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Singing to Improve Grammar

When you have a habit of using a particular bit of poor grammar, rote exercises like writing out a script to practice may help you get past it. Practicing the correct usage by singing to yourself may work, too. This is part of a complete episode.

Who’s The Decider

When it comes to language, a listener from Dallas wants to know, as a fellow Texan might put it, “who’s the decider”? Grant explains that nobody makes the rules about language, and everybody does. For those seeking professional...

Train Away Verbal Fillers

Is it really possible to change your style of speaking so that you stop using the verbal fillers um and you know? Yes, you can. Martha relates her experience with dialect-coach-to-the-stars Sam Chwat. He was adamant that by catching ourselves every...

Origin of Nosy

Are we a nosy species? A listener married to a woman from Bangladesh explains how a Bengali term that translates as “nose-going” reflects the naturally inquisitive style of Bangladeshi culture. In many languages, the nose figures...

Picklebacks and Mountweazels

Martha and Grant talk about phrases you love to hate, like “Do you mind if I put you on hold?” They also talk about mountweazels, jakey bums, picklebacks, and step-ins. And which is the proper term: mothers-in-law or mother-in-laws?

Fake AP Stylebook Tweets

Grant and Martha share some of their favorite tweets from Fake AP Stylebook, the Twitter feed that tweaks journalistic style and tropes, such as “Do not change weight of gorilla in phrase, ‘800-lb gorilla in the room.’ Correct weight is...