Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Episode 30: Terms Shakespeare Gave Us

Image from fifthcolumnist

In this week's special episode, we discuss phrases Shakespeare gave us--or phrases we've wrested from the Bard, as the case may be. You may be surprised!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Episode 29: Hyphens, En Dashes, and Em Dashes

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In this week's episode, we explain the ins and outs of those pesky dashes: the hyphen, the en dash, and the em dash. Special thanks to Lisa Mangum for her memorable formula!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Episode 28: Fewer vs. Less

Image from the University of Pennsylvania

This week, we take on one of the most common usage mistakes we see. Join us to learn an easy way to remember when to use "fewer" and when to use "less." (Hint: you probably need to use "less" less.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Episode 27: Parallel Structure

Image from businessweek.com

In this week's episode, we crack ourselves up as we tackle the ins and outs of parallel structure. Ask not what your sentences can do for you, but what you can do for your sentences!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Episode 26: Capitalization

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This week, we discuss common capitalization errors and how to fix them. As always, if you have a question, please leave us a comment. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Episode 25: Misheard and Misused Phrases

Image from phrases.org.uk

This week, we take malapropisms to the phrase level, discussing word groups that are often misused--and how and why to use them correctly. What's your favorite?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Episode 24: Grammatical Person

Image from J.N. Cahill

This week, we discuss the ins and outs of first person, second person, and third person as they apply to fiction narratives. Guaranteed fun and not scary! A prize goes to the first person who catches Annette's introduction of an unlikely fantasy writer. ;)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Episode 23: Colons

Fear not! We won't address the digestive system today. Instead, in this week's episode, we'll explain how to use that much misunderstood punctuation mark, the colon.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Episode 22: How Language Evolves

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In this week's episode, we discuss why it's okay for words to change meaning over time. What are your favorite evolving words?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Episode 21: Special Seinfeld Edition!

"I'm disturbed. I'm depressed. I'm inadequate. I've got it all!"

Recognize George's plea? Then you'll love today's SPECIAL episode: SEINFELD!

We talk about how the classic sitcom has influenced the lexicon and culture and have a few (okay, a bunch) of laughs!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Episode 20: Past Perfect

In this week's episode, we tackle a question from L. T. Elliot: What IS past perfect anyway, and how do you use it?

We also briefly clarify a common misconception: past perfect isn't passive voice. For a refresher on what passive voice is, check out our episode about it HERE!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Episode 19: Semicolons

In this episode, we inadvertently throw our dear friend Robison Wells under the bus. But the reality stands: even someone as brilliant as he is needs to know how to use the semicolon.

No fears! We demystify this punctuation mark, which has gotten a reputation for being scary and complicated.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Episode 18: Reflexives and Intensives

Self talk the GUMshoes way! This week, get down with your bad self and brush up on your reflexives and intensives!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Episode 17: That vs. Which

In this week's episode, we give you easy ways to know when to use "that" and when to use "which."

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Episode 16: Our Top Five Homophone Errors

This week, Annette and Luisa count down their top five homophone errors! What are the most common ones YOU see?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Episode 15: Em-dashes and Ellipses

In this week's episode, we answer your distress call and discuss the em-dash, the ellipsis, how they're different, and when to use each. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Episode 14: Lay vs. Lie

In this week's episode, we tackle the dreaded "lay" and "lie." We're confident that the example given by Luisa's sainted Great-Aunt Carmen will help you remember the difference! 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Episode 13: The Passive Voice

Image from the ever fabulous wondermark.com

In this episode, the passive voice is discussed by Annette and Luisa. Myths are debunked. Acceptable uses are outlined. Guidance is given! 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Episode 12: Malapropisms

Kitty Balay as Mrs. Malaprop in Sheridan's "The Rivals"

This week's special episode is on malapropisms! Tune in to hear our favorites, and leave us comments that include your own. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Episode 11: Comma Splices

Image from mommahasapottymouth.com 

This week, we give you several quick and easy remedies for the plague that is the comma splice. As always, we welcome your comments and questions!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Episode 10: Farther/Further and Compliment/Complement

