Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for English

Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for English

792 - A Totally, Like, Bitchin' Podcast About 'Like'

It's not lazy and it's not just filler, but using "like" too much can still get you in trouble....

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791 - 'Although' Versus 'While.' Why We Write with Cliches (and How to Stop)

What happens when I discover that my pet peeve is wrong? Also, why do we write with cliches? Should we stop, and if...

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790 - 'Laureate' Is Good. Why Is 'Resting on Your Laurels' Bad? 'Smarmy.'

If getting laurels is good, and being a Nobel laureate is good, how did we get to "resting on your laurels"...

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789 - How to Make Your Readers Laugh. 'Whoa' or 'Woah'?

Believe it or not, there are actually rules to being funny. Also, do you think "woah" is a separate word...

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788 - Why 'Out of Pocket' Means Both 'Inappropriate' and 'Unavailable'

People have been asking about the "unavailable" meaning of "out of pocket" for decades, but...

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787 - Why We Associate Political Parties with the Colors Red and Blue

Nick and Hannah explain "red" and "blue," the origin of "POTUS," why the Declaration of...

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786 - 'Doomscrolling' (OK, Doomer). 'Each Other' or 'One Another'?

Whether you call it "doomscrolling" or "doomsurfing," it's not your fault that you feel...

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785 - 'Gantlet' or 'Gauntlet'? Do You Want to Say 'Had Went'?

Have you been told to write "run the GANTLET"? Here's why you shouldn't. Also, editor Ben Yagoda...

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784 - A Historical Tip for Remembering When to Use 'Historical.' Put More Thought into Your Punctuation.

Kamala Harris's selection as Joe Biden's running mate is important, significant, and a number of firsts, but...

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783 - How Hurricanes Get Their Names. When You Should Avoid Using Contractions.

Isaias. Mitch. Andrew. Jimena. How hurricanes get their names, and why you'll see some names twice and others...

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782 - What are those dots over letters? Why does 'money' have a plural, and how do you spell it?

What are those double dots over letters in English? Why does "money" have a plural, and how do you spell...

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781 - Blursday or Whensday? Middle Grade Versus Young Adult Fiction

Blursday is a popular word to use when you don't know what day of the week it is. It captures that disoriented...

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780 - Which Comes First? Who or Where?

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

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779 - How You Can Help the OED. Capitalizing 'Black.' How Playwriting Techniques Can Improve Your Writing.

Imagine the bragging rights: The OED needs your help antedating words. Why you should capitalize "Black."...

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778 - Do We Say 'Red Skies at Night, Sailor's Delight' Because of the Saharan Dust Plumes? Also, 'Yoiks!'

The Saharan dust plumes can make the sky red, but they aren't the source of the old saying "Red skies at...

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777 - How to Write Fight Scenes (and How to Get Started as a Fiction Editor)

Fiction editor Joshua Essoe gives his best tips for writing fight scenes (hint: it's not about the fighting). And...

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776 - Why a Detective Searched for 'Clews' in a 1929 Novel. ‘Systemic’ or ‘Systematic’?

Our writer was surprised when he came across "clew" instead of "clue" in a detective novel from...

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775 - Why We Talk About 'Bad Apples.' 'A Few' Versus 'a Couple'

We started to wonder why people seem to forget the second half of the saying about bad apples. Plus, we settle a...

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774 - Roy Peter Clark on Civic Clarity and Murdering Your Darlings

Roy Peter Clark has been teaching writing at the Poynter Institute since 1977 and regularly offers up some of the...

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773 - Postal Zones. Reenter. Bougie.

How postal zones led to ZIP codes. Why I like to put a hyphen in "re-enter." How "bougie," which...

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