Grammar Grater

Grammar GraterTM is a weekly podcast about English words, grammar and usage for the Information Age. Because we live in a time of e-mail, blogs, instant messaging, even online product reviews — everybody's a writer. And with the global nature of communication, there's not a single style guide everyone uses. To help sort through some of the confusion, host Luke Taylor and the Grammatis Personae Players take linguistic bugbears and put 'em through the Grammar Grater.


Resources in this Collection

listen Contractions: Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda

SHOW: Grammar Grater | Length: 5:00 | Audio Format: MP3
This week we're discussing contractions that are often misspelled or confused when they make their way from spoken English into...

listen Idiomatic Expressions: 800 Pound Gorilla

SHOW: Grammar Grater | Length: 5:46 | Audio Format: MP3
Today we're exploring a veritable carnival of idiomatic expressions. In spoken and written English people often use metaphors to...

listen Adjectives: Their Comparative and Superlative Forms

SHOW: Grammar Grater | Length: 5:36 | Audio Format: MP3
A feature of adjectives is that they can have comparative and superlative forms. These forms can be added in...

listen Agent-nouns: Action Performing Nouns

SHOW: Grammar Grater | Length: 7:43 | Audio Format: MP3
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, agent-nouns are persons or things that perform an action. But the nub of Joan's message is...

listen The Apostrophe: Possessive Pronouns vs. Contractions

SHOW: Grammar Grater | Length: 4:05 | Audio Format: MP3
We're going to try and settle the score between two words: it's and its. These two words sound the same, but ...

listen Comparative & Superlative Adjectives vs. Absolute Meaning

SHOW: Grammar Grater | Length: 4:42 | Audio Format: MP3
Some adjectives cannot compare; they have absolute meaning. For example: The explanation was more perfect than expected.

listen Coordinating Conjunctions: And, Or, But, So, For, & Yet

SHOW: Grammar Grater | Length: 5:23 | Audio Format: MP3
English teachers often instruct students not to begin sentences using the coordinating conjunctions and, or, but, so, for, or yet.

listen Indefinite article 'A' or 'An'

SHOW: Grammar Grater | Length: 4:41 | Audio Format: MP3
The rules for using the indefinite article – a or an – rely heavily on the sounds of the words that follow it. A is used before...

listen Origins of the Word Halloween

SHOW: Grammar Grater | Length: 7:22 | Audio Format: MP3
Looking at words that have to do with Halloween, starting with the word Halloween itself. According to Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, the 31st of October in...