Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Hosted ByMignon Fogarty

Five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. Grammar Girl provides short, friendly tips to improve your writing and feed your love of the English language. Whether English is your first language or your second language, these grammar, punctuation, style, and business tips will make you a better and more successful writer. Grammar Girl is a Quick and Dirty Tips podcast.


All Episodes

‘Addictive’ or ‘addicting’? Types of nouns. Folley

970. We answer a listener question about the difference between “addictive” and “addicting,” and then we look at how to write compound nouns: did you visit a coffeehouse or a coffee house?

Tracing the origins of Miami’s new English. Why it’s not a ‘gumballs’ machine. Embassy Sweets.

969. From “wolkenkratzer” in German to “flea market” in English, direct translations called calques show how languages borrow from each other. This week, we look at how these translations are changing English in Miami and Spanish in Louisiana. Plus, we look at the difference between “gumball machine” and “gumballs machine” and how it might explain Joe Alwyn’s Tortured Man Chat.

Taylor Swift Doesn’t Need Your Grammatical Approval. In Love. Foil Lump Surprise.

968. We explain why Taylor Swift’s album title doesn’t need an apostrophe and how the preposition “in” signals passion.

‘A’ versus ‘an.’ ‘Larruping’ rides again. Euonyms. Flavoring.

967. Should you say “a honor” or “an honor”? It’s trickier than you think! We explore why articles depend on sounds and regional variations, the difference between “thee” and “thuh,” and your stories about delicious phrasings.

From ‘hwhat’ to ‘what’: Tracing a letter’s disappearing act. Barkhouse.

966. We explore the rise and fall of the letter H: Debates over its name (“haitch” or “aitch”?) and why a once-prestigious pronunciation like “hwhat” now seems old-fashioned.

The listener show! (canceled, think, lettuce, funnily, episode numbers, at about, mangos, musgos)

965. It’s a listener question extravaganza! I answer your questions about “canceled,” “another think/thing coming,” zero plurals such as “fish,” the way I reference verbs, episode numbers, “at about,” mangos versus green peppers, and musgos.

Technology changes how we write. Who was the first Goody Two Shoes?

964. From Nietzsche’s writing ball to word processors and beyond, we look at how technology can change the way people write. Plus, we unpack the origin of the phrase “Goody Two Shoes” — it didn’t start out as an insult.

More than fluff: Understanding ‘needless’ words. Larruping. Chicken surprise.

963. Strunk and White said to omit needless words, but sometimes “redundant” words can serve a meaningful purpose. Plus, we have the story behind larruping food.

The psychology (and language) of time. Commas are like people on the subway. Fox chores.

962. We explore why phrases like “time flies” and “fast approaching” reveal deeper perspectives on time — is it us moving or the event? Plus, you may think you know how to use commas, but just like people, they can be more complex than they appear at first glance.

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