Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

You'll get fun and friendly doses of writing advice in three short chunks: a Quick and Dirty Tip, a meaty middle, and a final tidbit. Grammar Girl covers everything from punctuation and grammar to style and voice. QuickandDirtyTips.com

Latest articles

789 - How to Make Your Readers Laugh. 'Whoa' or 'Woah'?

Believe it or not, there are actually rules to being funny. Also, do you think "woah" is a separate word from "whoa"? Some people do, and they think it has a separate meaning. Read the transcript: Humor Writing. Whoa. Use the hashtag #WhereIListen and tag me to show me where you listen to the Grammar Girl podcast. Subscribe to the newsletter for...

788 - Why 'Out of Pocket' Means Both 'Inappropriate' and 'Unavailable'

People have been asking about the "unavailable" meaning of "out of pocket" for decades, but there's also an "inappropriate" meaning that is spreading. Read the transcript: Out of Pocket Use the hashtag #WhereIListen and tag me to show me where you listen to the Grammar Girl podcast. Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates.  Watch my LinkedIn...

787 - Why We Associate Political Parties with the Colors Red and Blue

Nick and Hannah explain "red" and "blue," the origin of "POTUS," why the Declaration of Independence is the greatest break-up letter ever written, and more. Read the transcript: The Interview Use the hashtag #WhereIListen and tag me to show me where you listen to the Grammar Girl podcast. Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates.  Watch...

786 - 'Doomscrolling' (OK, Doomer). 'Each Other' or 'One Another'?

Whether you call it "doomscrolling" or "doomsurfing," it's not your fault that you feel compelled to do it. "Doom" has an interesting history though. Also, in honor of "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure," we talk about being excellent to each other (or should that be one another?). Read the transcripts: Doomscrolling. Each Other. Use the hashtag...

785 - 'Gantlet' or 'Gauntlet'? Do You Want to Say 'Had Went'?

Have you been told to write "run the GANTLET"? Here's why you shouldn't. Also, editor Ben Yagoda explains why he's so tempted to use "had went" instead of "had gone." Read the transcripts: Gauntlet. Had Went. Use the hashtag #WhereIListen and tag @GrammarGirl to show me where you listen to the Grammar Girl podcast. Subscribe to the newsletter for...

784 - A Historical Tip for Remembering When to Use 'Historical.' Put More Thought into Your Punctuation.

Kamala Harris's selection as Joe Biden's running mate is important, significant, and a number of firsts, but should we call it "historic" or "historical"? (Also, learn about the time a woman shook her fist at me.) Plus, Edwin Battistella has some great examples that show how small changes in punctuation can change the meaning and pacing of your work. ...

783 - How Hurricanes Get Their Names. When You Should Avoid Using Contractions.

Isaias. Mitch. Andrew. Jimena. How hurricanes get their names, and why you'll see some names twice and others never again. Also, have you ever heard that you shouldn't use contractions in your writing? We have the real story. Read the transcripts: Hurricanes. Contractions. Use the hashtag #WhereIListen to show me where you listen to the Grammar...

782 - What are those dots over letters? Why does 'money' have a plural, and how do you spell it?

What are those double dots over letters in English? Why does "money" have a plural, and how do you spell it? Read the transcripts: Diaeresis. 'Monies' or 'Moneys'? Use the hashtag #WhereIListen to show me where you listen to the Grammar Girl podcast. Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates.  Watch my LinkedIn Learning writing course. ...

781 - Blursday or Whensday? Middle Grade Versus Young Adult Fiction

Blursday is a popular word to use when you don't know what day of the week it is. It captures that disoriented feeling when everything is a blur. And our wonderful fiction editor Diana Pho is back with a comparison of middle grade and young adult fiction. You'll learn a lot! Read the transcripts: Blursday. Middle Grade Versus Young Adult Use the...

780 - Which Comes First? Who or Where?

We started to wonder about the question words in the phrase "Who does what and goes where when." Read the transcript. Use the hashtag #WhereIListen to show me where you listen to the Grammar Girl podcast. Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates.  Watch my LinkedIn Learning writing course. Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. ...

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