Grammar, Punctuation & Phrases

A collection of answers to grammar, spelling and punctuation questions, plus explanations on the origins of popular phrases.

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Mnemonic devices are little tricks — like acronyms and phrases — that help us memorize important info. Our quiz will test your knowledge of everything from geography to music scales. And every single answer has a fun mnemonic attached.

By Mark Mancini

That old comedian's advice that the "k" sound is always good for a laugh has been proven true, too.

By Dave Roos


Groups of animals sure have some funny names. You can thank the Book of St. Albans for that.

By Jesslyn Shields

What in the world did Grandma mean when she used words like "tarnation"?

By Alia Hoyt

How could we run out of trademarked words? It sounds impossible, but it's growing more and more likely.

By John Perritano

Which of these would you like to see on your computer keyboard?

By Michelle Konstantinovsky


You were probably used to red squiggles showing up for spelling errors and green ones for grammatical errors in Microsoft Word documents. But why was the red usually right and the green usually wrong?

By Dave Roos

Kim Jong Un called Donald Trump a dotard. Here are some equally entertaining, out-of-date options the 45th president could've thrown back in his face.

By Christopher Hassiotis

What's the meaning behind how we spell theater and theatre? And does it really matter?

By Mark Mancini

There's no 'U' in Charles or 'B' in William, so how did those get to be the nicknames?

By Dave Roos


Nope, it has nothing to do with the health department.

By Dave Roos

There's a term for a vanishing letter like that in spoken American English's Wednesday. But first, some history about ancient gods.

By Laurie L. Dove

Anyone who has received a text or an email has seen the wild proliferation of the once rarely used exclamation point.

By John Donovan

We believe that saying curse words always evolves from taboo to eventually acceptable. But sometimes it goes the opposite way, too.

By Dave Roos


You may call your cousin a Luddite because he still plays CDs, but the word didn't originally mean someone who's a technophobe. What other historical words do people use incorrectly?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

The times, they are most certainly a changin'. With the rise of the Internet and smartphones, etiquette -- both personal and professional -- isn't quite what it once was.

By Karen Kirkpatrick

In an era of strict social rules, dance cards let gentlemen "claim" ladies for their turn on the floor. A full dance card was a sign of popularity.

By Kate Kershner

For some reason, a lot is made out of a person’s last words. Maybe it’s expected that they will say something particularly profound, or perhaps offer an apology or a confession of some sort. When it comes to famous people, maybe their adoring fans just want one last piece of celebrity to hang on to. […] The post 16 Dead Famous People And Their Shocking Last Words appeared first on Goliath.

By Devon Taylor (@DevonTaylor113)


Commas are notoriously tricky punctuation marks, and with good reason. So how can you know if you're using them correctly? It comes down to one question: Is it essential?

By Julia Layton

Palindromes are words, phrases or even dates that are spelled the same forward and backward. They don't always make tons of sense, but they're still fun.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

Pangrams are sentences that use every single letter of the alphabet at least once. They might not all make sense, but these 14 phrases are fun for those of us who love words.

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Walter Winchell not only dished the dirt on celebrities and politicians, he also coined some clever phrases. Winchell is considered the forefather of gossip columnists who had a tendency for making up words. Learn 15 terms coined by Walter Winchell.

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.


If you're headed to the spelling bee, here's a list of words you should have down pat. These words are some of the most common words that people spell incorrectly. Learn 48 commonly misspelled words, only at HowStuffWorks.

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

You know genius is all inspiration and perspiration, but it's time to find out what creativity is really about. This list provides some of the most famous quotes that are about creativity and invention. Read 17 favorite quotes on creativity.

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.