Category Archives: Media Coverage

Welcome, MSNBC readers!

I was wondering why my blog was going crazy with visits today!

If you haven’t yet heard, I’ve been featured in another piece — “Fastidious Spelling Snobs Pushed Over the Edge” by Diane Mapes on

It’s a great feature.  Nice work, Diane!

Welcome, readers.  Enjoy the blog — and if you have any submissions of grammar or spelling errors in your community, feel free to email me at kate.mcculley [at]

If you’re a news organization and would like to contact me for an interview — I’ve done educational grammar consulting and I’ve been featured as the resident grammarian on a few NPR segments — feel free to email me as well.

Thanks for visiting!


Keep your eyes open….

A new feature on the Grammar Vandal will be appearing in a major national publication within the next few weeks.

Keep your eyes open!

Big in Germany!

I was delighted to hear from reader Christina, a fan from Germany.  There will be more mentioned about Christina later, but for now, check out this great stuff.

I asked her how she came across my blog, and she told me that there was actually a write-up about me in the October 2007 issue of Spotlight magazine!  Spotlight is a magazine designed for adults looking to improve their language, and it’s published in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain.

It’s basically sound bites from the Boston Globe’s feature, but it’s new stuff — and I loved it!  Check it out:


NPR Clarification

There are a few things that I didn’t get to discuss on the broadcast. Before I forget them, here they are:

–I do think that it’s a good idea to remove the hyphens in fig-leaf, make-over, leap-frog and pigeon-hole. I never use hyphens in any of these words.

However, I think that the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary’s reasoning is off. They say they removed the hyphens due to internet culture and the fact that most people can’t be bothered to type the hyphens.

I find that to be extremely dangerous.

If we start giving in to the abbreviated style of internet culture, what will stop us from adding “newayz” and “u” to dictionaries?

We cannot give in.

Give in because language has naturally evolved. Even before the internet, hyphens weren’t commonplace in the aforementioned words.

–Also, though I’m an AP Style girl at heart, I don’t use the word e-mail. I think that we’re at the point where we no longer need the e and hyphen to clarify that this is mail sent electronically. Email has stood the test of time.

–Also, halfway through the broadcast, I caught myself in a “you know.” AHHHH!!!! After that, I tried to speak better than last time, using fewer “you knows” and “likes.” I have a feeling that I sucked at that. I also ended at least one sentence with a preposition.

Also, I was completely caught off guard when she asked me about words that used to use hyphens but no longer do besides today and tomorrow. I had seconds to think of a response and couldn’t think of anything! (Now I know that goodbye would have worked.)

What do you think?

Please be kinder than last time. Writing is easy — speaking with perfect grammar while on live radio is hard!

Greetings, NPR fans!

I haven’t done the interview yet, but I’d like for there to be an entry welcoming you.

I hope you enjoy the blog!

If you have any errors to submit, please email me at kate [dot] mcculley [at] gmail [dot] com.

Also, I run a freelance editing and educational consulting business. (Strangely enough, I have yet to blog about it, though I do receive a good amount of freelance work!)

Need anything edited? From business writing and presentations to academic papers and college application essays to advertising and newsletters, I do it all.

My rates are quite low and I guarantee that no other editor will do a better job.

Again, welcome to the blog! I hope you enjoy your visit.

Another NPR Appearance!

I have been asked to return to NPR! I will be making my first appearance since my interview in July!

The interview will take place tomorrow, Monday, September 23, 2007, around 7:40 AM. It’s for a new program called the Bryant Park Project. It’s a brand new show that is in previews right now. Check it out here.

Tomorrow’s show is about the Oxford English Dictionary’s decision to remove hyphens from several words.

Small object of grammatical desire

It’s small. It’s flat. It’s black. And according to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, its numbers are shrinking. Welcome to the world of the hyphen.

Having been around since at least the birth of printing, the hyphen is apparently enjoying a difficult time at the moment.

The sixth edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary has knocked the hyphens out of 16,000 words, many of them two-word compound nouns. Fig-leaf is now fig leaf, pot-belly is now pot belly, pigeon-hole has finally achieved one word status as pigeonhole and leap-frog is feeling whole again as leapfrog.

The blame, as is so often the case, has been put at least in part on electronic communication. In our time-poor lifestyles, dominated by the dashed-off [or should that be dashed off or dashedoff] e-mail, we no longer have time to reach over to the hyphen key.

Read the full story here.

What’s my opinion?

Tune in to find out! I think the show is only airing in New York, but you can listen online at

In the Globe again!

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I was mentioned in the Boston Sunday Globe again this week!

It’s in the Ideas section, on the back cover. It’s not online, since it’s just a short blurb.

There is a picture of the “Cambrige Street” sign that I posted a few days ago. Here it is:

Where the Streets Have the Wrong Name

As if navigating our streets weren’t tricky enough, sometimes they’re spelled funny. A local blogger called The Grammar Vandal wants to know what the deal is with “Cambrige” street. Tell me about it. I grew up near a street in Jamaica Plain named after Frederick Law Olmsted. It is called Olmstead.


However….is funny the word we want to see there? It’s too bad funnily doesn’t exist….