Book Trailer for Pilikia

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Grammar Girl

This article appears in the June newsletter of the Brazos Writers.

Who would've thunk when Apple introduced its cool little music player, the iPod, which adorns more teens than piercings and tattoos, that it would open the door to a new information medium, the podcast?

Who would've thunk one of the most popular podcasts would be about grammar?
That’s right. In an internet culture that’s awash in sex, sports and games, Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips For Better Writing has racked up more than 3 million downloads.

Once a week, Grammar Girl delivers a free podcast on some aspect of grammar in a voice that is as warm and friendly as the seventh-grade teacher’s of our dreams. Each episode lasts about five minutes—long enough for her to make the point and reinforce it with some examples, and short enough that you can listen to two or three at a sitting. Recent episodes covered such topics as the use of ellipses, starting a sentence with “however,” and ways to overcome writer’s block.

Okay, those are stuffy topics. But if you think grammarians are stuffy, have a listen to Grammar Girl. She has the moxie to take on Eric Clapton to illustrate the difference between “lie” and “lay”. Hey Eric, it’s “Lie down, Sally.”

iTunes is free at It works on Macs and PCs and you don’t need an iPod. You can subscribe to Grammar Girl on the iTunes store or on her website,, where you can also read the transcript of each podcast. For me, a grammar lesson is so much easier to take when spoken by Grammar Girl.