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Grammar Girl is your friendly guide to the English language—writing, history, rules, and cool stuff. We cover punctuation, grammar, style, word histories, idioms, and more. Five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. QuickandDirtyTips.com
Updated: 17 min 1 sec ago

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

Mon, 12/02/2019 - 09:15
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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744 - Cold Turkey, Talk Turkey, and More. The Weird Origin of the Cornucopia.

Thu, 11/28/2019 - 15:15
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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743 - How to Get Your Characters Right (Especially When They Aren't Like You)

Mon, 11/25/2019 - 08:15
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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742 - Famous Quotations. Silent Letters.

Thu, 11/21/2019 - 09:00
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.

Mon, 11/18/2019 - 10:30
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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740 - Do You Know When to Use Quotation Marks? Also, How to Create a House Style.

Thu, 11/14/2019 - 17:15
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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739 - The Problem with Sarcasm. Filthy Lucre.

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 12:45
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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738 - Can a Boy Raised by Wolves Learn to Speak Human Language? It Depends.

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 11:30
The story of Victor of Aveyron, a boy who was raised by wolves and taught us about language.

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737 - Curtis Chen: Using NaNoWriMo to Kickstart Your Novel

Mon, 11/04/2019 - 10:45
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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736 - Ghastly Words for Ghosts. Quid pro Quo.

Thu, 10/31/2019 - 12:30
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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735 - Dave Itzkoff on Writing a Biography of Robin Williams

Mon, 10/28/2019 - 09:30
 

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734 - Ghost Words

Thu, 10/24/2019 - 09:45
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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733 - Why People Hate Words Like 'Moist'

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 11:45
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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732 - How to Write a Conclusion. ‘Rebut’ or ‘Refute’?

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 10:00
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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731 - Compound Possession. 'Friday' or 'On Friday'?

Mon, 10/14/2019 - 09:00
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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730 - Turning a Podcast into a Novel: 'The Bright Sessions' to 'The Infinite Noise'

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 12:45
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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729 - Making Words That End in Y Plural.'Primer' Pronunciation.

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 10:15
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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728 - How English Words Came Into French After World War II

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 09:00
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.

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727 - The Quirky Australian 'Crime' Tense. 'Hopefully.'

Mon, 09/30/2019 - 10:00
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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726 - A Cup of Joe. ‘Smokey’ and ‘Smoky.’

Thu, 09/26/2019 - 14:30
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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