Laura
 Apr 7, 2019
Thank you Grammar Girl!! your podcast is always engaging and very informative; quite often I use what I learn to spark dinner table conversation!! your voice, delivery and enthusiasm are a pleasure to listen to!

Description

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 make you a better and more successful writer. Grammar Girl is a Quick and Dirty Tips podcast.

Episode Date
Why "'Em" Isn't Short for "Them." The Subjunctive. Sussies.
00:15:35

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 Gods" to underscore moments of uncertainty.

WHY "'EM" ISN'T SHORT FOR "THEM"

Written by Valerie Fridland, a professor of linguistics at the University of Nevada in Reno and the author of a forthcoming book on all the speech habits we love to hate. She is also a language expert for "Psychology Today" where she writes a monthly blog, Language in the Wild. You can find her at valeriefridland.com or on Twitter at @FridlandValerie.

References

López, Ignacio. 2007. The social status of /h/ in English. "Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses." 157-166. "em, pron." OED Online, Oxford University Press, March 2022, www.oed.com/view/Entry/85779. Accessed 11 April 2022.

Algeo, J., Butcher, C. A., & Pyles, T. 2014. "The origins and development of the English language." Boston, Mass.: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

THE SUBJUNCTIVE IN FICTION

Written by Edwin Battistella, a professor of linguistics and writing at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, where he has served as a dean and as interim provost. He is the author of "Dangerous Crooked Scoundrels: Insulting the President, from Washington to Trump" (OUP, 2020), "Do You Make These Mistakes in English?" (OUP, 2009), "Bad Language" (OUP, 2005), and "The Logic of Markedness" (OUP, 1996).

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| HOST: Mignon Fogarty

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| Theme music by Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

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May 13, 2022
Tomi Adeyemi: The Writing Life and Her New Writing Course.
00:41:27

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 her thoughts on the writing life and what she has to offer in her new masterclass, The Writer's Roadmap.

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| 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 Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

| Links:

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May 06, 2022
Scissors, Jeans, and Other Nouns That Are Always Plural. Flat Adverbs. Boteep.
00:18:20

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

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| Theme music by Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

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Apr 28, 2022
If earth looks like a blue marble, why is Earth Day associated with the color green? Also, 'funnest.'
00:14:39

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 honor of the special day, we look at how the meaning of "green" has changed over time. Plus, we investigate the "fun" continuum and whether it's OK to use the words "funner" and "funnest."

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| Theme music by Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

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Apr 21, 2022
You Know. Doppelganger. Trademarks. Funnily. Chicken Milk.
00:14:21

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" and "funnily." It's a good one!

| SPONSORS: https://masterworks.io/about/disclosure and The Jordan Harbinger Show.

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| HOST: Mignon Fogarty

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

| Theme music by Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

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Apr 14, 2022
I Cannot Tell a Lie (but I Can Mislead)! And Sometimes People Do It With Percentages.
00:16:39

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: https://masterworks.io/about/disclosure and https://bit.ly/ggondemand with the code MACMIL and https://bombas.com/grammar and https://monday.com/podcast.

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

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

| Theme music by Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

| Links:

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Apr 08, 2022
How Aphasia Causes Difficulty Speaking. Chairdrobe.
00:24:04

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 by Syelle Graves, who has a PhD in linguistics and is the assistant director of ILETC (Institute for Language Education in Transcultural Context). She was also a 40 under Forty alumni award honoree at SUNY New Paltz. You can find her at syellegraves.com.

| SPONSORS: https://masterworks.io/about/disclosure and https://bit.ly/ggondemand with the code MACMIL and https://bombas.com/grammar and https://monday.com/podcast.

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| Watch my LinkedIn Learning writing course.

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| Grammar Girl books.

| 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 Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

| Links:

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Mar 31, 2022
Why Tired People Talk About Being 'Out of Spoons.' Why Nouns Are More Complicated Than You May Think.
00:10:52

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 more complicated than you may think, and we dig into concrete, abstract, collective, and compound nouns--how you can identify them, how you can tell them apart, and what makes them fun.

| SPONSORS: https://masterworks.io/about/disclosure and https://bit.ly/ggondemand with the code MACMIL

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

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

| Theme music by Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

| Links:

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Mar 24, 2022
Barracking, Sheilas and Shouts: How the Irish Influenced Australian English
00:13:34

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

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| 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 Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

| Links:

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Mar 17, 2022
The Oxford Comma. And Should You Start a Sentence with 'And'?
00:16:50

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 sentence with "and" (and why you were probably taught that it's not).

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

| Theme music by Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

| Links:

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Mar 10, 2022
Is 'Materiel' Just a Fancy Pronunciation of 'Material'? Are Binomials the Same Across Languages?
00:10:42

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?

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Mar 03, 2022
Why Do We Cringe at 'Pepper and Salt'? Why 'Square' Is Uncool. Quickquish.
00:16:01

"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 meals, a listener asked why it's uncool to be a square.

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|Theme music by Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

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Feb 24, 2022
What's Square About a Square Meal? How to Use Parentheses, Brackets, and Braces. Guck.
00:16:11

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 out.)

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|HOST: Mignon Fogarty

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

|Theme music by Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

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Feb 17, 2022
Are People Using 'Commiserate' Wrong? The Origin of (the Word) 'Influenza.' Hersband.
00:12:00

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

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

|Theme music by Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

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Feb 10, 2022
Do You Call In, Out, or Off Sick? How Kids Learn Language. Hexaboobiated.
00:17:37

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 what parents can do to help their children learn better.

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|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 Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

|Links:

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Feb 04, 2022
Tips for Learning a New Language: The Fluent Show
00:27:50

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 language learning apps (to help you learn how to use them better), the massively underestimated thing that will help you learn a language, and how learning a language can make you more creative.

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

| Theme music by Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

| Links:

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Jan 27, 2022
Why 'Tiny' Sounds Smaller Than 'Huge.' Nixing the Horrid 'Of.' Kokopelli.
00:19:21

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 languages they don't speak. Here's why. Plus, we look at the ways people sometimes overuse the word "of" and how to fix it.

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| 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 Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

| Links:

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Jan 20, 2022
'Strollout,' 'Insurrection,' 'Yassify,' and Other Words of the Year for 2021
00:14:12

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

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|Theme music by Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

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Jan 13, 2022
Cardsharp. The Old-New Singular 'They.' Grignug.
00:16:11

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 pronoun that makes it sometimes stand out and sometimes get overlooked.

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

|Theme music by Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

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Jan 06, 2022
Questions, Questions, So Many Questions!
00:14:13

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 string them together and do a bunch of quick hits. We'll talk about color idioms, formatting bullet points, and the words "fulsome," "presently," "anyways," "afterward," and more.

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|HOST: Mignon Fogarty

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

|Theme music by Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

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Dec 30, 2021
Is "Milk and Cookies" One Thing or Two? A New Language Term: The Santaback. Shoedabakers.
00:16:18

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. We hope you'll share your examples!

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

|Theme music by Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

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Dec 24, 2021
How Lori Rader-Day Wrote a Historical Novel About War Evacuees in Agatha Christie's Vacation Home
00:28:30

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. We talk about what she learned along the way while working on "Death at Greenway."

