Category: Mrs. B

A CONTINUAL REMINDER

It’s time for a refresher on a couple of lessons, namely the difference between “continually” and “continuously” and “its” and “it’s.” “Continually” means something ...

GET IT?

By itself, there’s nothing wrong with “got.” But put it with “have,” and Mrs. B’s finger starts wagging. She knows you hear it all ...

ON THE RACK

William Branigin was one of the first Washington Post reporters in Afghanistan to begin covering the war against Taliban and al Qaeda forces. He ...

COMPARING DIFFERENCES

Mrs. B’s conversation with a Muslim from the Washington area inspired today’s lesson. A 43-year-old from Saudi Arabia compared the late, unlamented Osama Bin ...

AN AIR OF FOREBODING

They look alike, sound alike, and even have similar meanings, but “forbidding” and “foreboding” are NOT interchangeable. “Forbidding” is an adjective. “Foreboding” is a ...

AN AIR OF FOREBODING

They look alike, sound alike, and even have similar meanings, but “forbidding” and “foreboding” are NOT interchangeable. “Forbidding” is an adjective. “Foreboding” is a ...

EMINENTLY IMMINENT

Mrs. B thinks a word that has come up lately is worth discussing in Grammar. Coroner: “imminent.” Notice it has two “m’s.” “Imminent” means ...

NO MORE CLICHÉS

“No one knows” and “everyone thinks” are not only clichés, they’re usually inaccurate. How many times have you heard, “No one knows where the ...

STARTING WITH “A”

You already know “all right” is two words, that “alright” is non-standard. But take a look at these “a”-words that work BOTH ways, as ...

MRS B: GRAMMAR UPDATE

Mrs. B thinks a word that has come up lately is worth discussing in Grammar. Corner: “imminent.” Notice it has two “ms.” “Imminent” means “soon ...

LEGAL TALK

OK, you legal eagles, legal talk is the subject of today’s Grammar Yammer.  “Impeachment” is the constitutional process that accuses an elected official of ...

DAMAGES(S) CONTROL

Mrs. B wants to be sure you’re using the nouns “damage” and “damages” correctly. A letter from an investigative reporter inspired today’s lesson: I ...

A MYRIAD OF OPTIONS

“Myriad” means a huge number, maybe even too many to count. It can be both an adjective >There are MYRIAD reasons that I’ll probably ...

BIAS VS. PREJUDICE

You’re “biased” TOWARD or FOR or IN FAVOR OF something or someone.  >She says she’s BIASED TOWARD a newscast with a mix of positive ...

A FORM OF TORTURE

“Torturous” and “tortuous” both come from the Latin word “torquere,” which means “to twist.” (Mrs. B’s 8th grade Latin teacher in Tullahoma, Tennessee, would ...

BEING CENTERED

If you really want to sound as if you have a command of the language, use “center ON,” instead of “center around.” (And Mrs. ...

DOES THIS JIBE?

Mr. B once used a most primordial form of communication to ask Mrs. B for help in word choice:  “Yo, Mrs. B,” he hollered ...

AND NOW…MRS. B

Mrs. B loves her “Mares and Foals” calendar, but one year it had a punctuation error for November 11, the same error Mrs. B ...

NEWSPEAK

We’ve talked about “newspeak” before, but Mrs. B is being nudged to address it again:  “The veteran catcher UNDERWENT hip surgery today and is ...

A CONCERNING COLUMN

Mrs. B s has a pen pal who is concerned about “is concerned”: America has an entire generation now dropping the words “is concerned” ...

KEEP IT SIMPLE

Most of the time Mrs. B prefers short words to long ones. And your viewers do, too. Instead of “approximately,” say ABOUT. Instead of ...

LISTEN UP EVERYONE

Every time Mrs. B thinks of Mrs. Bobo, her senior English teacher in high school (and her mentor), she thinks of the “everyone” lesson.  ...

NOT A FAVORITE

“Proactive” is not one of Mrs. B’s favorite words.  In fact, she would like to see it eradicated. (And that’s pretty radical for the ...

SOUND-ALIKES

Mrs. B would appreciate your taking a little time this morning to look at some sound-alike words that MEAN nothing alike. FLAK is gunfire, ...

THE EFFECT OF AFFECT

If you have mastered “affect/effect,” Mrs. B salutes you. If you haven’t, this lesson is for you.  The verb “affect” means to change, to ...

BREAK IT DOWN

A Chattanooga anchor writes: “Were having a discussion in our newsroom about causes of death.  Which of the following is correct?” (1) He died from two gunshot ...

WHO VS WHOM

The rule about “who” and “whom” is really pretty simple. Decide whether its a subject or an object. Use “who” is it’s a subject. Use ...

MAN, WE’RE SUNK!

Mrs. B has heard too many “sunks” lately that should have been “sanks.”  The past tense of “sink” is “sank.” The ferry SANK, and ...

HEALTHY GRAMMAR

Mrs. B knows you want to use the correct word, not only in meaning but in appropriateness for broadcast news.  So today’s lesson is ...