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Industry Influencer: Mignon Fogarty (aka Grammar Girl)

Grammar GirlThis month’s Industry Influencer spotlight is shining on Mignon Fogarty. Mignon is the creator of Grammar Girl, one of Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best Websites for Writers and winner of “Best Education Podcast” in the Podcast Awards. Mignon is the author of six books, including the New York Times best-seller Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing.

CONTEST: Mignon Fogarty will award one lucky commenter a free copy of her new iPad app, Grammar Pop! Leave a comment on this post by Friday, October 18, to enter to win. This contest is now closed. Grammar Girl loves us so much that she gave away two codes: Congratulations to our winners, Patricia Anne Elford and Bob Minteer! Thank you to all who participated!

Did you always love grammar, or was it something you grew into?

I always loved writing, but it wasn’t until I became a working writer and editor after college that I developed a deep interest in grammar because I realized how many little rules I didn’t know.

You’ve published many nonfiction books about the art of good, clean writing. How important a role has social media played in your writing career?

I spend at least a couple of hours a day on social media, so I believe it plays a big part in my career. Writing grammatically correct tweets is a particular challenge. Twitter forces me to be concise.

What’s been your biggest challenge in maintaining your blog?

For years, Quick and Dirty Tips (the site where Grammar Girl resides) had a ridiculously clunky back end that made it difficult to post articles and correct typos that would slip through. We just did a huge website update, and now it’s a breeze. It’s made a real difference in how many articles I can get out each week.

Okay, we’re inviting you to climb up on your soapbox now if you like. In an age when written language is rapidly changing, thanks to texting and Twitter, are the classic rules of writing MORE or LESS important now to writers who are hoping to get published?

The rules are as important as they always were, but we have more opportunities to make ourselves look stupid and sloppy. In the past, your query letters and previously published work easily could have been all publishers saw from you; but now, they can see the tweets and Facebook posts that you fire off without much care. I’ve seen feeds from writers that would make me hesitate to hire them (and on the positive side, I’ve seen feeds from writers that were so well written and clever that I’ve been inspired to buy their books).

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What’s next for you?

I’m getting fabulous feedback on my new word-matching game, Grammar Pop, so I plan to devote the next year or two to games—both enhancing Grammar Pop and creating new games.

Check out Mignon’s new iPad app, Grammar Pop!Written by Mignon Fogarty

Grammar Pop: An addictive word game for adults and a great way for kids to learn parts of speech. Match words with speech parts to pop clouds and progress from nouns and verbs to gerunds and participles. The sentences get longer, the parts of speech get harder, and the timer gets shorter as you pop more clouds and advance through Grammar Pop. You won’t even know you’re learning!

“This is a completely awesome and addictive game.” Eyeque783, iTunes Reviewer

“I am an adult writer using this to brush up on my skills. Love everything about the game.” NookFair, iTunes Reviewer

Remember to leave a comment by Friday, October 18, for a chance to win a FREE copy of Grammar Pop! This contest is now closed.

Learn more about Mignon on her social networks: Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

46 Responses to Industry Influencer: Mignon Fogarty (aka Grammar Girl)

  1. Hahahaha! I vote for Dee! Most clever comment!
    Now, let’s talk about how I only just received the tweet for this contest today and once I arrive … I’m too late. Let’s hope this is no indication of my luck for the rest of this week.
    Can’t wait for the app!

  2. I love Mignon’s Grammar Girl site. It’s a fabulous tool for those struggling with grammar and those of us who need to brush up on our skills.

  3. Eye herd aye kneaded two Gogh too this web sight two learn moor tips four righting.

    Aye hope eye when an eyePad app, butt if aye due knot when, aisle steal bee happy aye herd about this grate girl. Win ewe knead help, Gogh too Grammar Girl four add vise.

    Good luck two awl of ewe! Mae yore storeys bee published soon.

    Pea. S. – Eye rote a book that wheel bee published in 2014. Four reel!

  4. Congratulations, Mignon! Thanks for the influence and inspiration! You’re a grammar savior and have been so reliable at the times I need you most! Thank you, thank you!