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HOST: Mignon Fogarty

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

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

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Theme music by Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

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Dec 16, 2021
Pretending to Be British. How to Use Ellipses. Spiders.
00:18:10
Dec 09, 2021
Shibboleth. Greeting Card Grammar. Bunkaree.
00:11:40

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

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HOST: Mignon Fogarty

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

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

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Theme music by Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

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Dec 03, 2021
How to Use a Semicolon, Amirite? Partu.
00:13:29

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 punctuation mark, the semicolon.

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HOST: Mignon Fogarty

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

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

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Theme music by Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

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Nov 25, 2021
Penultimate. Veni, Vidi, Vici. Smidge.
00:13:33

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 Caesar and some of the phrases he gave us, such as "veni, vidi, vici" and "crossing the Rubicon."

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HOST: Mignon Fogarty

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

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

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Theme music by Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

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Nov 18, 2021
New Words from WWII. How Places Like Featherstonehaugh Get Their Names. Uncoming.
00:18:46

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 being debriefed by the head honcho. And you'll be amazed by the origin of the word "Jeep." And in honor of NaNoWriMo—because you have to name so many things in fiction—we talked about the most common ways places get their names.

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HOST: Mignon Fogarty

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

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

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Theme music by Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

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Nov 11, 2021
Editing an Anthology: 'Wild Tongues Can't Be Tamed'
00:28:14

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 Tongues Can't Be Tamed," featuring essays from an all-star line-up of Latinx writers. We discussed the thought that goes behind ordering the essays in an anthology, the challenges of trying to edit writers using different dialects into one book, and more.

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

Theme music by Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

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Nov 04, 2021
Is That a Tombstone, Gravestone, or Headstone? Why Is the Sound of a Human Scream So Terrifying?
00:12:26

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 has a very particular sound that makes it especially scary (and it's a sound shared by the music in scary movies).

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Oct 28, 2021
Using Present Tense in a Story About the Past. Beck and Call. Tie-Dye Trees.
00:16:21

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 the historical present tense: Schiffrin, Deborah. 1981. Tense variation in narrative. Language 57(1). 45-62.

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Oct 21, 2021
Surprise! These Names Are Trademarks. How to Write 'Dos and Don'ts' (or Is That 'Do's and Don'ts'?). Wording Your Mixes.
00:11:01

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."

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HOST: Mignon Fogarty
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Grammar Girl is part of the Quick and Dirty Tips podcast network.

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Oct 14, 2021
The Hedonometer and Your Feelings. What Does 'Schnozz' Mean?
00:20:05

Researchers and companies are harnessing computers to identify the emotions behind our written words. While sentiment analysis is far from perfect, it manages to distill meaning from huge amounts of data — and could one day even monitor mental health. In the second segment of this episode, we answer a listener question about the word "schnozz": is it really from 1980s children's television?

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HOST: Mignon Fogarty
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Grammar Girl is part of the Quick and Dirty Tips podcast network.

Theme music by Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

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Oct 07, 2021
How Do You Pronounce 'Tomato'? Why Is 'Chiropractic' Singular. Fish.
00:11:35

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 fusion is possible, but to people in the linguistic trenches, it is pretty darn close. After all, how many linguistic pronunciation ambiguities have been so long running and widely known that they have actually inspired a song? In the second segment of the show, we explore why "chiropractic" is such an outlier for "-ic" words.

Read the companion article on Quick and Dirty Tips.

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HOST: Mignon Fogarty
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Theme music by Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk.

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Sep 30, 2021
The Power of Very Specific Words, with Joel Schwartzberg
00:29:59

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 your influence.

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Sep 23, 2021
How to Really Talk Like a Pirate. When Do You Need a Comma Before 'Because'?
00:11:50

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 us believe. We also discuss when you need a comma before "because" to avoid confusion.

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Sep 16, 2021
Why and When 'Very Unique' Is Wrong. Capitalizing 'Delta Variant' (or Not). Happy to You.
00:15:18

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.

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Sep 09, 2021
Naked Idioms. Short-Lived. Capitalizing Earth. Hector Protector.
00:12:52

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 capitalize "earth."

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Sep 02, 2021
The Origin of 'Honeymoon.' 'Where' Versus 'In Which.' Fevesteter.
00:11:04

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

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Aug 26, 2021
Weird Words for Alcohol. Starting a Sentence with 'However.' Fam-ished.
00:16:54

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 with "however."

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Aug 19, 2021
How Storytelling Makes a Difference (and How to Do It Well)
00:42:41

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 storytelling matters, we talked about how to do it well.

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

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Aug 13, 2021
What's the Opposite of Deja Vu? Commas Between Adjectives
00:14:48

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 two-pronged test.

Answers to the quiz at the end of the show:

1) It's an easy five-mile hike.

2) That was a long, hard run.

3) They endured a tough marital situation.

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

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Aug 05, 2021
The Best Stories from 15 Years of Grammar Girl
00:15:37

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.

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Jul 29, 2021
What the Two Spellings of Stationary/ery Have to Do with Booksellers. Why Pronunciations Change.
00:15:13

"Stationary" and "stationery" have the same ultimate origin, but they evolved to have different meanings and one became tied to paper goods. Also, a recent survey in the UK highlighted pronunciations that annoy people. We look at which ones and why.

THIS WEEK ONLY: Make a donation up to $1,000 at Donors Choose, and I'll match it until we reach our $7,500 goal. Visit https://donorschoose.org/grammar and use the code GRAMMARGIRL.

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Jul 22, 2021
'Fish' or 'Fishes'? Why Do We Call Out 'Nothing' as 'Bupkis'?
00:10:40

"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!
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Jul 15, 2021
'If' Versus 'Whether.' Why We Say 'The Exception That Proves the Rule.'
00:12:12

"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 wondered why we say, "the exception that proves the rule" (like I did), you'll love this week's episode.

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Jul 08, 2021
Trundle, Amble, Roam, and Shamble. How Some Preposition Use Has Changed Over Time.
00:17:11

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 "The car almost ran over me"?

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Jul 01, 2021
Pedantic Nonsense Up with Which I Will Not Put! 'Discreet' or 'Discrete'?
00:14:08
Jun 24, 2021
Starting a Sentence with a Conjunction: Right or Wrong? Good 'Subpar' and Bad 'Subpar.'
00:15:45

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 teachers say and what style guides say. Also, we look at why sometimes "subpar" is good, and sometimes "subpar" is bad.

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Jun 17, 2021
How Long Is a Good Sentence? 'Cord' or 'Chord'? Grumple.
00:11:36
Jun 10, 2021
What Made 'Friends' Funny. How Cicadas Got Their Name. Dog Replacer.
00:13:41

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 the same thing as locusts.

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Jun 03, 2021
Is 'Graduated College' Wrong? Five Wonderful Latin Phrases.
00:11:44

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.

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May 27, 2021
'Bring,' 'Take,' and 'Carry.' 'The Queen's Gambit.' Sweepy Thing.
00:15:11

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 help us remember the difference between "gambit" and "gamut" (with "gamble" thrown in for good measure).

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May 20, 2021
Writing Dialogue. 'Associate Degree' or 'Associate's Degree'? Wiffy.
00:13:17

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

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May 13, 2021
'Ketchup' or 'Catsup'? How to Punctuate Questions. Gmoing Gmoing.
00:13:43

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!

