Grammar Girl

Podcaster. Author. Entrepreneur. Skier. Founder of the Quick and Dirty Tips podcasting network. Grammar Pop developer. 语法女王. http://is.gd/9a1

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Here’s a portmanteau from the UK that I haven’t heard in the US: “scrummy” (a blend of “scrumptious” and “yummy”).

Syelle Graves investigates why people say “a-whole-nother.” It’s the same reason we say “an apron” instead of “a napron.” 

We’ve hit a big Peeve Wars milestone! I received one test deck from the printer, and Joe and I have done three separate test-play sessions with people who have never played before.

The cards look great and the testing went well. The testing also served its purpose of finding previously undiscovered problems, and I’m making minor tweaks to a couple of cards and to the instruction manual before I order the final decks to eliminate wording that was confusing people. I’m also going to make a video showing how to play for people who would rather watch a video than read an instruction manual.

I’ve also been hard at work on the secret prizes for people who got the Mystery Box.

All hail the crowdfunding backers who made this possible! See more pictures at BehindTheGrammar.com.

ahdictionary:

In a post several months ago, we pondered whether the tool used in chopping down a tree is an ax or an axe. Most American dictionaries and style guides prefer ax, but evidence suggests that among the general public, axe is more common. So we decided to run the question past our Usage Panel to see what they had to say.

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Number is for count nouns, and amount is for mass nouns, but some usage guides include exceptions to this rule. Find out what the exceptions are and whether you should note or ignore them: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/amount-versus-number

Dyeing: What you do to eggs.

Dying: What the bad guys do in movies.

British dialect coach Andrew Jack takes you on an amazing tour of the different accents you can hear on the British Isles. At first I was surprised by how many different sounds and pronunciations there are in such a small region, but I also recognized many of them from TV shows and movies I’ve seen. 

What are some words that you’ve seen in print and wondered how to pronounce? (I’ll start with the confession that I had to look up how to pronounce “hegemony.”)

A while ago, a reader commented on the problem of mispronouncing words she’d only seen in print, and it made me curious about what other words give people trouble.