    P.S. I hope my comment doesn’t have any grammar errors. Don’t look into it too much. ;)

  5. There’s so many things about grammar that make it easy to slip up. Your active word game sounds like it will be extremely helpful as a basic learning tool, or just for a helpful opportunity to brush-up on grammar skills already taught. I can’t even imagine the time involved in developing such a product. My grandson is only nine months old, but he immediately came to mind when I read this e-mail. Grammar Pop is something I’m looking forward to sharing with him when the time is right. Best wishes for great success with this helpful program, Janet

  6. We live in exciting and frustrating times, where grammar and spelling are concerned. Textspeak is changing sentence structure and spelling whether we like it or not. It will be fascinating to see how it all unfolds.
    I enjoy Grammar Girl on Facebook and via email, but will have to wait until the app is available on iPhone or laptop before I can play it.
    It was great to be able to put a name and a face to Grammar Girl – thanks.

  7. Our daughters call me a pedant, because I’m such a stickler for good grammar and spelling. I love to proofread others’ work, but I do have some pet peeves—among them are its and it’s used inappropriately. And since when did October 10th, have a th after the number? I own and edit a local online only news source, and news releases give me fits with the terrible grammar and spelling. People just don’t care if they spell correctly or use the correct form of the verb or make words compatible with antecedents. aaarrrgghh! Keep up the good work with Grammar Girl. You are a needed resource. My main downfall is punctuation, especially commas. I think I may over-commanate (yes, I know I just made up that word!).

  8. I’ve edited a lot of my own work (and others) and am struck by how poor or ineffective grammar can color the work and credibility of the author. My daughter teaches school and I can also see how handwriting, grammar, punctuation, spelling, reading and creative writing has taken a hit over the years. People used to take pride in their cursive writing. Printing is now used more often, and with the rise in computer use, pens and pencils are even on the way to extinction. I’ve been a writer for years, mostly of stories and articles, more recently–novels. I also read a lot and am amazed by rules thrown away under the banner of “creative license,” such as: sentence fragments, dangling participles, commas eliminated, etc. etc. Submitted manuscripts now require only one space between sentences, for example, paragraphs indented by 3 spaces.
    (Actually, comma placements are a problem I find most troubling in my own work.) I’d love to see a truly up-to-date manual on what is new and acceptable in different venues. If Grammar Girl has a book, I’d love to add it to my collection…and my headspace!

  9. Oh, Grammar Girl, thank you for making grammar cool again! (Or at least my friends thought it was uncool for a while). I love the idea of a grammar game app! Can’t wait to try it out!

  10. Grammar Girl/Migon: Thank you, thank you, thank you for your site (site or sight?). It has saved my behind more times than (then or than?) I can say. I’m glad you studied grammar in school while I lay (lay or laid?) around reading books instead. Cheers and take care.

  11. Reading and learning about Grammar Girl I believed from my own personal perspective, it really is a solution to my grammatical struggles in writing….hope to get a chance to be one of the recipient of the give aways…I as an islander really need help in writing….always made a lot of errors grammatically in assigned task in class and at home…..

  12. Having completed the third book in my Christian/fiction series, I have to be correct in my grammar. How exciting…a grammar learning game! I would so love to win the app! :)

  13. I just love Grammar Girl, and I adore the invention of this new grammar application! I teach grammar and composition classes, and I always find that students, regardless of their grade, do not know all 9 parts of speech. Call me “Old School,” but I still consider the Articles as a separate part of speech. This Grammar Girl application will be a great tool in my classroom! Thanks, Grammar Girl!

  14. Two things I would like to point to you – I believe if correct grammar is used in the home by the time the child reaches school age, not only do they have a larger vocabulary, but also grammar comes natural.

    The second is “then” being time and “than” being comparison. When did that change? I see it all of the time in articles and hear it in speech. Since it is one of my pet peeves, I sent it to an editor of a major magazine about writing. He has a grammar section and asks for readers to send him their peeves. Not two months later, in that same column, he used “then” for comparison!

    Yes, I would love a copy of your program and I’ll be checking your blog now that I know about it.