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May 06, 2021
What Does ‘Op-Ed’ Really Mean? The Perfect Paragraph Length. Items.
00:11:20
Apr 29, 2021
The Intrusive "Of." What Makes English Weird.
00:14:18

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 weird.

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Apr 22, 2021
How to Write Faster. The Origin of the Odd Letter W
00:14:41

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 V's a "double U."

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Apr 15, 2021
'Borrow' and 'Lend.' When to Use 'Nor.' Boncho.
00:11:12

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 "nor."

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Apr 08, 2021
1) Squirrelly Animal Verbs. 2) 'People,' 'Peoples,' and 'Persons': Why It Matters.
00:10:29

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."

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Apr 01, 2021
A vast number of words have surprising origins. We talked about some today, including "scientist," "impressionist," "beatnik," and "paradigm."
00:18:22

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

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Mar 25, 2021
'Normalcy' or 'Normality'? A Punctuation Question from a Famous Movie Line. Taco Cats.
00:10:03

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 normalcy or normality? One of these words came from a misspeak (followed by a doubling-down) by William Harding.

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Mar 18, 2021
It's Not Just March. Other Months Have 'Ides' Too! Are You on the Pig's Back Today?
00:11:23

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?

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Mar 11, 2021
813 - The History of National Grammar Day. My Favorite Resources. Anniversity
00:14:01

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 help you get started.

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Mar 04, 2021
812 - Kibosh. Sidekicks. Misolation.
00:17:29

The origin of "kibosh" is a long-standing mystery in the English language. Yiddish? A whip? Clog-makers tools? We investigate. Also, sidekicks play interesting and important roles in fiction. Does your Watson or Robin meet expectations? A familect story about misolation.

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Feb 25, 2021
811 - Inigo Montoya and Coining Phrases. 'Dose' or 'Dosage'?
00:12:49

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

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Feb 18, 2021
810 - Words out of Time. Why 'OK' Is OK.
00:15:22

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 at the two spellings of "OK/okay," and I explain why I prefer "OK." (It has a fun history.)

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Feb 11, 2021
809 - Rethink Descriptions Like 'Diabetic.' The Wonderful World of Italics,
00:14:25

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 that might be changing)!

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Feb 04, 2021
808 - 6 Latin Abbreviations You Should Know. 'Imply' or 'Infer'?
00:14:47
Jan 28, 2021
807 - Why We Call Them Sea 'Shanties.' A Trick to Remember How to Spell 'Conscience'
00:12:15

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.

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Jan 21, 2021
806 - Why You Should Try Fanfiction. How to Find Tricky Pronunciations.
00:16:14

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

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Jan 14, 2021
805 - 'Acedia': the lost name for the emotion we're all feeling right now
00:11:09

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

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Jan 07, 2021
804 - Another Think/Thing Coming. 'Sanction,' 'Cleave,' 'Dust,' and More
00:14:22

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 special.

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Dec 31, 2020
803 - Pandemic, COVID, anderhalvemetersamenleving: 2020 Words of the Year
00:22:51

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 the 2020 words of the year.

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Dec 24, 2020
802 - Brandon Sanderson on Writing, Character and Place Names, and the Future
00:34:08

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

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Dec 17, 2020
801 - How to Get Your 'Just Deserts.' Comma After 'But'? Why?
00:11:54

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 shouldn't, but we have some theories about why they do. (But don't.)

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Dec 10, 2020
800 - What Did You Step On? And Is That a Desert or a Dessert?
00:09:37

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 can't ignore those rules!) Then, I have two great memory tricks to help you remember the spellings for "dessert" and "desert." They relate to camels and, well, food.

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Dec 03, 2020
799 - What 'Whence' Has to Do with 'Where Are You At?' 'Regime' or 'Regimen'?
00:11:42

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!)

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Nov 26, 2020
798 - Why 'Hilarious' Is Funnier than 'Hysterical.' How to Start a Novel.
00:15:30

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

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Nov 19, 2020
797 - Why Dickens' Character Names Are So Revealing. 'Continual' or 'Continuous'?
00:14:29

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

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Nov 12, 2020
796 - What Is a 'Crony'? Why Doesn’t 'Veterans Day' Have an Apostrophe?
00:12:36

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

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Nov 06, 2020
795 - Why People Use Scare Quotes. 'Dialog' or 'Dialogue'?
00:10:48

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'?

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Oct 29, 2020
794 - Create Characters as Great as Hamlet. How to Format Internal Dialogue
00:14:42

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 Character Profile Template

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Oct 22, 2020
793 - Why Journalists Use Misspellings Like 'Lede' and 'Spox'
00:15:30

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

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Oct 15, 2020
792 - A Totally, Like, Bitchin' Podcast About 'Like'
00:15:58

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

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Oct 08, 2020
791 - 'Although' Versus 'While.' Why We Write with Cliches (and How to Stop)
00:11:50

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: Although. Cliches.

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Oct 01, 2020
790 - 'Laureate' Is Good. Why Is 'Resting on Your Laurels' Bad? 'Smarmy.'
00:15:21

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 the transcript: Laurels. Smarmy.

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Sep 24, 2020
789 - How to Make Your Readers Laugh. 'Whoa' or 'Woah'?
00:14:53

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 it has a separate meaning.

Read the transcript: Humor Writing. Whoa.

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Sep 17, 2020
788 - Why 'Out of Pocket' Means Both 'Inappropriate' and 'Unavailable'
00:16:02

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

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Sep 10, 2020
787 - Why We Associate Political Parties with the Colors Red and Blue
00:24:40

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

Read the transcript: The Interview

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Sep 03, 2020
786 - 'Doomscrolling' (OK, Doomer). 'Each Other' or 'One Another'?
00:14:38

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. Also, in honor of "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure," we talk about being excellent to each other (or should that be one another?).

Read the transcripts: Doomscrolling. Each Other.

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Aug 27, 2020
785 - 'Gantlet' or 'Gauntlet'? Do You Want to Say 'Had Went'?
00:12:12

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" instead of "had gone."

Read the transcripts: Gauntlet. Had Went.

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Aug 20, 2020
784 - A Historical Tip for Remembering When to Use 'Historical.' Put More Thought into Your Punctuation.
00:14:40

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 "historical"? (Also, learn about the time a woman shook her fist at me.) Plus, Edwin Battistella has some great examples that show how small changes in punctuation can change the meaning and pacing of your work.

Read the transcripts: Historic. Punctuation.

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Aug 13, 2020
783 - How Hurricanes Get Their Names. When You Should Avoid Using Contractions.
00:18:11

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 that you shouldn't use contractions in your writing? We have the real story.

Read the transcripts: Hurricanes. Contractions.

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Aug 06, 2020
782 - What are those dots over letters? Why does 'money' have a plural, and how do you spell it?
00:10:20

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'?

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Jul 30, 2020
781 - Blursday or Whensday? Middle Grade Versus Young Adult Fiction
00:16:32

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 our wonderful fiction editor Diana Pho is back with a comparison of middle grade and young adult fiction. You'll learn a lot!

Read the transcripts: Blursday. Middle Grade Versus Young Adult

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Jul 23, 2020
780 - Which Comes First? Who or Where?
00:14:50

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

Read the transcript.

