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Results For: grammar

Some years ago I wrote a book called “The Sound on the Page: Style and Voice in Writing.” In it I tried to get at some of the elements — other than content — that make strong writers’ prose distinctive and immediately identifiable: their stylistic fingerprint. To...
- August 06, 2020
2020 has been a challenging year. We don’t know what the second half will bring. The way things are going, it could be Godzilla, it could be aliens. Maybe we’ll be lucky, and it will just be hurricanes. In fact, we’re smack in the middle of hurricane season in the U.S.—it...
- August 06, 2020
Grammar Girl: What’s your favorite word and why? Elsa Hart: "Ducdame." It’s a nonsense word that appears in "As You Like It" and is defined within the play as a Greek invocation to call fools into a circle. I got engaged after seeing the play performed, and...
- August 04, 2020
Michael S. asked: "It's accepted to say, 'to hold moneys for payment in trust.' I presume 'moneys' is plural; I've also seen it spelled 'monies.' Does this mean, then, that the singular would be 'a money'?" Ha! Well, it’s an interesting...
- July 30, 2020
A listener named Al recently wrote in about our segment on the word “reenter.” Sometimes it’s written with a hyphen, and sometimes without.   He suggested a third option: using the diaeresis.  What is a diaeresis? The diaeresis is a diacritical mark that looks...
- July 30, 2020
A new study by U.K. researchers found that you are not alone: It really does feel like time is distorted when we’re strictly staying home and alone during the pandemic. Only about 20% of the people they surveyed felt like time was passing normally, but of the 80% who felt like the passage of...
- July 23, 2020
I saw a "family calendar" for sale in a gift shop last week. Underneath the label was the explanatory phrase: “Who does what and goes where when.” That phrase is a good illustration of several rules about how we form questions in English that you may not have considered before...
- July 16, 2020
At first glance, novelists and playwrights seem to write in completely different mediums.  Traditional theater’s storytelling is based on witnessing events from the outside, while books give readers a glimpse inside a character’s head. A theater audience surmises a character's...
- July 10, 2020
Capitalizing 'Black' A flurry of style guides have updated their entries on the word “Black” in the last few weeks, and they all say to capitalize it. The AP Stylebook, the Chicago Manual of Style, the AMA Manual of Style, APA style, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the...
- July 10, 2020
My investigation into the phrase “red skies at night, sailor’s delight” started with this question from Thomas last week: Hi, Mignon. My name is Thomas, from Indianapolis, and I've been reading about the Sahara dust plume that's heading for U.S. on the tradewinds, and I...
- July 02, 2020
I've been doing a lot of reading lately, as you can imagine, and decided I would start reading one of my favorite detective series from the very start: the incomparable Ellery Queen.  Ellery Queen was the author as well as the main character of more than 30 mystery novels. Set in New York...
- June 18, 2020
Maria O. says: I’m a huge fan of the Money Girl Podcast and am also a Get Out of Debt Fast student. I’ve taken your financial advice and am glad to say that my husband and I are in a much better financial situation now. We both have travel rewards credit cards with zero balances...
- June 17, 2020
One of our listeners recently wrote in, wondering about the proper way to describe quantities.  She said her sixth-grade English teacher had taught her that “a few” means one or two, and that “several” means three or more. However, following this rule, she sent a work...
- June 12, 2020
I’ve been hearing people talk about “bad apples” a lot lately, so it seems like a good time to look at this idiom—what it means and where it came from. Along the way, I also found some surprising history about the word “apple” itself. What do we mean when we...
- June 11, 2020
Grammar Girl: What’s your favorite word and why? Ann Cardinal: In English? "Deciduous." I love saying it, and I live in Vermont where the new growth and shedding of leaves breathes life into me. We’re about to go into that time of spring where there are limitless shades of...
- June 04, 2020

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