Image from theyuniversity.net

Those pesky homophones (or near-homophones)! We have several episodes in the works that are designed to give you clarity on them. In this week's edition, we tackle two frequently confused homophone pairs: further/farther and compliment/complement. Tune in to learn our easy tips for keeping them straight.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Episode 9: Gerunds

Image from literalminded.wordpress.com

Gerunds! What are they, and how do they work? Why do some people equate them with the passive voice? And, most crucially: why are they used so often in movie titles? Annette and Luisa answer all these questions in more in this week's episode.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Episode 8: Quotation Marks

Are you better with quotes than Joey is?

Today we cover the basic rules for using quotation marks if you're an American writer writing for an American audience. (You Brits are on your own. Sorry, dudes.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Episode 7: Done & Done

This week at GUMshoes, we've got a special episode for you! We discuss the accountability system that we developed years ago, and how we've turned it into a book.

It's called Done & Done: The Power of Accountability Partnering for Reaching Your Goals. Since Annette and I became accountability partners almost four years ago, we've accomplished a lot:

Luisa has written FOUR novels and several short stories, essays, and songs. (And co-written one book!) She's had demanding church assignments (she currently teaches a daily early morning scripture study class to 14 high school students), community volunteer opportunities--and she's got six kids.

Annette has gotten even more writing done. She's written SIX novels, SEVEN novellas, significantly revised and expanded her grammar book, and co-written this book! That's about 600,000 words in just shy of four years. Mind-bogglingly cool. She has also edited many other people's books and kept her own household going (she has four kids).

Despite our busy writing lives, we've worked hard to put our faith and family first: worship, scripture study, Date Nights, Family Home Evenings, vacations, toilet training, college and mission applications, recitals, and athletic events--two awesome husbands and ten active kids have always been at the top of our priority list.

We tell you all this not to brag, but to illustrate what can be accomplished when you make and share a plan and then stick to it through the power of accountability. Truly, great things come from small, consistent daily activities.

Get the book, try the system out for yourself, and see what YOU can get Done & Done!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Episode 6: "Imply" vs. "Infer"

Image from quickmeme.com

In today's episode, we give you a quick and easy tip to ensure that you're using "infer" and "imply" correctly. Listen in and avoid Keanu's fate!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Episode 5: "There Is" and "There Are"

Image from thinkgeek.com

Today we talk about the expletives "there is" and "there are," and why one of them is so frequently used incorrectly. (Hint: it's a contraction issue.) Can YOU keep them straight?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Episode 4: Commas before Nouns of Direct Address

Image from copywritingtipsguide.com

Hello, listeners! Episode four takes on the need for commas before nouns of direct address. (Not sure what that is? Hint: there's one in the first sentence of this paragraph.)

To illustrate our points, Annette uses examples from her practical and user-friendly manual, There, Their, They're.  As always, leave us questions and comments!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Episode 3: "Literally"

Mug for sale at Zazzle.com

In this week's episode, we make a plea to the nation: we beg you to use "literally" literally. Tune in here to find out whether you're using it correctly.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Episode #2: I vs. Me


In our second episode, we tackle a common grammar conundrum: When do you use I, and when do you use me?

Spoiler alert: People tend to hypercorrect by using I when they should use meTune in by CLICKING HERE to learn to rule so you'll never use the wrong pronoun again.

And to subscribe on iTunes, use the purple link in the side bar.

Until next week, remember: Clarity never faileth!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Welcome to GUMshoes!

Grammar. Usage. Mechanics. These are topics that are mystifying to many. Some believe they're superfluous in the digital age, but we believe that without them, clear communication is impossible. That's why we decided to create GUMshoes, a weekly podcast devoted to helping writers and speakers.
New episodes will air every Tuesday, so check back often! Please post your comments and questions, and we'll address them as soon as we can. Until then, remember: Clarity Never Faileth. 
Until we can work out our technical difficulties, Episode One is right here!