Grammar Girl

Podcaster. Author. Entrepreneur. Skier. Founder of the Quick and Dirty Tips podcasting network. Grammar Pop developer. 语法女王.
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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.

March 4 is National Grammar Day, and to celebrate, the American Copy Editors Society if having a haiku contest. The deadline is tomorrow. Here are the details:

This is amazing! h/t Laurie Abkemeier

Neal Whitman writes about the conflicting patterns “Substitute NEW for OLD” and “Substitute OLD for NEW.” If you substitute butter for margarine, which one are you eating? Read more.

You have only one more week to get a deck of Peeve Wars cards. You’re going to want to play this game!


A card game based on grammar peeves and heroes? Yes, please!

Asker natewell Asks:
I'm a huge fan! You're my go-to source for any grammar questions. Here's one I've been thinking about lately. I often notice sentences constructed this way: "The snacks are not only exorbitantly priced, they're also making us fat." Another example: "Not only were my possessions not bringing me joy, they were actually distracting me from it." Is this "Not only [this], [that]" correct grammar? Should this type of sentence have a "but" or a semi-colon?
grammargirl grammargirl Said:

Both Garner’s Modern American Usage and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary of English Usage seem to require at least a “but” in this kind of sentence. “Not only” and “but also” are considered correlative conjunctions, but both sources say it is sometimes OK to leave out the “also.”

A card game based on grammar peeves and heroes? Yes, please!

The shorter word is usually the better choice, but don’t get carried away and start thinking that choosing the shorter word is a hard-and-fast rule.