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Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

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 from "whoa"? Some people do, and they think it has a separate meaning.

Read the transcript: Humor Writing. Whoa.

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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.

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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 there's also an "inappropriate" meaning that is spreading.

Read the transcript: Out of Pocket

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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.

Links: 

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/podcasts

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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 Independence is the greatest break-up letter ever written, and more.

Read the transcript: The Interview

Use the hashtag #WhereIListen and tag me to show me where you listen to the Grammar Girl podcast.

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Grammar Pop iOS game.
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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.

Links: 

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/podcasts

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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 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.

Use the hashtag #WhereIListen and tag me to show me where you listen to the Grammar Girl podcast.

Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates. 

Watch my LinkedIn Learning writing course.

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Grammar Pop iOS game.
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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.

Links: 

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/podcasts

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

 

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 explains why he's so tempted to use "had went" instead of "had gone."

Read the transcripts: Gauntlet. Had Went.

Use the hashtag #WhereIListen and tag @GrammarGirl to show me where you listen to the Grammar Girl podcast.

Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates. 

Watch my LinkedIn Learning writing course.

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Grammar Pop iOS game.
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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.

Links: 

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/podcasts

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/subscribe

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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 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.

Use the hashtag #WhereIListen to show me where you listen to the Grammar Girl podcast.

Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates. 

Watch my LinkedIn Learning writing course.

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Grammar Pop iOS game.
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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.

Links: 

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/podcasts

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/subscribe

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

 

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 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.

Use the hashtag #WhereIListen to show me where you listen to the Grammar Girl podcast.

Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates. 

Watch my LinkedIn Learning writing course.

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Grammar Pop iOS game.
Peeve Wars card game.

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.

Links: 

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/podcasts

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/subscribe

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

 

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 it?

Read the transcripts: Diaeresis. 'Monies' or 'Moneys'?

Use the hashtag #WhereIListen to show me where you listen to the Grammar Girl podcast.

Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates. 

Watch my LinkedIn Learning writing course.

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Grammar Pop iOS game.
Peeve Wars card game.

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.

Links: 

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/podcasts

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/subscribe

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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 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

Use the hashtag #WhereIListen to show me where you listen to the Grammar Girl podcast.

Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates. 

Watch my LinkedIn Learning writing course.

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Grammar Pop iOS game.
Peeve Wars card game.

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.

Links: 

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/podcasts

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/subscribe

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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 when."

Read the transcript.

Use the hashtag #WhereIListen to show me where you listen to the Grammar Girl podcast.

Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates. 

Watch my LinkedIn Learning writing course.

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Grammar Pop iOS game.
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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.

Links: 

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/podcasts

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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." How playwriting techniques can improve your writing.

Read the transcripts: OED. Black. Playwriting.

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

Use the hashtag #WhereIListen to show me where you listen to the Grammar Girl podcast.

Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates. 

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Grammar Pop iOS game.
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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.

Links: 

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/podcasts

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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 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.

Use the hashtag #WhereIListen to show me where you listen to the Grammar Girl podcast.

Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates. 

Watch my LinkedIn Learning writing course.

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Grammar Pop iOS game.
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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.

Links: 

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/podcasts

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/subscribe

http://twitter.com/grammargirl

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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 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.

Use the hashtag #WhereIListen to show me where you listen to the Grammar Girl podcast.

Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates. 

Watch my LinkedIn Learning writing course.

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Grammar Pop iOS game.
Peeve Wars card game.

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.

Links: 

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/podcasts

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/subscribe

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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 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’?

Use the hashtag #WhereIListen to show me where you listen to the Grammar Girl podcast.

Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates. 

Watch my LinkedIn Learning writing course.

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Grammar Pop iOS game.
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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.

Links: 

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/podcasts

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/subscribe

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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 dispute about the difference between "a couple" and "a few."

Read the transcripts: Bad Apples. A Couple and a Few.

Use the hashtag #WhereIListen to show me where you listen to the Grammar Girl podcast.

Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates. 

Watch my LinkedIn Learning writing course.

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Grammar Pop iOS game.
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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.

Links: 

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/podcasts

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/subscribe

http://twitter.com/grammargirl

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

774 - Roy Peter Clark on Civic Clarity

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.

Use the hashtag #WhereIListen to show me where you listen to the Grammar Girl podcast.

Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates. 

Watch my LinkedIn Learning writing course.

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Grammar Pop iOS game.
Peeve Wars card game.

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.

Links: 

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/podcasts

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/subscribe

http://twitter.com/grammargirl

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

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