Grammar Girl's 101 Misused Words You'll Never Confuse Again

Quick & Dirty Tips Quick & Dirty Tips

Mignon Fogarty

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

128 Pages



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Millions of people around the world communicate better thanks to Mignon Fogarty, aka "Grammar Girl", whose top-rated weekly grammar podcast has been downloaded more than 30 million times. After realizing her fans were asking the same questions over and over, Mignon decided to focus her attention on those words that continuously confound the masses. Grammar Girl's 101 Misused Words You'll Never Confuse Again clears up such conundrums as:

—When to use affect and when effect is right
—Whether to say purposely or purposefully 
—What the difference is between hilarious and hysterical

Packed with clear explanations, fun quotations showing the word used in context, and the quick and dirty memory tricks for which Mignon is known, this friendly reference guide ends the confusion once and for all and helps students speak and write with confidence.


Praise for Grammar Girl's 101 Misused Words You'll Never Confuse Again

"Good writing skills are a must in any professional career, and there's no secret to being a good writer: Learn the tools of English, and practice. And read, of course. A lot. Students can use a hand learning the basics—and the trickier points—of language, and that's where three new books come in. Mignon Fogarty, better known as 'Grammar Girl' . . . wrote her three latest books just for students, to help them learn new words, navigate tricky meanings, and put them all together into clear, coherent English. 101 Words Every High School Graduate Needs to Know and 101 Misused Words You'll Never Confuse Again are short, handy word guides. [101 Misused Words You'll Never Confuse Again] actually contains more than 101 words, as most entries differentiate at least two words that are commonly mixed up. The entries include 'affect/effect,' 'lay/lie' and 'till/'til/until.' Each word is explained and illustrated with [examples] . . . An added feature in this book is [a] 'quick and dirty tip' for most entries—these offer a mnemonic or short sentence to help people remember the differences . . . It's all done in a light, friendly style with copious examples of what to do, and focuses much more on doing than on not-doing. The main message [is]: You can write; here are the tools."—Lisa McLendon, The News & Observer (Raleigh)

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

A Versus An

Sadly, a lot of people were taught the wrong rule for using the articles a and an. It’s the sound of the next word that determines the word choice, not the first letter.
If the next word starts with a vowel sound, use an. If the next word starts with a consonant sound, use a. That means a word starting with u or o, for example, can require a or an depending on the pronunciation: a unicorn, an uncle, a onetime deal, an owner.
To remember that words starting with certain letters can go either way, set the image in your mind of a man
Read the full excerpt


  • Mignon Fogarty

  • Mignon Fogarty is the creator of Grammar Girl and the founder and managing director of Quick and Dirty Tips. Formerly a magazine writer, technical writer, and entrepreneur, she has a B.A. in English from the University of Washington in Seattle and an M.S. in biology from Stanford University. Her Grammar Girl web site ( has been selected as one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers by Writer's Digest magazine. She lives in Reno, Nevada.
  • Mignon Fogarty © Sarah Shatz
    Mignon Fogarty


    Mignon Fogarty

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