Mrs. B’s

  • 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, ...
  • Thursday, November 8

    MRS B: GRADUATION DAY

    It happens every year around graduation time – and fall graduation time is upon us..You hear the Latin words for graduate(s) mangled.  Mrs. B ...
  • Tuesday, November 6

    TIME TO SUFFER. REALLY

    Are you up for a lesson on “suffering” today? Mrs. B promises it won’t hurt. It’s a hot topic with some Grammar Yammer readers: ...
  • Thursday, November 1

    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 ...
  • October 2018

  • Tuesday, October 30

    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 ...
  • Thursday, October 25

    A CRIME-FILLED GRAMMAR LESSON

    Mrs. B is a bit breathless about today’s lesson.  It’s terribly exciting. It begins with burglary, turns into robbery, and ends with… well, you’ll ...
  • Tuesday, October 23

    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, October 18

    SAY IT LOUD…AND CORRECTLY

    Get those lips all limbered up and that tongue ready to press against the roof of your mouth,  Mrs. B is doing a pronunciation ...
  • Tuesday, October 16

    MRS B: DEPARTMENT OF REDUNDANCY DEPT. (CONTD.)

    Conservation is the theme of today’s lesson.  Mrs. B is going to help you use fewer words than you might think you need. We’ll ...
  • Thursday, October 11

    DEPARTMENT OF REDUNDANCY DEPARTMENT (CONTD.)

    To die or not to die pretty well summarizes Mrs. B’s lesson today. A Grammar Yammer reader writes: Can someone “die drowning”? Can you ...
  • Tuesday, October 9

    LITERALLY, SOME CONCRETE DIFFERENCES

    I have a lot of trouble when I hear the following, most often from sports announcers: “LeBron James has literally taken the entire team ...
  • Thursday, October 4

    TAMING THE APOSTROPHE

    Mrs. B waxes poetic today. (Remember, “the” before a vowel sound is pronounced “thee.”) Apostrophes do NOT belong on signs like these in produce ...
  • Tuesday, October 2

    THE DEPARTMENT OF REDUNDANCY DEPARTMENT

    Redundancies and superfluous words kill me! How about these? >We both had an understanding. >He was constantly calling the Assistant Attorney General all the ...
  • September 2018

  • Thursday, September 27

    MRS. B HEADLINE ADVICE

    Mrs. B has been seeing and hearing some headlines that need a little adjustment. They look and sound something like this: MEDIA SWARMS TOWARD ...
  • Tuesday, September 25

    MRS B

    Let’s spend a little time on the “will” contractions in response  to a suggestion from a Grammar Yammer reader in Lansing: First, let Mrs. ...
  • Thursday, September 20

    ARE YOU LIABLE TO MISUSE HOI POLLOI?

    Mrs. B is on another of her redundancy rampages today. A letter from a Baltimore reader got her started. “My learned dad always told ...
  • Thursday, September 13

    WATCH THOSE PRONUNCIATIONS!

    This morning Mrs. B heard a word mispronounced on NPR, of all places, that made the left side of her face twitch: “FUSS-trated.” Don’t ...
  • Tuesday, September 11

    PATIENCE, PLEASE

    A short lesson today. Mrs. B knows you have places to go and people to see…and so does she. Take a look at two ...
  • Thursday, September 6

    MRS. B: A BONA FIDE QUESTION

    We recently heard an anchor on a Canadian radio show refer to bon-uh-fee-dees.  This is a word that we’ve also heard frequently as bone-uh-fides. ...
  • Tuesday, September 4

    CONTINUAL COVERAGE OF A CONTINUOUS PROBEM

    When Mrs. B hears “We’ll have continuous coverage of this story,” she has to stifle a giggle. “Continuous” means uninterrupted. You hear it on ...
  • August 2018

  • Thursday, August 30

    BEING POSSESSIVE

    Now that you’ve mastered the possessive case with its apostrophe, here’s an exception. Possessive pronouns have no apostrophe: hers, its, theirs, yours, whose, oneself. ...
  • Tuesday, August 28

    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 ...
  • Thursday, August 23

    GIVE “ME” SOME RESPECT

    “Myself” is one of those words that pops up a lot in daily conversation. 99 percent of the time we use it wrong. The ...
  • Tuesday, August 21

    IF SINGULAR WERE THE CASE….

    When to use “was” and “were” is usually pretty easy. If the subject is singular, use the singular verb “was.” > The tape was ...
  • Thursday, August 16

    THERE’S NO “I” IN “WAS”

    When to use “was” and “were” is usually pretty easy. If the subject is singular, use the singular verb “was.” > The tape was ...