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Jul 16, 2020
779 - How You Can Help the OED. Capitalizing 'Black.' How Playwriting Techniques Can Improve Your Writing.
00:14:15

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

Read the transcripts: OED. Black. Playwriting.

OED Antedating Link: public.oed.com/appeals/oed-antedatings

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Jul 09, 2020
778 - Do We Say 'Red Skies at Night, Sailor's Delight' Because of the Saharan Dust Plumes? Also, 'Yoiks!'
00:14:03

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 morning, sailor take warning." That comes from clouds! Also, we talk about which came first: "yikes" or "yoiks."

Read the transcripts: Red Skies. Yoiks.

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Jul 02, 2020
777 - How to Write Fight Scenes (and How to Get Started as a Fiction Editor)
00:29:07

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 editing gig, which has led to a solid career as a freelance fiction editor.

Get Joshua's book, Essoe's Guides to Writing: Action Sequences.

Read the transcript.

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Jun 25, 2020
776 - Why a Detective Searched for 'Clews' in a 1929 Novel. ‘Systemic’ or ‘Systematic’?
00:11:59

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 about the difference between "systematic" and "systemic." They come from the same root, but have subtle differences in meaning. Don't get it wrong!

Read the transcripts: ‘Clue’ or ‘Clew’? ‘Systemic’ or ‘Systematic’?

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Jun 18, 2020
775 - Why We Talk About 'Bad Apples.' 'A Few' Versus 'a Couple'
00:11:23

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 and a Few.

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Jun 11, 2020
774 - Roy Peter Clark on Civic Clarity
00:33:16

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, we talked about

  • Writing differently during the pandemic
  • Living up to your duty as a writer to achieve civic clarity
  • Creating his new book, "Murder Your Darlings"
  • Learning that one of his best writing tips (which he shares) is as old as Roman times
  • Being a putter-inner instead of a taker-outter

Read the transcript: Roy Peter Clark interview.

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Jun 04, 2020
773 - Postal Zones. Reenter. Bougie.
00:11:41

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 word that meant simply "middle class."

Read the transcripts: ZIP Codes. Re-enter. Bougie.

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May 28, 2020
772 - The History of ZIP Codes and Addresses (Plus How to Write Them)
00:21:50

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. It's fascinating!

Read the transcripts: ZIP Codes. Deirdre Mask Interview.

Links mentioned in the podcast: ESRI Tapestry. Missing Maps.

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May 21, 2020
771 - Writing Lessons from Bad Job Applications
00:15:42

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 Applications.

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May 14, 2020
770 - 'Muslim' or 'Moslem'? 'Fishfolk'? 'Fishist'? What Is the Gender-Neutral Term for 'Fisherman'?
00:13:20

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 tangent about a gender-neutral term for "fisherman."

Read the transcripts: Muslim. AP Style Updates. Fisherman.

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May 07, 2020
769 - Why Do We Say 'Cool Your Heels'? What's Up With 'Zhuzh'?
00:18:06

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 something more interesting or attractive. You may have never seen it spelled before, and there's a reason.

Read the transcripts: Cool Your Heels. Zhuzh.

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Apr 30, 2020
768 - Why Aren't We 'Whelmed'? And Cabin 'Fever,' Anyone?
00:11:29

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. Fever Idioms.

Nina Simone video of "Rags and Old Iron."

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Apr 23, 2020
767 - The semicolon is so much more interesting than you imagine
00:29:25

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

Read the transcript. The Semicolon

Profile of Lindley Murray

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Apr 16, 2020
766 - 'Flaunt' and 'Flout.' 'Band Together.'
00:11:35

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.'

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Apr 09, 2020
765 - Say No to Marshall Law. How 'Vaccine' Is Related to 'Cow.'
00:09:50

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 the transcripts. Martial Law. Vaccine and Vaccination.

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Apr 02, 2020
764 - Skeleton Crew. Hunker Down. Uncharted. Existential.
00:10:39

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.

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Mar 26, 2020
763 - How to Write Better Email. 'Pandemic' vs. 'Epidemic.' 'Canceled' vs. 'Cancelled.'
00:13:41

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 when you should use "canceled" versus "cancelled."

Read the transcripts. Email. Pandemic. Canceled.

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Mar 19, 2020
762 - How to Pronounce 'Celtic.' 'Whiskey' or 'Whisky'?
00:10:58

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.

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Mar 12, 2020
761 - Why It's Called 'Daylight Saving Time.' The Origin of the Word 'Woman.'
00:14:14

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 origin of the words "woman" and "queen."

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Mar 05, 2020
760 - What Is Genre. 'Bangs' Versus 'Fringe.'
00:11:26

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."

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Feb 27, 2020
759 - What Does ‛Mardi Gras’ Mean? "Drive to Work" Versus "Drive Home"
00:08:34

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 why we need the "to" in "drive to work" but not in "drive home."

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Feb 20, 2020
758 - Why 'XOXO' Means 'Hugs and Kisses'
00:06:18

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

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Feb 13, 2020
757 - The days of the week are names you've known your whole life, but do you know their origin?
00:09:53

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 origin?

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Feb 06, 2020
756 - High Odds or Low Odds?
00:10:18

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.

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Jan 30, 2020
755 - How to Write Anything
00:08:14

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

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Jan 23, 2020
754 - The Tie Between Ann Landers and 'Could Care Less.'
00:07:40

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 root of the problem.

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Jan 16, 2020
753 - Take Heart! Here's Why You Still Have Time to Write Your First Novel
00:15:58

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 author of four novels including her newest, "A Woman of Two Minds."

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Jan 09, 2020
752 - Why Do Asian Languages Have So Many Different Scripts?
00:06:55

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?

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Jan 02, 2020
751 - Why Are There So Many Spellings for 'Hanukkah'? (Or Is That 'Chanukah'?)
00:07:15

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.

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Dec 26, 2019
750 - Pitch Black. Frankincense and Myrrh.
00:09:36

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 gold is, but why did the three wise men give gifts of frankincense and myrrh?

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Dec 19, 2019
749 - How to Identify Your Main Point. It's Harder Than You Think!
00:26:44

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.

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Dec 16, 2019
748 - Your Language Affects Your Perception of Time. 'Star Wars' Languages.
00:15:18

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.'

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Dec 12, 2019
747 - You Don't Have to Get Up on Stage for Improv to Boost Your Creativity
00:32:40

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 Writers."

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Dec 09, 2019
746 - How to Make Family Names Plural. How Come We Ask 'How Come?'
00:13:13

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?"

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Dec 05, 2019
745 - 'More Than' Versus 'Over.' Is a Hamburger a Sandwich?
00:16:22

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 debate the linguistics of whether a hamburger is a sandwich.

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Dec 02, 2019
744 - Cold Turkey, Talk Turkey, and More. The Weird Origin of the Cornucopia.
00:11:16

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 continuing the Thanksgiving theme, we also explore the weird origin of the cornucopia.

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Nov 28, 2019
743 - How to Get Your Characters Right (Especially When They Aren't Like You)
00:29:35

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 to write a diverse cast of characters without completely screwing it up.

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Nov 25, 2019
742 - Famous Quotations. Silent Letters.
00:13:48

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.

