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Results For: grammar

Today we’re going to talk about a totally awesome topic: semantic bleaching. This has nothing to do with words in our language turning white. Instead, it has to do with how the meaning of words can fade over time — just like a colorful shirt fades after it’s been washed too many...
- September 02, 2019
Today, we’re going to tackle two of the scariest things you may ever be asked to do: writing and delivering a speech. To help your next presentation go well, check out these quick and dirty tips for writing scripts and speeches. Tip #1: Keep it Quick and Dirty Keep it short. Abraham Lincoln...
- August 29, 2019
Today we're going to talk about the written equivalent of voice tone and body language: the nonverbal parts of written word. Here in the 21st century, we’re all on display, all the time. When you start a new job, within moments your bosses and co-workers have Googled you, Binged you...
- August 27, 2019
  I had my first comedy hit with the phrase “itty-bitty kidneys.” Of course, the audience was my eight-month-old son, so it wasn’t much of a hit, but every time I uttered those magic words he’d laugh until he couldn’t breathe. Similar phrases (including “...
- August 26, 2019
One of our listeners named Gregg wrote in recently with a question. He wanted to know if there’s a term for words that change their definition when their syllable emphasis changes.  He mentioned the word “invalid” as an example. According to Merriam-Webster, the word means...
- August 23, 2019
In honor of launching our new podcast, Relationship Doctor, and his episode about three ways technology can ruin your relationships, I have the run-down on a few words related to online dating. Swipe Right First is “swipe right.” This phrase originally came from the dating app called...
- August 20, 2019
  What Is Point of View What is "point of view"? For fans of the book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” let’s think of point of view (POV) as the Babel fish of literature. It is a universal translator turning your brainwaves into the...
- August 19, 2019
  Have you ever tried to read something in a foreign language? Maybe some words looked familiar, but it was hard to determine what the sentence meant. Maybe the structure didn’t seem to follow the rules you’re used to. Now, imagine having the same problems reading your native...
- August 17, 2019
An eponym is a word that’s based on a person’s name. For example, Adolphe Sax was a Belgian instrument maker who brought a new instrument to a Victorian event in 1851 called The Great Exhibition. His main job was making flutes and clarinets, and his invention, which looks like...
- August 16, 2019
Grammar Girl: What’s your favorite word and why? Tupelo Hassman: "Apologize." I keep this word on my person because I make mistakes all the time, but not being afraid to use this word, knowing all that it admits and promises, it’s a tiny superpower. Like a mistake, an apology...
- August 13, 2019
Grammar Girl: What’s your favorite word and why? Eric Kester: Lately I’ve been really digging the adjective “crepuscular,” which means “related to or resembling twilight.” To me, the sound of “crepuscular” beautifully reflects the feeling of dusk,...
- August 13, 2019
They say one of the secrets to extraordinarily innovative people is that they have lots of ideas. Maybe. But maybe we all have lots of ideas. You have brilliant ideas, like putting your town under a sleeping curse so you can hoard all the Oreo ice cream cake. It’s a worthy goal. Maybe you...
- August 13, 2019
You didn’t realize it at the time, but last week was part I of apostrophes, and today is part II. Today's topic is tough apostrophe issues. How do You Make Singular Words Ending in S Possessive? I said it in the last episode about apostrophes, and I'll say it again: there...
- August 12, 2019
“Cipher” comes from an Arabic word that means “zero, empty, or nothing.” The Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, and so on) are also called ciphers, and a person can cipher a math problem, which means to work it out.  A cipher can also be a sign or symbol, such as the royal...
- August 08, 2019
In the recent episode about vacation words, we said that you write the abbreviation for “rest and relaxation” with an ampersand—“R&R”—and I thought some of you might want more information about the ampersand because it’s an odd little symbol that used...
- August 08, 2019

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