Mrs. B’s

  • Tuesday, May 28

    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” ...
  • Thursday, May 23

    WHAT’S YOUR SIGN?

    Mrs. B’s sign is Libra. Today’s lesson is somewhat related. Read what arrived in her e-mailbox from the West Coast: I heard something on ...
  • Tuesday, May 21

    INJURE VS. WOUND

    Today’s lesson comes by way of a tv reporter in Atlanta, where Mrs. B learned how to sing “My Country Tis of Thee” in ...
  • Thursday, May 16

    WATCH THOSE WORDS

    The U.S. military uses two names for the on-base jail.  Mrs. B wants you to repeat after her. >The Army and the Air Force ...
  • Tuesday, May 14

    REDUNDANCIES…..AGAIN

    Mrs. B knows it’s easy to fall into the accidental use of a silly sounding redundancy. So here’s a reminder:   Do NOT say “two ...
  • Thursday, May 9

    THE CASE FOR PUNCTUATION

    Mrs. B has noticed that some anchors, even on the network level, run their sentences together. There simply are no periods in their reading.  ...
  • Tuesday, May 7

    MRS. B’S DRINKING GAME

    “Drink, drank, drunk.”  Mrs. B is going to set the record straight. “Drink” is an “irregular” verb. That means it forms its past and ...
  • Thursday, May 2

    DON’T STRESS OVER DISTRESS

    If you’re in a quandary about when to use “stress” and when to use “distress,” this lesson might help.  Here’s the letter from Morristown, ...
  • April 2019

  • Tuesday, April 30

    DEPARTMENT OF REDUNDANCY DEPARTMENT

    Fasten your seat belt. Mrs. B is taking you on a high speed lesson in redundancies today. Ready? absolutely conclusive agricultural crops close proximity ...
  • Thursday, April 25

    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 ...
  • Tuesday, April 23

    LOSE THE “E” AND OTHER SINGULAR TOPICS

    Let’s spend a little time on a word and on a phrase we’re using lately. Our topic is courtesy of a note we once ...
  • Thursday, April 18

    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.  ...
  • Tuesday, April 16

    GIVING GRAMMAR ITS DUE

    Due to” is an adjective phrase and should not be used as a preposition meaning “because of.” >The shoot was canceled BECAUSE OF a ...
  • Thursday, April 11

    BEHIND BARS WITH MRS. B

    Most viewers are confused by incarceration.   Mrs. B wants you to be sure your confusion is not adding to theirs. JAIL is a local ...
  • Tuesday, April 9

    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 ...
  • Thursday, April 4

    THAT WHICH IS CORRECT

    “That” is one of those words that can make for a bumpy read and, therefore, a bumpy listen.  It’s also a word that, if ...
  • Tuesday, April 2

    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, ...
  • March 2019

  • Thursday, March 28

    THAT WHICH IS CORRECT

    “That” is one of those words that can make for a bumpy read and, therefore, a bumpy listen.  It’s also a word that, if ...
  • Tuesday, March 26

    COVERING COURTS COHERENTLY

    Mrs. B turns your attention today to some more mistakes we’re making in covering the legal system.  A former reporter for nearly 20 years ...
  • Thursday, March 21

    AFGHAN VS. AFGHANI

    A letter to Mrs. B from Corpus Christi inspires today’s lesson. Can you tell me what the correct “term” is for the people of ...
  • Tuesday, March 19

    SPOKESMAN OR SPOKESWOMAN????

    Good morning. One of your classmates poses a good question: What about “company spokesman” vs. “spokeswoman” or “spokesperson”?? While the latter two choices seem ...
  • Friday, March 15

    NO “S”, OK?

    Today’s lesson is an easy one, for a change. It’s Friday, and Mrs. B knows you work hard and need a break every now ...
  • Thursday, March 14

    A RECURRING MISTAKE

    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 ...
  • Tuesday, March 12

    HOW DO YOU PLEAD?