  15. Since I was one student who struggled in writing grammatically in high school (SY 2012-2013), I needed this Grammar Pop or iPad desperately for my studies….I submitted three short stories about real events that took place here in American Samoa (Island of the South Pacific) hoping to be selected as one of the winners after the board review…however, what can I do as a fresh out from high school college student to improve my writing skills? Just by reading grammar girl really is helpful to me as a student that English is my second language. Samoan is my native language. I love grammar girl because it does help me with editing portion of writing. I helps me correct spelling and replacement of precise vocabulary to be used in all writing assignments assigned to me by my instructors. Appreciated the support and help from Mignon Fogarty…with respect..Lilly Rosa Tauala

  16. I already refer to Grammar Girl when I am editing or self-editing. I like the fact that humor plays a part in some of the materials. As one of my other employments is the ESL tutoring of officers at Garrison Petawawa,I’d be particularly interested in being able to add Grammar Pop to my teaching kit. Adults like games. Studies indicate that the more involved we are, the more fun the learning experience is, the better we learn.

  17. Is it just my imagination or is correct grammar going the way of the dinosaur? It frustrates me when I hear teachers and school superintendents use grammar incorrectly. Is there any hope for our kids if those who teach them can’t get it right? Is it possible I have outlived good grammar!

    Alright, I am now off my soapbox!

    I did not know about your blog. Look forward to checking it out.

  18. Its like wot I said innit? We ain’t got nuffink on this girl. Grammer is like the brandy in the puddin innit.

    Seriously folk, IMOH English is on the slide. I read an advert for a printer/stationer the other day.Can you believe it,he was selling “stationary”. I bet his business was at a standstill. And what can you make of the following headline in a local newspaper. “Poor students to get shot at Oxford.” You can imagine the fun I had with this.

  19. I have always loved Grammar Girl but never knew who you really were. Nice to meet the woman behind the rules, or the rule monitor. The game app sounds so cool. I am a word nut and love these types of games, so if I should win, I would be a very happy” reviewer girl.” (Play on Grammar Girl, since I review kids books, but it doesn’t look as funny as it did in my head a second ago.)

  20. This game sounds like a lot of fun. My daughter’s struggle with grammar quite a bit (thank you text abbreviations) and I think they would learn a lot from something like this.

  21. THIS IS PERFECT! I am not much of a vidgamer – Zuma? lol! But I have always been keen on games that teach you to DO. (Flashcards, anyone?) This is AWESOME, and right up on my list of things I must have, as my old English classes are ~hazy~? I know I am rolling boulders here, but is there a way to put it on a dino (tower) computer? (xp)
    I must have this! Please keep us posted! arghhh… I got asked the other day about types of clauses, and all I could think of was Santa…

  22. I’ve loved grammar as a kid and dissecting sentences was always an exciting challenge. Thank you for making this fun for everyone. Now, how can you solve the national/international problem with et cetera? Eeek! EVEN NEWSCASTERS SAY “EXCETTERA!.”

  23. When in doubts, my first instinct is to check what Grammar Girl says about it. So a grammar game written by my favorite grammarian? Heck yeah!

  24. Well, since I don’t have an iPad (or, for that matter, an iAnything), the game would not do me much good. As far as Grammar goes, well, it is of more importance in some writing than in other writing. Tech writing, or articles for a major magazine, fine. But for some fiction, there are times when it sounds better if you “bend” the rules of Grammar a little. I guess one should know the proper grammar, and then be willing to ignore it once in a while.

  25. A grammar game!

    I have always believed that proper sentence structure and grammar were important.

    Unfortunately, I have never been able to remember the “parts of speech”. When I was a kid (back in the 1970’s), Grammar Rock songs “saved my bacon” more than once.

    Although I am no longer “tested” on my writing skills, I am challenged each day to write clear and concise technical documentation that my workers can understand and use as a reference. Your podcast

    So, Pick Me!!! Pick Me!!! :-) Thanks Grammar Girl ! By the way, I REALLY enjoyed episode #285 and the Friends reference.

  26. This article is really inspiring for me. I too have a particular interest in Grammar, and it is very inspiring to hear what Mignon has already done and plans to do in the space. I am eager to try Grammar Pop to brush up my grammar.

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