Mignon Fogarty

1,136 Flips | 5 Magazines | 1,431 Followers | @mignonfogarty | Better known as Grammar Girl

We read every one of the 3,517 Facebook ads bought by Russians. Here's what we found

The Russian company charged with orchestrating a wide-ranging effort to meddle in the 2016 presidential election overwhelmingly focused its barrage of social media advertising on what is arguably America’s rawest political division: race.<p>The roughly 3,500 Facebook ads were created by the …

Social Media

With $40 Million, Podcast Upstart Luminary Media Builds a Platform

New venture has backing from NEA and has approached creators like Wondery, PRX, HowStuffWorks<p>A new heavyweight is preparing to enter the world of podcasting.<p>Luminary Media LLC, a venture-backed company, has raised $40 million to join the rapidly expanding realm of podcasting and audio.<p>Unlike most …

Podcasting

Say Your Piece (or Hold Your Peace)

When two editors started arguing about whether the correct phrase is "say your piece" or "say your peace," we had to investigate!<p>Today we’re going to …

Linguistics

Are Sports Teams like ‘Jazz’ and ‘Magic’ Singular or Plural?

Sports team names like Jazz, Thunder, Magic, and Heat sound singular, but most other team names are plural. Style guides generally say to treat all …

Linguistics

'Grill' or 'Grille'?

To remember the spelling, think of the E on the end of "grille" as being decorative like the metal grilles themselves.<p>Both words come from a French …

Tuxedo Verbs

Use rich verbs, but don’t put them in tuxedos.<p>Lexicographers don’t agree on how many words there are in the English language, but just pick up an …

This Handy Chart Automatically Generates a Pitch for Your New Novel

Feeling stuck? We help you skip the writing and go straight to the press releaseThe most important part of a novel isn’t the plot, the characters, or …

Writing

Commas with Transition Words

Have you ever wondered how to use a comma with however (or if you even should)? Here's the scoop on using commas and semicolons with however, …

Dictionary.com Starts Defining Emoji

Dictionary.com has added emoji definitions to its site, and I have an interview with the lexicographer behind the decision, Jane Solomon. Emoji are a …

'Awe' or 'Aw'

Although it's possible to be in awe of a baby, the word you usually want when you're cooing over cuteness is "aw."<p>Thad from Hawaii noted that I …

Parts of Speech

How a word is used in a sentence can determine what part of speech we call it. A word can be a prepositions or an adverb, for example, or a gerund or …

What Is Poetic License?

Are songwriters poets?<p>April is National Poetry Month in the United States, so today we're going to ponder poetic license.<p>What is Poetic License<p>When …

"American" and Other Demonyms

People in South America and Central America sometimes complain when I refer to citizens of the U.S. as “Americans.” Is there a better term I could …

‘Half Staff’ or ‘Half Mast’

A flag can be hung on a mast or a staff, but interestingly, a flag at half-mast or half-staff isn't hung exactly halfway down the pole.<p>The tradition …

Do 'Pin' and 'Pen' Sound Alike to You?

Some people say the words "pin" and "pen" differently, but other people say them the same way. When they do, it's called a "pin/pen" merger.<p>A …

Beware! The Ides of March Is (or Are?) Coming

The word “Ides,” as in “Ides of March,” denotes a single and singular day. But is the word itself singular or plural?<p>The word “Ides,” as in “Ides of …

Why Do People Say 'Ain't'?

Ain't is still frowned upon, so why do people keep using it? Neal Whitman explains.<p><i>Ain</i><i>’</i><i>t</i> is possibly the most-maligned word in the English grammar …

'Affective' or 'Effective'?

Like affect and effect, affective and effective have different meanings. Effective is the more common word, but affective is often used by …

Homey Versus Homely

If someone in Britain offers to rent you a homely room, you shouldn't be offended. Here's why.<p><b>Kits wrote, "I watch some British shows, mainly home</b> …

Punctuating Questions

Do you know how to punctuate every kind of question?<p>Today's topic is how to format questions. You think you already know this, don't you? I wonder if …

Is Starting a Sentence With 'So' Condescending?

Syelle Graves explains why sometimes it’s OK to start a sentence with so and why other times it’s annoying.<p>Readers often write in to complain about …

"Which" Versus "That"

A simple rule and some exceptions.<p>To understand the difference between “which” and “that,” first you need to understand the difference between a …

How Come We Say "How Come"?

Grammar Girl digs into this unseemly colloquialism, uncovering its surprisingly long and complex history.<p><b>Chris W. from Toronto asked, "How come</b> …

When WhatsApp's Fake News Problem Threatens Public Health

In remote areas of Brazil’s Amazon basin, yellow fever used to be a rare, if regular visitor. Every six to ten years, during the hot season, …

What Is a Comma Splice?

Once you learn about comma splices, you notice them everywhere, and a listener named Jo has started noticing them. She wrote, “Comma splices are the …

Expletive Sentences: Should You Start with 'There Is' or 'There Are'?

Subject-Verb Agreement: Sometimes it should be "there are." Find out why.<p>A reader named Joe wants to know whether he should say, "There is a couch …

Origin: The Proof Is in the Pudding

"The proof is in the pudding" comes from a much older phrase. Also, "pudding" means different things in Britain and the United States.<p>Have you ever …

Homophones, Homographs, and Homonyms

How a homophone mix up led to Judi Dench bread jokes. Homographs and homonyms wouldn't cause that kind of problem.<p>The Screen Actors Guild Awards were …

Jokes

3 Brainstorming Techniques to Help You Craft the Perfect Essay

At times, writing your first sentence can become a roadblock to completing the project. Luckily, there are brainstorming techniques you can use to …

Grammar Girl's Editing Checklist

At the end of a recent writing webcast, we distributed a Grammar Girl editing checklist that turned out to be so popular we decided to make it widely …

Language