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Results For: grammar

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
When I was in second grade, I lost a spelling bee because I misspelled the word “its.” I put an apostrophe in when I shouldn't have, and it was a traumatic moment in my young life. But I think this lesson is burned into my mind precisely because of my past misdeeds, and...
- August 08, 2019
This is one of a few questions I got about mondegreens after I mentioned them in a recent episode about the poop emoji. “Hi, Mignon. This is J.T. Morris from Evergreen, Texas. I'm a huge fan of Grammar Girl, and I just listened to the episode today in which you had a segment about an...
- August 05, 2019
Late July and early August are the height of vacation season in the United States. Highways are jammed, pools are packed, and campgrounds at capacity. With that in mind, let’s talk about the word “vacation” and other ways to talk about taking time off. The Word 'Vacation...
- August 01, 2019
Here's an interesting question from a Grammar Girl podcast listener: “Hey, Grammar Girl. I have what I think is a familect story, but it could be just a local idiom. I'm not really sure at this point. I grew up in Eastern Ohio where we have a really odd dialect, but my family growing...
- August 01, 2019
Today, I have an interview with Cecelia Watson, author of a new book I absolutely loved called “Semicolon: The Past, Present,  and Future of a Misunderstood Mark.” Cecelia also teaches writing and humanities at Bard College in New York. We talked about how grammar writers in the...
- July 29, 2019
If you watched the children’s program Sesame Street growing up, you probably recognized the little bit I sang earlier. “Phenomenon, do do do do do.” Well, it turns out, I was remembering it wrong. In my memory, they were saying “phenomena,” but when I watched the clip...
- July 28, 2019
One of our listeners recently wrote in to ask why some types of alcohol are known as “hard” alcohol. Aren’t all liquids soft, not hard? We looked into this question, which led us to exploring some other interesting words for alcohol. Here’s what we found. Why Is Alcohol...
- July 25, 2019
Sometimes listeners tell me that when they talk to other people and use standard English grammar, they’re perceived as stuck up or pretentious. But if they know the difference between “who” and “whom,” for example, why should we pretend not to know? Why should we have...
- July 18, 2019

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