Fun is not a word you normally associate with grammar. More frequent associations are root canal and hostage.But Grammar Girl’s podcasts Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing address grammar and usage issues in a clear, breezy—and yes fun—way. Each episode is 2 to 10 minutes of easy listening, long enough to explain the topic and short enough to avoid grammar fatigue.
Grammar Girl is Mignon Fogarty, technical writer turned grammar tipster. If you have a grammar or usage question, good chance Grammar Girl has answered it. She’s tackled my pet peeve: Less Versus Fewer. She’s taken on grammar’s equivalent of urban legends: Top Ten Grammar Myths. (#1. You shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition.)
But Fogarty’s guidance isn’t limited to traditional English teacher fare. She has waded into the here-and-now with a podcast on Text Messaging Grammar . Even bolder, she’s created a style guide for tweets: Grammar Girl’s Strunk & Twite: An Unofficial Twitter Style Guide. No piece of guidance is longer than Twitter’s limit of 140 characters.
Which takes us back to grammar and fun. Or more specifically funnest. Grammar Girl took on this usage firestorm after Steve Jobs pronounced his new iPod, “funnest iPod ever.” This created what Fogarty termed a “grammar emergency.” Her response is an interesting explanation of word evolution: Is “Funnest” a Word?
You can get Grammar Girl’s tips as podcasts, transcripts, and a newsletter. But I think the podcasts are the funnest.
— Marilynne Rudick (guest blogger)