    Into the courtroom we go for today’s lesson. Mrs. B has heard plenty of pleas to run a reminder about the past tense of ...
  • Thursday, March 7

    “WHO” vs. “WHOM”

    When to use “who” and “whom” is such a bother, especially if you didn’t have a grandmother like Mrs. B’s, a one room school ...
  • Tuesday, March 5

    SAY WHAT YOU MEAN

    Mr. B used a software program to rewrite his and Mrs. B’s will.  That done, they had to find a NOTARY PUBLIC, not a ...
  • February 2019

  • Thursday, February 28

    TOWARD BETTER GRAMMAR

    Today’s lesson is an easy one, for a change.  Mrs. B knows you work hard and need a break every now and then. We ...
  • Tuesday, February 26

    SHE’S A GOOD SPORT, THOUGH

    A sports fan Mrs. B is not.  Regardless, she tackles a few teams, per the request of a “shame based grammarian,” or so he ...
  • Thursday, February 21

    MURDER, SHE EXPLAINED

    It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, but Mrs. B turns your attention to a not so neighborly subject: unnatural death and how you, ...
  • Tuesday, February 19

    RELIGIOUSLY CORRECT

    As Easter looms before us, Mrs. B is intrigued by this letter from a member of the journalism faculty at Emerson College in Boston. ...
  • Thursday, February 14

    DÉJÀ VU – SORT OF

    Mrs. B had a sense of deja vu today when she heard a tune from the early 60s, her last years of high school.  ...
  • Tuesday, February 12

    A RECURRING  MISTAKE

    A recurring mistake begins today’s lesson, courtesy of a reader of this column.  The other day I heard a radio announcer say a word ...
  • Thursday, February 7

    WE EAGERLY AWAIT YOUR REACTION

    Let’s spend just a little time on “anxious” and “eager.  “Anxious” means full of worry or anxiety; “eager” means excited or enthusiastic. So… >Rosemary ...
  • Tuesday, February 5

    LOSE THESE EXPRESSIONS

    “Make up to 30-thousand dollars or more.” Now wait just a pea pickin’ minute. (Mrs. B is allowed to use such a colloquialism. She ...
  • January 2019

  • Thursday, January 31

    NAVIGATING THE TRICKY ONES

    Mrs. B is sad to tell you there will be no first annual reader reunion. That’s because there’s no such thing as “first annual.” ...
  • Tuesday, January 29

    LOSE THESE EXPRESSIONS

    “Make up to 30-thousand dollars or more.” Now wait just a pea pickin’ minute.  (Mrs. B is allowed to use such a colloquialism. She ...
  • Thursday, January 24

    A SINGULAR FOCUS ON PLURAL

    A faithful correspondent brings up a good grammar point and one worth exploring today.  She writes: “The legislature made *their* voices heard.” or The city ...
  • Tuesday, January 22

    A NAUSEOUS GRAMMAR LESSON

    Mrs. B wants you to remember that you cannot feel “nauseous.”  What you feel is “nauseated” when you see or smell something “nauseous” or ...
  • Thursday, January 17

    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 ...
  • Tuesday, January 15

    A SINGULAR COLUMN

    If you have a singular subject, you need a singular verb. If you have a plural subject (more than one), you need a plural ...
  • Thursday, January 10

    LATIN TRANSLATIONS

    Some of Mrs. B’s readers have asked about a Latin term you’ll see every now and then:  What does [sic] mean? The Latin adverb ...
  • Tuesday, January 8

    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 ...
  • Thursday, January 3

    IN BEHALF OF GOOD GRAMMAR

    In behalf of you journalists who aren’t sure when to use “in behalf of” or “on behalf of,” Mrs. B presents today’s lesson. IN ...
  • December 2018

  • Thursday, December 20

    A SINGULAR COLUMN

    If you have a singular subject, you need a singular verb. If you have a plural subject (more than one), you need a plural ...
  • Tuesday, December 18

    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 ...
  • Thursday, December 13

    WHOM DO YOU TRUST IN GRAMMAR USAGE?

    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 ...
  • Tuesday, December 11

    MRS. B LAYS DOWN THE GRAMMAR LAW

    It’s time to review “lie, lay, have lain” and “lay, laid, have laid.”  “Lie” means “to recline.” People LIE down. The 5,300-year-old Bronze Age hunter ...
  • Thursday, December 6

    WHEN ARE NOUNS VERBS?

    Mrs. B likes to give you the definitive word on subjects of grammar, style, and usage, but sometimes the best she can do is ...
  • Tuesday, December 4

    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 ...
  • November 2018

  • Thursday, November 29

    A DISSERTATION ON “NONE”

    None of the two dozen or so reference books Mrs. B uses agree (some would have me say “agrees”) on “none.”  Patricia T. O’Conner, ...