Grammar Giggle – State of Uniom

While everyone has probably seen this one already, my son sent this to me and I thought it was interesting. Not only is “Union” spelled wrong, requiring them to reprint all of the invitations to the State of the Union Address, but I think that the Gallery is set up for more than one Visitor, so it should be the Visitors’ Gallery. I checked the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center website to try to figure out what they call it, and I find reference to “the Visitor Galleries,” which would be correct as it is a name for that area of the Capitol, and “the House and Senate Galleries,” but I find no reference to the “Visitor’s Gallery.” I’m thinking they didn’t fix that error when they reprinted the invitations because it isn’t an obvious error–to most people.

State of the Uniom

Confusing Words Of The Week

Words of the WeekIt’s time for “Confusing Words of the Week” where I take a set of two or three words that get confused and give you definitions and try to give you a memory trick to help you remember when to use which word. If you have words that confuse you, use the Ask PTB tab on the website or send an email to and they may appear here soon!

This week’s words are:

discreet – prudent

She was discreet about the secret her friend shared with her.

discrete – distinct; separate

The book had a discrete section on citations.

Memory tips:

discreet – think of the ee as eyes seeing something that shouldn’t be posted on the internet or something that you have to be discreet about.

discrete is separate – both end in te


Grammar Giggle – Commuting

A friend sent this to me. She was taking a survey from our local transportation system company and came upon this obvious typo.


Grammar Giggle – What Year Is It?

A friend received this email from a company she deals with after she called them about an issue. I understand the attempt at improving customer service, but everything is dated two years in the future! Unless those ladies in the DriveTime commercial have figured out a way to go two years into the future instead of only two minutes, there isn’t any excuse for this.


Replay Thursday

Thursday ReplayIt’s time for a review of recent blog posts just in case you’ve missed them. We call this Replay Thursday. Here are posts from Proof That proofreading blog and 60 Is The New 60 blog during the past week.

Grammar Giggle – Brining Animals

Confusing Words of the Week

Legal Grammar In The News

Bitchy McGrumperson Is Not Welcome Here


Legal Grammar In The News

In The NewsI saw an interesting article recently that I thought I would share with you. It is an Above the Law article entitled “Lawyer’s Pleadings Are So Bad that Judge Orders Future Filings Must Be Reviewed By English Teacher.” ( Here are the lessons I took from this article:

  • Judges DO care about proper grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and that the document makes sense.
  • Headings matter. If the heading has nothing to do with the following paragraph(s), it is of no use to anyone and shouldn’t be there. Headings are helpful to direct the reader to the areas of the document that you want them to find easily.
  • Formatting makes a difference. To have a judge call your document an “eyesore” is not good.
  • Getting an order requiring you to have an English teacher certify that the pleading was reviewed and approved and that the certification is included in the filing is embarrassing–and probably career-changing, particularly when the suit was dismissed and I assume his malpractice insurer has been alerted.

Confusing Words of the Week

Words of the WeekIt’s time for “Confusing Words of the Week” where I take a set of two or three words that get confused and give you definitions and try to give you a memory trick to help you remember when to use which word. If you have words that confuse you, use the Ask PTB tab on the website or send an email to and they may appear here soon!

This week’s words are:

Shown – displayed; revealed; past participle of show

The results had shown that their efforts were successful.

Shone – gave off light; did shine

The light shone directly in her eyes.

So what memory trick can we use to help remember these?

Shown is showing off something that you own.

Shone means did shine so it’s a change of one letter.

Grammar Giggle – Brining Animals

This was in a Google Alert I get. When I clicked on the headline link, it was correct there, but it obviously wasn’t in my Alert. “Brining” is to soak something in a salty water mixture to add flavor and to tenderize it. I’m sure that is not what they meant.

Brining service animal

Grammar Giggle – The News Station Should be “Facin” the Fact That They Got It Wrong

Another news story on my local station recently gave me this gem. The ONLY time it would be appropriate to use “Facin” without the ending “g” would be in very informal writing and using an apostrophe to indicate the “g” was missing. But, honestly, there isn’t a good reason to leave the “g” off.


Grammar Giggle – Clicks

My news station comes through again. This story was about a high school student who was bullied in middle school and who developed an app to help other students meet to “sit with us.” Great concept, right? But I think what the news station meant to emphasize was the “cliques” of middle school and high school. A “clique” is, according to,  “a small, exclusive group of people.” The kind of group who would bully people and tell them “you can’t sit with us,” the “mean girl” kind of group. So while I appreciate their continuing assistance in future Grammar Giggles (I already have two from earlier this week that will come soon), I can just shake my head and wince when I see it on TV.

Cafeteria Clicks