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Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

759 - What Does ‛Mardi Gras’ Mean? "Drive to Work" Versus "Drive Home"

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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758 - Why 'XOXO' Means 'Hugs and Kisses'

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

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757 - The days of the week are names you've known your whole life, but do you know their origin?

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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756 - High Odds or Low Odds?

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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755 - How to Write Anything

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

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754 - The Tie Between Ann Landers and 'Could Care Less.'

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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753 - Take Heart! Here's Why You Still Have Time to Write Your First Novel

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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PEEVE WARS CARD GAME |

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752 - Why Do Asian Languages Have So Many Different Scripts?

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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For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopMobile |

PEEVE WARS CARD GAME |

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751 - Why Are There So Many Spellings for 'Hanukkah'? (Or Is That 'Chanukah'?)

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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GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/iPadGrammarPop |

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PEEVE WARS CARD GAME |

https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/grammar-girl-s-peeve-wars |

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http://bit.ly/GrammarPopBooks |

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750 - Pitch Black. Frankincense and Myrrh.

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?

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

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

Hallmark: https://hallmark.com/grammar Code: GRAMMAR |  

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GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/iPadGrammarPop |

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PEEVE WARS CARD GAME |

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http://bit.ly/GrammarPopBooks |

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

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749 - How to Identify Your Main Point. It's Harder Than You Think!

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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PEEVE WARS CARD GAME |

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http://bit.ly/GrammarPopBooks |

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748 - Your Language Affects Your Perception of Time. 'Star Wars' Languages.

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

Waterpik: https://waterpik.com/grammar Code: GRAMMAR |  

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747 - You Don't Have to Get Up on Stage for Improv to Boost Your Creativity

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

Hallmark: https://hallmark.com/grammar code: GRAMMAR |

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GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

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PEEVE WARS CARD GAME |

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746 - How to Make Family Names Plural. How Come We Ask 'How Come?'

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

Hallmark: https://hallmark.com/grammar Code: GRAMMAR |  

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PEEVE WARS CARD GAME |

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http://bit.ly/GrammarPopBooks |

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

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745 - 'More Than' Versus 'Over.' Is a Hamburger a Sandwich?

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

Waterpik: https://waterpik.com/grammar Code: GRAMMAR |  

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http://bit.ly/GrammarPopBooks |

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744 - Cold Turkey, Talk Turkey, and More. The Weird Origin of the Cornucopia.

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

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743 - How to Get Your Characters Right (Especially When They Aren't Like You)

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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GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/iPadGrammarPop |

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PEEVE WARS CARD GAME |

https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/grammar-girl-s-peeve-wars |

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742 - Famous Quotations. Silent Letters.

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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741 - Behind the Scenes in Publishing.

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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GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

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PEEVE WARS CARD GAME |

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http://bit.ly/GrammarPopBooks |

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740 - Do You Know When to Use Quotation Marks? Also, How to Create a House Style.

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

Hallmark: https://hallmark.com/grammar code: GRAMMAR |

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Waterpik: https://waterpik.com/grammar code: GRAMMAR | 

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GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/iPadGrammarPop |

For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopMobile |

PEEVE WARS CARD GAME |

https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/grammar-girl-s-peeve-wars |

GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS |

http://bit.ly/GrammarPopBooks |

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

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

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