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Nov 21, 2019
741 - Behind the Scenes in Publishing.
00:19:08

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.

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Nov 18, 2019
740 - Do You Know When to Use Quotation Marks? Also, How to Create a House Style.
00:13:31

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 you also have your own house style guide? Here's why you should!

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Nov 15, 2019
739 - The Problem with Sarcasm. Filthy Lucre.
00:12:37

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 call money "filthy lucre"? We did!

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Nov 11, 2019
738 - Can a Boy Raised by Wolves Learn to Speak Human Language? It Depends.
00:13:02

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

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Nov 07, 2019
737 - Curtis Chen: Using NaNoWriMo to Kickstart Your Novel
00:33:37

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.

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Nov 04, 2019
736 - Ghastly Words for Ghosts. Quid pro Quo.
00:15:57

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?)

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Oct 31, 2019
735 - Dave Itzkoff on Writing a Biography of Robin Williams
00:34:28

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Oct 28, 2019
734 - Ghost Words
00:12:03

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

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Oct 24, 2019
733 - Why People Hate Words Like 'Moist'
00:23:07

When people have a negative physical reaction to a specific word, it's called word aversion (not misophonia as some people mistakenly presume). "Moist," "pustule," and "panties" are just a few of the words that come up over and over. In this episode, I talk with a psychologist to see what we know about these kinds of feelings.

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Oct 21, 2019
732 - How to Write a Conclusion. ‘Rebut’ or ‘Refute’?
00:09:41

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."

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Oct 17, 2019
731 - Compound Possession. 'Friday' or 'On Friday'?
00:11:37

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 listen "Tuesday" or "on Tuesday"?

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Oct 14, 2019
730 - Turning a Podcast into a Novel: 'The Bright Sessions' to 'The Infinite Noise'
00:30:39

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 from working alone to working on multiple projects and managing whole teams.

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Oct 10, 2019
729 - Making Words That End in Y Plural.'Primer' Pronunciation.
00:10:48

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.

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

Oct 07, 2019
728 - How English Words Came Into French After World War II
00:16:29

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

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

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

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

Oct 03, 2019
727 - The Quirky Australian 'Crime' Tense. 'Hopefully.'
00:14:34

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 of the word "hopefully."

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

Sep 30, 2019
726 - A Cup of Joe. ‘Smokey’ and ‘Smoky.’
00:11:30

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.

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Sep 26, 2019
725 - Interviewing, Story Structure, and Writing Tools with Jonathan Small
00:35:09

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, this interview with Jonathan Small is for you.

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TED Talks Daily: https://www.ted.com/about/programs-initiatives/ted-talks/ted-talks-audio |

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Sep 23, 2019
724 - Why Esperanto Is an Amazing Language. 'Fall' or 'Autumn'?
00:11:16

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.

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Sep 19, 2019
723 - Grammar Girl #723. Tips for Fact Checking. Why We Use the Term 'Watershed Moment.'
00:11:17

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."

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

Sep 16, 2019
722 - 'Math' or 'Maths'? Irregular Verbs.
00:14:30

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 look at why the most common verbs tend to be irregular.

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Sep 12, 2019
721 - Verbing Nouns. 'It Is I' or 'It Is Me'?
00:12:22

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."

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

Sep 09, 2019
720 - Getting Your Tricky Conditionals Right. Wheelhouse.
00:14:21

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 "in their wheelhouse."

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Sep 05, 2019
719 - Why 'Literally' Doesn't Mean 'Literally' Anymore. Video Games for Language Learning.
00:15:53

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 Fantasy XIV to learn a language? Research says maybe you should!

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

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

Sep 02, 2019
718 - Writing Scripts and Speeches. Ask and Aks.
00:13:52

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

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GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK |

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

Aug 29, 2019
717 - Words that Sound Funny
00:11:11

Use these tricks to get a laugh.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

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GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK |

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

Aug 26, 2019
716 - What's Up With Words That Are Spelled the Same but Sound Different?
00:11:39

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.

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PEEVE WARS CARD GAME |

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http://bit.ly/GrammarPopBooks |

GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK |

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

Aug 23, 2019
715 - POV. Plus 'Tinderella,' 'phubbing,' and more words at the intersection of relationships and technology.
00:14:12

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

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

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

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PEEVE WARS CARD GAME |

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GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK |

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

Aug 19, 2019
714 - Eponyms: Cardigan, Dunce, Quisling, and More.
00:16:02

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

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GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK |

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

Aug 16, 2019
713 - More Apostrophe Mayhem. Dyslexia Writing Tips
00:16:46

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 easier to read for people with dyslexia.

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GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK |

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

Aug 12, 2019
712 - Apostrophe Catastrophe. What (or Who) Is a Cipher?
00:14:25

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.

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

Aug 08, 2019
711 - Misheard Song Lyrics and Eggcorns. The Ampersand.
00:21:55

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 errors. Also, did you know the ampersand used to be the last "letter" in the alphabet?

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Aug 05, 2019
710 - Vacay. Why Some People Call Green Peppers 'Mangoes'
00:11:04

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."

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

Aug 01, 2019
709 - Surprise! The History of Semicolons Is Exciting.
00:28:37

I talked with Cecelia Watson, author of the new book "Semicolon" about how grammar writers in the 1800s became fabulously wealthy, struggled to create rules, and had vicious arguments; and we talked about how researching the book changed her approach to teaching writing and a whole bunch more.

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

Jul 29, 2019
708 - Why Alcohol Is 'Hard.' 'Phenomena' or 'Phenomenon'?
00:11:11

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 between "phenomenon" and "phenomena."

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

Jul 25, 2019
707 - How and Why the Internet Is Changing Language
00:29:49

Gretchen McCulloch studies how people use language on the internet, and today we talked about her new book, "Because Internet." I bet you'll recognize yourself or your friends in her insights. I did!

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Jul 22, 2019
706 - Sometimes It's Not a Bad Idea to Dumb Down Your Language.
00:10:53

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

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Jul 18, 2019
705 - 'Blue Collar,' 'Bluestocking,' and 'the Blue Hair Brigade.' 'Oral' Versus 'Verbal.'
00:12:10

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 have even heard before: Don't use "verbal" to mean "spoken."

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Jul 16, 2019
704 - Present Tense When Writing About Fiction. The Poop Emoji and Eggcorns.
00:09:26

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 the poop emoji.

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Jul 11, 2019
703 - Why There Are 9 Different Ways to Pronounce the Letter T
00:22:20

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

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Jul 08, 2019
702 - ‘All of a Sudden’ or ‘All of the Sudden’? ‘Baited’ or ‘Bated’ Breath?
00:09:45

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).

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Jul 04, 2019
701 - ‘Biweekly’ or ‘Semiweekly’? ‘Foward' and ‘Forward.’
00:09:57

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.

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

Jul 01, 2019
700 - When to Capitalize 'Google.' Why Zero is 'Love' in Tennis.
00:09:48

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!

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Jun 27, 2019
699 - When to Capitalize Computer Terms. StetWalk
00:07:32

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!

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Jun 24, 2019
698 - 'Subpoena.' When To Capitalize 'The' in Titles.
00:06:37

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 "the" in titles such as The New York Times and The Chicago Manual of Style. Sometimes you do, and sometimes you don't.

