Mrs. B’s

  • Tuesday, March 31

    IMPLICITLY EXPLICIT

    “Implicit” and “explicit” occasionally pop up in conversation as well as in copy. Mrs. B encourages you to take a minute to go over ...
  • Monday, March 30

    “TO BE” OR NOT “TO BE”  

    A recent letter begins class today: “In the Midwest, certain areas like to talk without using verbs. For example, The car needs washed. The ...
  • Friday, March 27

    THEY’RE GOING THERE, THEIR WAY

    No one will ever know you don’t the difference in “there,” “they’re,” and “their,” until the slip up appears on a graphic. And then, ...
  • Thursday, March 26

    PREPPING YOUR PREPOSITIONS

    It’s so easy to leave out the little guys, the prepositions. Don’t forget “of” after “couple” and “type.” >We need a couple OF editors. ...
  • Wednesday, March 25

    PLAYING THE PERCENTAGES

    Mrs. B wants to clear up some confusion about “percent” and “percentage.” “Percent” is always used with a specific number. >The mayor won 80 ...
  • Monday, March 23

    PREPPING YOUR PREPOSITIONS

    It’s so easy to leave out the little guys, the prepositions. Don’t forget “of” after “couple” and “type.” >We need a couple OF editors. ...
  • Thursday, March 19

    GET OFF YOUR BUTS

    Mrs. B is excited about today’s “but” lesson. An anchor in Lansing gets us started: “Many of our writers are crazy about buts. I ...
  • Tuesday, March 17

    KUDOS

    “Kudos are in order for CNN for producing the recent coverage of the Presidential debate.” Wrong. Mrs. B wants to be sure you use ...
  • Monday, March 16

    GOOD ADVICE THEN, GOOD ADVICE NOW (BONUS MRS. B)

    Just after 9/11,  Mrs. B issued the following statement that is, sadly, once again, germane to our times.: “In this time of national emergency, ...
  • Thursday, March 12

    IF YOU’RE FROM MAINE YOU’RE A..

    Mrs. B has noticed in her travels that anchors and reporters are having some trouble with how they talk about people from various states. ...
  • Tuesday, March 10

    A GRAMMAR WISH

    Mrs. B has heard some “wish clause” mistakes this week. Here’s the easy part. If you begin a sentence with “I wish” or anyone ...
  • Thursday, March 5

    CORRECT USAGE

    Some correct word combinations you just have to memorize. Mrs. B has no rule to help you out. Here’s todays list: conform to (not ...
  • Tuesday, March 3

    HUNG UP ON VERBS

    Verbs can really hang you up unless you master a few rules… and their exceptions. When the verb in the main clause is in ...
  • February 2020

  • Tuesday, February 25

    CORRECT USAGE

    Some correct word combinations you just have to memorize. Mrs. B has no rule to help you out. Here’s todays list: conform to (not ...
  • Thursday, February 20

    CORRECT USAGE

    Some correct word combinations you just have to memorize. Mrs. B has no rule to help you out. Here’s todays list: conform to (not ...
  • Tuesday, February 18

    HUNG UP ON VERBS

    Verbs can really hang you up unless you master a few rules… and their exceptions. When the verb in the main clause is in ...
  • Thursday, February 13

    PICKY, PICKY, PICKY

    Mrs. B was at her nit-picky best on her recent travels.  Here are some notes she made while watching local news. “He pled guilty ...
  • Tuesday, February 11

    OH, THOSE MISPRONUNCIATIONS!

    During her recent travels, Mrs. B noted a few mispronunciations by local and network newscasters she’d like to correct. “Researchers at Johns Hopkin say ...
  • Thursday, February 6

    BACK TO THE DEPARTMENT OF REDUNDANCY DEPARTMENT

    Ridding your copy of redundancies is a lot like picking the seeds out of grapes. You want your viewers to enjoy what you feed ...
  • Tuesday, February 4

    PICKY, PICKY, PICKY

    Mrs. B was at her nit-picky best on her recent travels. Here are some notes she made while watching local news. “He pled guilty ...
  • January 2020

  • Thursday, January 30

    IDIOMS FOR…ALL OF US

    Idioms are bound to pop out of your mouth on a regular basis, but let’s be sure that what pops out is standard. Here’s ...
  • Tuesday, January 28

    IFFY USAGE

    In a clause that begins with “if,” don’t use “would have” in place of “had.” >If you HAD gotten here for the afternoon meeting, ...
  • Thursday, January 23

    SAY IT CORRECTLY

    While on vacation, Mrs. B noted a few mispronunciations by local and network newscasters she’d like to correct. “Researchers at Johns Hopkin say they’ve ...
  • Tuesday, January 21

    IFFY USAGE

    In a clause that begins with “if,” don’t use “would have” in place of “had.”  >If you HAD gotten here for the afternoon meeting, ...
  • Thursday, January 16

    SAY IT CORRECTLY

    While on vacation, Mrs. B noted a few mispronunciations by local and network newscasters she’d like to correct.  “Researchers at Johns Hopkin say they’ve ...
  • Tuesday, January 14

