Skip to Content

Article RSS from Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Syndicate content
You'll get fun and friendly doses of writing advice in three short chunks: a Quick and Dirty Tip, a meaty middle, and a final tidbit. Grammar Girl covers everything from punctuation and grammar to style and voice. QuickandDirtyTips.com
Updated: 24 min 47 sec ago

706 - Sometimes It's Not a Bad Idea to Dumb Down Your Language.

Thu, 07/18/2019 - 09:45
Why sometimes it's not a bad idea to dumb down your language.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

True & Co: http://trueandco.com/grammar code:GRAMMAR |

Grammar Girl Email Newsletter | https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/newsletters |

Grammar Girl's AP style webinar: http://bit.ly/APStyle2019  |

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

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

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

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)

]]>

705 - 'Blue Collar,' 'Bluestocking,' and 'the Blue Hair Brigade.' 'Oral' Versus 'Verbal.'

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 17:00
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."

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Blinkist: http://blinkist.com/grammar
Native: http://nativedeodorant.com code:GRAMMAR |

Grammar Girl Email Newsletter | https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/newsletters |

Grammar Girl's AP style webinar: http://bit.ly/APStyle2019  |

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

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

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

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)

]]>

704 - Present Tense When Writing About Fiction. The Poop Emoji and Eggcorns.

Thu, 07/11/2019 - 10:00
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.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Cove: http://withcove.com/gg |

Grammar Girl Email Newsletter | https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/newsletters |

Grammar Girl's AP style webinar | http://bit.ly/GrammarWebinar2019 |

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

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

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

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)

]]>

703 - Why There Are 9 Different Ways to Pronounce the Letter T

Mon, 07/08/2019 - 14:30
We count nine different allophones of the letter T. Odds are good you'll recognize them all (and some of them may annoy you).

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Babbel: http://babbel.com/grammar |
True & Co: http://trueandco.com/grammar CODE: GRAMMAR |
Bombas: http://bombas.com/grammar |

Grammar Girl Email Newsletter | https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/newsletters |

Grammar Girl's AP style webinar | http://bit.ly/GrammarWebinar2019 |

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

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

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

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)

 

]]>

702 - ‘All of a Sudden’ or ‘All of the Sudden’? ‘Baited’ or ‘Bated’ Breath?

Thu, 07/04/2019 - 10:00
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).

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Babbel: http://babbel.com/grammar |

Grammar Girl Email Newsletter: https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/newsletters |

Grammar Girl's AP style webinar: http://bit.ly/GrammarWebinar2019 |

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

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

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

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)

]]>

701 - ‘Biweekly’ or ‘Semiweekly’? ‘Foward' and ‘Forward.’

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 13:45
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.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Babbel: http://babbel.com/grammar |

Grammar Girl Email Newsletter: https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/newsletters |

Grammar Girl's AP style webinar: http://bit.ly/GrammarWebinar2019 |

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

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

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

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)

]]>

700 - When to Capitalize 'Google.' Why Zero is 'Love' in Tennis.

Thu, 06/27/2019 - 12:15
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! 

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Blinkist: http://blinkist.com/grammar |

Grammar Girl Email Newsletter: https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/newsletters |

Grammar Girl's AP style webinar: http://bit.ly/GrammarWebinar2019 |

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

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

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

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)

]]>

699 - When to Capitalize Computer Terms. StetWalk

Mon, 06/24/2019 - 12:45
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!

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Stitcher App: http://stitcherapp.com/grammar |

Grammar Girl Email Newsletter: https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/newsletters |

Grammar Girl's AP style webinar: http://bit.ly/GrammarWebinar2019 |

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

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

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

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)

]]>

698 - 'Subpoena.' When To Capitalize 'The' in Titles.

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 09:45
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.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Grammar Girl Email Newsletter: https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/newsletters |

Grammar Girl's AP style webinar: http://bit.ly/GrammarWebinar2019 |

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

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

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

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)

]]>

697 - What Anyone Can Learn From the College Essay Process

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 14:30
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.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Stitcher App: http://stitcherapp.com/grammar |

True and Co.: http://trueandco.com/grammar |

Grammar Girl Email Newsletter: https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/newsletters |

Graduation Sweepstakes: http://bit.ly/qdtlifeaftercollege |

Grammar Girl's AP style webinar: http://bit.ly/GrammarWebinar2019 |

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

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

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

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)

]]>

696 - Hyphens in Ages. The Emphatic 'This.'