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Jun 20, 2019
697 - What Anyone Can Learn From the College Essay Process
00:26:13

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 essay can be an exploratory journey that ends up being about much more than getting into college. College Essay Guy, Ethan Sawyer, talks about how he helps students find their story.

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Jun 17, 2019
696 - Hyphens in Ages. The Emphatic 'This.'
00:08:02

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."

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Jun 13, 2019
695 - 'Armageddon' or 'Apocalypse'? Numbers in Dialogue.
00:11:45

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 some advice about style guides and editing.

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Jun 10, 2019
694 - Country Names and “The”: The Ukraine or Ukraine. Theater Idioms.
00:13:29

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.

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Jun 06, 2019
693 - What's Wrong with Saying Something Is 'Very Unique'?
00:16:10

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

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Jun 04, 2019
692 - Godzilla, Cryptids, and Dilemma Comments.
00:10:13

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: Is Godzilla a cryptid?

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May 30, 2019
691 - BONUS: Introducing Science Rules! with Bill Nye
00:02:54

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 about anything in the universe. Perhaps you’ve wondered: Should I stop eating cheeseburgers to combat climate change? How often should I really be washing my pillowcase? Can I harvest energy from all those static-electricity shocks I get in the winter? Science Rules! is out NOW—find it in your favorite podcast app.

May 27, 2019
690 - The Spelling Bee Kids
00:21:59

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.

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May 23, 2019
689 - More or most? Majority or plurality? The many (how many?) ways to describe amounts.
00:08:00

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

May 20, 2019
688 - Dangling Participles
00:09:06

What are participles and why do they dangle?

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May 16, 2019
687 - What It's Like to Be a Book Editor and Translator
00:16:12

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

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May 13, 2019
686 - The 'Dilemma' Dilemma. 'Big Bang Theory" Words and Language.
00:14:25

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

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May 09, 2019
685 - How to Find Work as a Freelance Writer. Adventure.
00:16:12

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

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May 06, 2019
684 - ‘Unquote’ or ‘End Quote’? Cinco de Mayo. Horse Idioms.
00:12:57

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.

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May 02, 2019
683 - ‘So’ and ‘So That’: What Type of Conjunction Are They?
00:21:29

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

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Apr 29, 2019
682 - Do You Drop Your T's? 'Sneaked' and 'Snuck.'
00:14:41

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."

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Apr 25, 2019
681 - 'The Dictionary of Difficult Words,' an Interview with Jane Solomon
00:31:57

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: http://facebook.com/grammargirl | Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/realgrammargirl | Instagram: http://instagram.com/thegrammargirl | LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/grammar-girl | LINKS AND SPONSORS | Song Salad Podcast | http://calm.com/grammar | Aspiration App | Grammar Girl's AP style webinar: https://www.ragan.com/rd/Z19TC02-MACMIL | GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME | Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad | For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPop | GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS | http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl-book-page | GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK | VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

Apr 22, 2019
680 - Wakandan, Groot, and Other Languages of the Marvel Universe. Easter and Passover.
00:13:54

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: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl | Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl | Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl | Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/realgrammargirl | Instagram: http://instagram.com/thegrammargirl | LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/grammar-girl | LINKS AND SPONSORS | http://bona.com/grammar | http://stamps.com code:GRAMMAR | Aspiration App | Grammar Girl's AP style webinar: https://www.ragan.com/rd/Z19TC02-MACMIL | GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME | Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad | For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPop | GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS | http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl-book-page | GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK | VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

Apr 18, 2019
679 - Brussels sprouts? Scotch eggs? Swedish meatballs? Which food names can you trust?
00:14:42

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, Swedish meatballs, French dressing, and more. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL | YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl | Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl | Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl | Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/realgrammargirl | Instagram: http://instagram.com/thegrammargirl | LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/grammar-girl | LINKS AND SPONSORS | Before Breakfast Podcast | Aspiration App | Grammar Girl's AP style webinar: https://www.ragan.com/rd/Z19TC02-MACMIL | GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME | Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad | For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPop | GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS | http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl-book-page | GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK | VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

Apr 15, 2019
678 - Moolah, Clams, and Scratch. God, Godsend, and Godfather.
00:15:15

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. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL | YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl | Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl | Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl | Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/realgrammargirl | Instagram: http://instagram.com/thegrammargirl | LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/grammar-girl | LINKS AND SPONSORS | Aspiration App DoorDash App. Code: GRAMMAR http://grammar.robinhood.com Grammar Girl's AP style webinar: https://www.ragan.com/rd/Z19TC02-MACMIL | GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME | Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad | For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPop | GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS | http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl-book-page | GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK | VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

Apr 11, 2019
676 - The Language of 'Game of Thrones'
00:13:42

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 series has been the languages the characters speak.

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VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

Apr 04, 2019
675 - Why Verbs Like 'Witness' Are Weird
00:16:00

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

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LINKS AND SPONSORS |

LaVar Burton Reads http://www.levarburtonpodcast.com/ |
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INTERNATIONAL PHONETIC ALPHABET |

https://www.internationalphoneticassociation.org/sites/default/files/IPA_Kiel_2015.pdf |

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VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

Apr 01, 2019
674 - How You Can Benefit Year-Round from NaNoWriMo
00:19:45

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

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LINKS AND SPONSORS |

http://campnanowrimo.org |
https://gastropod.com/ |

INTERNATIONAL PHONETIC ALPHABET |

https://www.internationalphoneticassociation.org/sites/default/files/IPA_Kiel_2015.pdf |

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad |
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GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK. |

VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

Mar 28, 2019
673 - Schwa-ify This! Scrabble Stories
00:14:51

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

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LINKS AND SPONSORS

http://capterra.com/grammar |

INTERNATIONAL PHONETIC ALPHABET

https://www.internationalphoneticassociation.org/sites/default/files/IPA_Kiel_2015.pdf |

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad |
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GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK. |

VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

Mar 25, 2019
672 - How a Semicolon Brought Two Writers Together
00:20:58

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

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LINKS AND SPONSORS

http://stamps.com (click the microphone and type in GRAMMAR) |
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GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

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GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK. |

VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

Mar 21, 2019
671 - Why We Have Both 'Color' and 'Colour'
00:07:46

British versus American spelling. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL | YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl | Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl | Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl | Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/realgrammargirl | Instagram: http://instagram.com/thegrammargirl | LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/grammar-girl | SPONSORS AND LINKS | http://bona.com/grammar | http://grammar.robinhood.com | GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME | Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad | For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPop | GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS | http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl-book-page | GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK. | VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

Mar 18, 2019
670 - Equinox. Is Irish the Same as Gaelic?
00:14:08

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

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SPONSORS AND LINKS |

http://bona.com/grammar |
http://grammar.robinhood.com |

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad |
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GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK. |

VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

Mar 14, 2019
669 - 'Red Tape,' 'Red Herring,' 'Paint the Town Red,' and More 'Red' Idioms.
00:11:05

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

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SPONSORS AND LINKS

http://calm.com/grammar

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME

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GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS

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GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK.

VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

Mar 11, 2019
668 - What's Wrong with 'These Ones'? Faith and Begorrah, We Have Irish Phrases for St. Patrick's Day!
00:13:15

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: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/realgrammargirl Instagram: http://instagram.com/thegrammargirl LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/grammar-girl SPONSORS AND LINKS ThirdLove: http://thirdlove.com/grammar (for 15% off your first order) Enter the 300 Million Download Contest: https://read.macmillan.com/promo/grammargirlcontest3002019/ GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPop GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl-book-page GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK. VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

Mar 07, 2019
667 - Why ducks say "quack-quack" in English but "ga-ga" in Japanese.
00:09:28

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GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME

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GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK.

VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

Mar 04, 2019
666 - Double Negatives.
00:11:10

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.

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SPONSORS AND LINKS

Enter the 300 Million Download Contest: https://read.macmillan.com/promo/grammargirlcontest3002019/

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME

Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad
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GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK.

VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

Feb 28, 2019
665 - Language News Chat
00:34:32

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

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SPONSORS AND LINKS

Enter the 300 Million Download Contest: https://read.macmillan.com/promo/grammargirlcontest3002019/
Bombas: http://bombas.com/grammar (for 20% off your first purchase)

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME

Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad
For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPop

GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl-book-page

GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK.

VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

Feb 25, 2019
664 - Benjamin Dreyer and His Unusual Pet Peeves
00:35:53

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.

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SPONSORS AND LINKS

Capterra: http://capterra.com/grammar
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AP Style Webinar: http://ow.ly/1Z7030nuTU0
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GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME

Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad
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GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS

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GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK.

VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

Feb 21, 2019
663 - D-Day. Why I Want a Salad-Salad.
00:13:12

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

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LINKS AND SPONSORS

Unknown History podcast
Tales podcast

AP Style Webinar: http://ow.ly/1Z7030nuTU0
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GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME

Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad
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GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl-book-page

GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK.

VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

Feb 18, 2019
662 - 'Racket' or 'Racquet'? Never Misspell 'Bureaucracy' Again.
00:16:08

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: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/realgrammargirl Instagram: http://instagram.com/thegrammargirl LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/grammar-girl SPONSORS AND LINKS Robinhood: http://grammar.robinhood.com Babbel: http://babbel.com Josie and Johnny Are Having a Baby With You AP Style Webinar: http://ow.ly/1Z7030nuTU0 Grammar Girl Listener Survey: http://bit.ly/grammargirlsurvey GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPop GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl-book-page GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK. VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

Feb 14, 2019
661 - How Paula Brackston picks her characters’ names and uses language to set a tone.
00:22:37

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, how she uses language to set a tone, and how she juggles working on multiple books at once.

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LINKS
Paula Brackston's Website: http://www.paulabrackston.com/
AP Style Webinar: http://ow.ly/1Z7030nuTU0
Grammar Girl Listener Survey: http://bit.ly/grammargirlsurvey

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME

Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad
For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPop

GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl-book-page

GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK.

VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

Feb 11, 2019
660 - 'Irregardless' or 'Regardless'? Crime Words.
00:16:18

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

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SPONSORS AND LINKS

Mythology Podcast: http://parcast.com/mythology
ThirdLove: http://thirdlove.com/grammar
AP Style Webinar: http://ow.ly/1Z7030nuTU0
Grammar Girl Listener Survey: http://bit.ly/grammargirlsurvey

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME

Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad
For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPop

GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS

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GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK.

VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

Feb 07, 2019
659 - Normans, Ralls, and Voicemail
00:03:48

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: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/realgrammargirl Instagram: http://instagram.com/thegrammargirl LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/grammar-girl SPONSORS AND LINKS AP Style Webinar: http://ow.ly/1Z7030nuTU0 Grammar Girl Listener Survey: http://bit.ly/grammargirlsurvey GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPop GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl-book-page GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK. VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL.

Feb 04, 2019
658 - 'Wage,' 'Wager,' and 'Wed'
00:12:59

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," treat "wages" as singular when it's most often plural? Plus, what does it mean to 'punt' something?

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LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/grammar-girl

SPONSORS AND LINKS

AP Style Webinar: http://ow.ly/1Z7030nuTU0
Capterra: http://capterra.com/grammar
Babbel: http://babbel.com or download the app.
Grammar Girl Listener Survey: http://bit.ly/grammargirlsurvey

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME

Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad
For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPop

GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl-book-page

GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK.

Jan 31, 2019
657 - 'Tip of the Hat" or 'Tip Your Hand'? 'Yeah No.'
00:17:02

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."

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LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/grammar-girl

SPONSORS

http://pewtrust.org/grammar (The 'After the Fact' Podcast)
http://takecareof.com, promo code GRAMMAR50
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GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME

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GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS

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GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK.

Jan 24, 2019
656 - ‘Relapse’ or ‘Recur’? 'Kneeled' or 'Knelt.' ’Methinks.’
00:10:14

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 “methinks.” Methinks you’ll like it!

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GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME

Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad
For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPop

GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl-book-page

GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK.

Jan 17, 2019
655 - ‘Myriad’ or ‘Myriad Of’? What Is a Run-On Sentence?
00:10:12

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: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/realgrammargirl Instagram: http://instagram.com/thegrammargirl LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/grammar-girl GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPop GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl-book-page GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK.

Jan 10, 2019
654 - 'Stint' or 'Stent'? How to Pronounce 'Coyote.'
00:14:23

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.

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YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl
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LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/grammar-girl

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME

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GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl-book-page

GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK.

Jan 03, 2019
653 - How to Use an Asterisk. Journaling.
00:11:42

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 Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/realgrammargirl Instagram: http://instagram.com/thegrammargirl LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/grammar-girl SPONSORS http://meettailor.com/grammar GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPop GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl-book-page GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK.

Dec 27, 2018
652 - ‘Purposely' or 'Purposefully'? Yule.
00:10:14

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

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YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl
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LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/grammar-girl

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME

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GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl-book-page

GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK.

Dec 20, 2018
651 - 'Capitulate' or 'Recapitulate'? Colons.
00:10:42

This week, we investigate why "capitulate" and "recapitulate" have such different meanings when they seem so similar, and we review how to use colons. It's probably more complicated than you think because different style guides have different recommendations.

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Dec 13, 2018
650 - 'Wreaked' or 'Wrought'? 'Crescendo.' Could We Understand Aliens?
00:13:11

This week, we'll explore the difference between "wreaked" and "wrought," learn a trick to never misuse or misspell "crescendo" again, and answer the question: Could we understand alien beings?

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Dec 06, 2018
649 - 'Ado' or 'Adieu'? Pronouns and Antecedents
00:13:12

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

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Nov 29, 2018
648 - Does Your Language Influence How You Think?
00:22:38

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 fascinating!

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Nov 22, 2018
647 - Pronoun Order. ‘Flier’ or ‘Flyer.’ The Plural of ‘Mouse.’
00:11:01

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 that "flier"?), and a meaty middle about the plural of the word “mouse.”

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Nov 15, 2018
646 - 'Blond' or 'Blonde'? How 'Trolloping' Became a Word.
00:14:16

Have you ever wondered why we have two ways to spell "blond(e)"? Also, I share some fascinating American frontier history that reveals how "trolloping' became a word. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/grammargirl Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/realgrammargirl Instagram: http://instagram.com/thegrammargirl LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/grammar-girl SPONSORS http://mgemi.com/grammar http://littlepassports.com/grammar GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPop GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl-book-page GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK.