    THE DEPARTMENT OF REDUNDANCY DEPARTMENT

    Ridding your copy of redundancies is a lot like picking the seeds out of grapes. You want your viewers to enjoy what you feed ...
  • Thursday, January 9

    SOME OBSERVATIONS

    Here are some notes Mrs. B made while on an out-of-state trip and watching local news. “He pled guilty to assault charges.”  The anchor ...
  • Tuesday, January 7

    A GRAMMAR WISH

    Mrs. B has heard some “wish clause” mistakes this week.  Here’s the easy part. If you begin a sentence with “I wish” or anyone ...
  • Thursday, January 2

    KEEP IT CLEAN

    Mrs. B doesn’t allow vulgarity in her class. But let’s look at the differences among the three major no-nos of polite language: >A VULGARITY ...
  • December 2019

  • Thursday, December 19

    A GRAMMAR WISH

    Mrs. B has heard some “wish clause” mistakes this week. Here’s the easy part. If you begin a sentence with “I wish” or anyone ...
  • Tuesday, December 17

    VERBAL COORDINATION

    This is kind of tricky, but if you learn it, it will serve you well. When a phrase is the subject of your sentence, ...
  • Thursday, December 12

    COMPARATIVES & SUPERLATIVES

    Form the comparative of ONE-syllable adjectives and adverbs by adding “er.” Form the superlative by adding “est.” late/later/latest soon/sooner/soonest Here are some exceptions: good/better/best ...
  • Tuesday, December 10

    MALAPROPISMS PART 4

    We continue today with our lesson on malapropisms: words we often confuse because they sound alike. “evoke” and “provoke” “Evoke means to bring to mind. ...
  • Thursday, December 5

    MALAPROPISMS PART 3

    If you’ve ever used the wrong word, one that sounded like another, you’ve probably used a malapropism. Mrs. B invites you to join the ...
  • Tuesday, December 3

    MALAPROPISMS PART 2

    When the wrong word tumbles out of your mouth, one that sounds like the one you MEANT to use, you’ve probably used a malapropism. ...
  • November 2019

  • Wednesday, November 27

    MALAPROPISMS PART ONE

    Malapropisms are words that sound kind of like the correct ones but are just wrong enough to sound ludicrous. Here are some common ones. ...
  • Tuesday, November 26

    NOBODY’S PERFECT

    Usually the American Journalism Review is a touchstone of grammatical writing, but Mrs. B caught this slip-up and builds today’s lesson around it: “He ...
  • Friday, November 22

    RECURRING ERRORS

    A recurring mistake begins today’s lesson, brought to Mrs. B’s attention by a Kansas City reader. The other day I heard a radio announcer ...
  • Thursday, November 21

    SOMEONE HAS TO BE THE JUDGE!   

    Occasionally Mrs. B dons her grammar police badge and goes after the rule-breakers. An Orlando anchor recently talked about a teacher being extradited “back” ...
  • Tuesday, November 19

    NOBODY’S PERFECT

    Usually the American Journalism Review is a touchstone of grammatical writing, but Mrs. B caught this slip-up and builds today’s lesson around it: “He ...
  • Thursday, November 14

    APPLYING SOME GAFFE-R’S TAPE

    Mrs. B noted a few gaffes on local news she’d like to share with you in today’s lesson. The word “residents” doesn’t work nearly ...
  • Tuesday, November 12

    FEWER VS. LESS

    An important letter of correction to share with you today on the issue of “fewer” and “less”: “I must take exception… to your example ...
  • Thursday, November 7

    A CACHE OF GOOD ADVICE

    Mrs. B thinks it’s time for a review of the words “cache” and “cachet,” pronunciations as well as definitions. A letter from Glendale, Calif., ...
  • Tuesday, November 5

    IRONIC, ISN’T IT?

    “Irony” and “ironic” are a couple of words we occasionally use in copy. But are we using them correctly? Mrs. B takes the cue ...
  • October 2019

  • Thursday, October 31

    ACCEPTING THE USE OF “EXCEPT”

    Mrs. B hears “accept” mispronounced so often, she’s thinking maybe it’s time for a lesson on the difference between “accept” and “except.” “Accept” is ...
  • Tuesday, October 29

    APROPOS THE USE OF “APPROPRIATE”

    A former producer, now a lawyer in Maryland, wrote to Mrs. B about “apropos/appropriate.” It might be helpful to you. One of her firm’s ...
  • Thursday, October 24

    IF YOU’RE FROM MAINE, YOU’RE A…

    Mrs. B has noticed in her travels that anchors and reporters are having some trouble with how they talk about people from various states. ...
  • Tuesday, October 22

    AN AMIABLE TOPIC

    ‘Are you “amiable” today? If so, that means you’re friendly and good-natured. >Ellen’s cheerful personality makes her an AMIABLE manager. “Amicable,” though it, too, ...
  • Thursday, October 17

    IMPLICITLY EXPLICIT

    The difference between “explicit” and “implicit.” That’s the subject of todays lesson. “Explicit” means expressed directly or clearly stated. >The news director’s EXPLICIT memo ...
  • Tuesday, October 15

    IDIOMS FOR…ALL OF US

    Idioms are bound to pop out of your mouth on a regular basis, but let’s be sure that what pops out is standard. Here’s ...