Do you have a burning language question? Want to hear how I got started? Come ask me live at 3:30 today in Reno at St. James Infirmary. I'm doing a Q&A as part of the Nevada Literary Crawl.

The schedule for the whole day looks great!

Medium in a nutshell.

(from this morning’s email newsletter)

I know it's late, but you all need to know that language Twitter was up in arms about the discredited "word gap" theory that Biden cited in the debate. I'll RT a couple of helpful things I saw.

Have you ever wondered why the British say "maths" and "in hospital" and Americans say "math" and "in the hospital"? We have some answers. Also, we look at why the most common verbs tend to be irregular.

Me: I don't care about anything.

Husband: Do you care about seeing penguins push other penguins off rocks?

Me: Yes ... yes, I do.

He knows me so well. ❤️

I'm doing a Q&A for this at 3:30 on Saturday at St. James Infirmary (in Reno). Come out and ask me questions!


Going to the Literary Crawl on 9/14 in ? Full program of readings and events is now available at: Chart your path and see you at !


Alan wonders what to think about his co-workers "solutioning" problems. Also, we investigate whether you should tell people "It is I" or "It is me." If you're in the area, they're always looking for English and math tutors.

I toured the in Reno today. What a great organization! They offer free classes for people who want to learn English, get a GED, take the citizenship test, and more.

I actually meant words that give you a negative physical reaction, and I'm mostly getting pet peeves instead, but they're all still really interesting.

I'm enjoying all your voicemail messages about words that give you a negative reaction. I'm starting to feel like "Mignon Fogarty, grammar therapist." You all had a lot of feelings you seemed grateful to be able to get off your chest.

Fascinating! It seems as if people speak faster and slower in different languages, but convey about the same amount of information per second. Thanks,!

Do any of my linguist friends know if there is a name for it when children confuse related words like "floor" and "ground"?


Hey,, I know someone who told me he used to confuse related words such as “ceiling” and “roof,” “floor” and “ground,” and “chest” and “stomach.” If there is a linguistics explanation for this, I would love to hear you cover it on the show. Thanks for all you do!


Is there a word you hate--that gives you a visceral negative reaction when you hear it? I'm doing a segment on people's reactions to words soon for the Grammar Girl podcast, and I'd love to include some of your stories. Leave a short voicemail message at 833-214-4475.

We think there are better ways to talk about conditionals (such as "If Squiggly knew the answer...") than to use the vague terms first, second, and third conditionals. Also we look at why people talk about things being "in their wheelhouse."

Nothing at all? This is another one of the harsh, seemingly daily reminders that I think people know the same things I do, and they really, really don't.


39% of US adults have heard "nothing at all" about the use of gender-neutral pronouns

38% have heard "a little"

22% have heard "a lot"


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