Nov 08, 2018
645 - Interview with New York Times bestselling author Courtney Summers
00:15:07

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 Courtney to write such dark novels.

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Nov 01, 2018
644 - 'Sit' or 'Set'? Monster Names.
00:08:50

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.

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Oct 25, 2018
643 - ‘In the Limelight.’ ‘A’ or ‘An’?
00:12:09

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 rules (or were taught wrong).

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Oct 18, 2018
642 - 'Regard' Versus 'Regards.' Languages Without Numbers.
00:12:09

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: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/realgrammargirl Instagram: http://instagram.com/thegrammargirl LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/grammar-girl SPONSORS http://ancestry.com/grammar http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/women_in_charge.html UPCOMING CONFERENCE https://www.soundeducation.fm/ GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPop GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl-book-page GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK.

Oct 11, 2018
641 - 'Myself.' ‘Get the Skinny.’
00:16:00

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: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/realgrammargirl Instagram: http://instagram.com/thegrammargirl LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/grammar-girl SPONSOR http://ancestry.com/grammar UPCOMING CONFERENCE https://www.soundeducation.fm/ GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPop GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl-book-page GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK.

Oct 04, 2018
640 - Can a Screw Screw Itself into a Board? (Middle Voice)
00:16:34

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

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Sep 27, 2018
639 - Great Paragraphs. Falling off the Turnip Truck.
00:09:23

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 turnip truck. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/realgrammargirl Instagram: http://instagram.com/thegrammargirl LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/grammar-girl SPONSORS http://campaignmonitor.com/grammar GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPop GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl-book-page

Sep 20, 2018
638 - 'None.' How Pirates Talked.
00:11:03

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: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/realgrammargirl Instagram: http://instagram.com/thegrammargirl LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/grammar-girl SPONSORS http://blinkist.com/grammar http://stitcherpremium.com/grammar (offer code GRAMMAR) GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPop GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl-book-page

Sep 13, 2018
637 - ‘MacGyver.’ ‘Semicolons.’
00:09:28

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 marks: the semicolon.

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Sep 06, 2018
636 - 'To Boot.' Duck Tape. 'Can' and 'May.' Pronouns.
00:14:39

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 bathroom," and an excerpt from an interview with June Casagrande about pronouns.

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Aug 30, 2018
635 - 'Quick and Dirty.' 'Momentarily.' Short Subjects.
00:11:48

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 annoyed you should get when people use "momentarily" to mean "in a moment" and why you should favor shorter subjects and backload your sentences.

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Aug 24, 2018
634 - 'Rack' or 'Wrack'? How to Eliminate Adverbs.
00:08:30

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.

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Aug 16, 2018
BONUS: Words for Color
00:11:17

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 Stitcher Premium and use the code GRAMMAR for a free month to get ad-free episodes and bonus episodes as well as premium content from other podcasts such as Freakonomics and Tell Me Something I Don't Know.

Read the transcript at https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/fascinating-words-for-colors-and-the-battle-of-magenta
Check out all the Quick and Dirty Tips shows:
www.quickanddirtytips.com/podcasts

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Aug 14, 2018
633 - Is That Comment Facetious, Sarcastic, or Sardonic? Cleft Sentences.
00:14:31

Is That Comment Facetious, Sarcastic, or Sardonic? Cleft Sentences.

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Aug 09, 2018
632 - 'Ask' as a Noun. Ships as 'She.'
00:11:46

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

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Aug 02, 2018
631 - Anniversaries. Conversate.
00:13:48

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 it.

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Jul 26, 2018
630 - Who Wrote the ABC Song? Shark Idioms!
00:11:55

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

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Jul 19, 2018
629 - 'Gourmet' or 'Gourmand'? Why July 14 Is Called Bastille Day.
00:11:49

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 to insult each other.

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Jul 12, 2018
628 - Why 'Bag' and 'Beg' Sound the same to some people? Does 'Texas' Mean 'Crazy'?
00:12:16

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 “crazy.”

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Jul 05, 2018
627 - How to Write a Great Cover Letter. 'Kinda' and 'Wanna': Real Words or Not?
00:11:40

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

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Jun 28, 2018
626 - ‘Aggravate’ Versus ‘Irritate’ What Is a Functional Shift?
00:08:56

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 people use "invite" as a noun?

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Jun 21, 2018
625 - ‘Dinner’ or ‘Supper’? How to Write a Thank-You Note
00:12:54

‘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: http://instagram.com/thegrammargirl LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/grammar-girl YouTube: http://youtube.com/thegrammargirl SPONSORS The Splendid Table Podcast http://awaytravel.com/grammar (offer code GRAMMAR) http://stitcherpremium.com/grammar (offer code GRAMMAR) GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPop GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl-book-page

Jun 14, 2018
624 - ‘Trooper’ and ‘Trouper.” Why Is It Called a Spelling Bee?
00:10:06

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.

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Jun 07, 2018
623 - 'Calvary' or 'Cavalry'? Spelling Bee Interview.
00:17:34

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 executive director of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

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May 31, 2018
622 - Is a Troop One Person or a Group? Repetition
00:13:30

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

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

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May 24, 2018
621 - ‘Council’ or ‘Counsel’? Direct and Indirect Quotations. Oxymorons.
00:09:35

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: "bridegroom," "spendthrift," and "fail-safe."

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'Council' or 'Counsel'? http://bit.ly/council-counsel
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Oxymorons: http://bit.ly/odd-oxymorons

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GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS

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May 17, 2018
620 - When to Capitalize 'Mom.' In the Doldrums.
00:14:53

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

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Capitalizing "Mom": http://bit.ly/capitalize-mom
In the Doldrums: http://bit.ly/in-the-doldrums

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May 10, 2018
619 - Co-worker. Barefaced and Baldfaced Lies. Mixed Metaphors.
00:11:17

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

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

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

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GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS

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May 03, 2018
618 - Jazz and Thunder. Say Your Piece (or Peace)?
00:11:39

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

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Apr 26, 2018
617 - 'Lay' and 'Lie.' 'Grill' and 'Grille.' 'Warsh.'
00:10:21

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" and "lie." FOLLOW ALONG ON THE WEBSITE 'Lay' and 'Lie' http://bit.ly/layLie 'Grill' and 'Grille' http://bit.ly/grill-grille 'Warsh' http://bit.ly/wash-warsh FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: http://twitter.com/grammargirl Facebook: http://facebook.com/grammargirl Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/realgrammargirl Instagram: http://instagram.com/thegrammargirl LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/grammar-girl SPONSORS http://juicebeauty.com/grammar (use the promo code Grammar20) http://mrclean.com/grammargirl GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopiPad For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPop GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl-book-page

Apr 19, 2018
616 - The Prodigal Tongue. Odoriferous. Battle Royale.
00:18:18

This week, I have a delightful excerpt from Lynne Murphy's new book "The Prodigal Tongue" about the differences between British and American English, a tip about words for smells, and a tidbit about the term "battle royale."

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GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS

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Apr 12, 2018