Podthoughts by Ian Brill: “Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing”

Posted by Maximum Fun on 5th July 2007

Editor’s note: this Podthoughts column, by Ian Brill, has not been edited for grammar. Feel free to point out below everything our author did wrong.

More than any Podthought this is one I worry about writing the most. No matter what I say about it, if this article is rife with grammatical mistakes is it any kind of recommendation? I’ll just hope that between listening to the last six episodes of Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing (oh, and possessing a degree in English Literature) I can come up with something worthy of the Grammar Girl.

Not unlike another Podthought subject, 12 Byzantine Rulers, Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing is an educational podcast with a single host speaking into a mic. Grammar Girl a.k.a. Mignon Fogarty devotes each show to one subject that people have trouble with when speaking and writing. Recent episodes tackle “on accident” versus “by accident” and “bring” versus” take.”

I cannot say I noticed dirtiness of any sort in the podcast but the episodes are indeed quick. None pass the length of ten minutes. Grammar Girl keeps it simple. The basic lesson format has our host introducing a subject, laying out the basics, sorting out the wrong way versus the right way and then ending on a review. It’s not just that Grammar Girl’s wisdom comes in snappy chunks; she’s also a fun host. She’s has a very inviting voice and she always has funny, personal anecdotes to go along with each lesson. The accompanying blog has transcripts of each show and supplies references for each episode.

There’s a certain type of comfort to Grammar Girl’s podcast. It’s how she’s able to turn a subject many dreaded in school into something worth listening to every week. The running time means you can fit an episode in the middle of the day’s playlist. That is of course if you’re the kind of person who, whilst jogging, wonders when to use “you and me” and when to use “you and I.”