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 12:45
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."

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Start With This: http://startwiththispodcast.com |

Grammar Girl Email Newsletter: https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/newsletters |

Graduation Sweepstakes: http://bit.ly/qdtlifeaftercollege |

Grammar Girl's AP style webinar: http://bit.ly/GrammarWebinar2019 |

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

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

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

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)

]]>

695 - 'Armageddon' or 'Apocalypse'? Numbers in Dialogue.

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 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.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

True and Co: http://trueandco.com/grammar CODE: GRAMMAR |

Aspiration App |

Grammar Girl Email Newsletter: https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/newsletters |

Graduation Sweepstakes: http://bit.ly/qdtlifeaftercollege | 

Grammar Girl's AP style webinar: http://bit.ly/GrammarWebinar2019 |

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

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

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

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)

]]>

694 - Country Names and “The”: The Ukraine or Ukraine. Theater Idioms.

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 12:45
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.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

How to Be Yourself Book: http://bit.ly/beyourselfgrammar |

Bombas: https://bombas.com/grammar |

Campfire Pro: http://campfiretechnology CODE: QUICKNDIRTY  |

Grammar Girl Email Newsletter: https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/newsletters |

Graduation Sweepstakes: http://bit.ly/qdtlifeaftercollege | 

Grammar Girl's AP style webinar: http://bit.ly/GrammarWebinar2019 |

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

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

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

GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS |

http://bit.ly/GrammarPopBooks | 

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

VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

]]>

693 - What's Wrong with Saying Something Is 'Very Unique'?

Mon, 06/03/2019 - 17:45
What's wrong with saying something is "very unique"? Plus, autological words like "longer."

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Family Ghosts Podcast: https://familyghostspodcast.com/ |

Audible: https://audible.com/GG or text GG to 500-500 |

Aspiration App

Grammar Girl Email Newsletter: https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/newsletters |

Graduation Sweepstakes: http://bit.ly/qdtlifeaftercollege | 

Grammar Girl's AP style webinar: http://bit.ly/GrammarWebinar2019 |

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

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

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

GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS |

http://bit.ly/GrammarPopBooks | 

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

VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

]]>

692 - Godzilla, Cryptids, and Dilemma Comments.

Thu, 05/30/2019 - 11:45
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?

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Feminist Folklore Podcast: https://www.feministfolklore.com/ |

Grammar Girl Email Newsletter: https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/newsletters |

Graduation Sweepstakes: http://bit.ly/qdtlifeaftercollege | 

Grammar Girl's AP style webinar: http://bit.ly/GrammarWebinar2019 |

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

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

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

GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS |

http://bit.ly/GrammarPopBooks | 

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

VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

]]>

691 - BONUS: Introducing Science Rules! with Bill Nye

Mon, 05/27/2019 - 10:45
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.

]]>

690 - The Spelling Bee Kids

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 10:00
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.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Grammar Girl Email Newsletter: https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/newsletters |

Graduation Sweepstakes: http://bit.ly/qdtlifeaftercollege | 

Grammar Girl's AP style webinar: http://bit.ly/GrammarWebinar2019 |

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

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

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

GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS |

http://bit.ly/GrammarPopBooks |

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

VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

]]>

689 - More or most? Majority or plurality? The many (how many?) ways to describe amounts.

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 16:00
How many do you need for a "majority." When "a couple" isn't two. And more.

]]>

688 - Dangling Participles

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 11:30
What are participles and why do they dangle? 

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

Graduation Sweepstakes: http://bit.ly/qdtlifeaftercollege | 

Grammar Girl's AP style webinar: http://bit.ly/GrammarWebinar2019 |

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

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

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

GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS |

http://bit.ly/GrammarPopBooks |

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

VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

]]>

687 - What It's Like to Be a Book Editor and Translator

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 12:15
Palgrave Macmillan executive editor Elisabeth Dyssegaard is from Denmark and also works as a translator.

LINKS AND SPONSORS |

http://bombas.com/grammar | 

Grammar Girl's AP style webinar: http://bit.ly/GrammarWebinar2019 |

GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |

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

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

GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS |

http://bit.ly/GrammarPopBooks |

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

VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL

]]>