SEASON 2 EPISODE 2 – The Business Book Podcast – Mignon Fogarty

Derek: Good morning ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of the Business Book Show, today it is my sincere pleasure to have as our guest Mignon and this amazing woman has helped, God only knows how many people, a fall in love with writing again. She has made an entire business, an entire lifestyle out of not just – not just being a grammar, not just correcting grammar but of helping people get more comfortable with the nuances that is grammar. I think a lot of us comes from the background where our English teacher our professors you know made us feel like things were black and white and that, you know somebody must know all the rules of grammar and so we feel like that we’re all constantly you know writing, and people are constantly criticizing us. One of the things that I love about her approach is helping you realize that there’s a lot of gray, there’s a lot of usage things change over time, I mean she is, and I hope this isn’t really go with you know overboard; but she, she really is like the strong kin and white of a, of our generation. She is, well she is amazing. So a little bit of gushing there but on a more, on a more objective level, she is the author of a number of books including in the fact that that in the hands right here Grammar Girl presents the Ultimate Guide for Students, one of her first books, Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing was the New York Times’ best seller, and she’s recently, her more recent book is the Grammar Devotional Daily Tips for Successful Writing and then she has a number of other books and resources that you can find on Amazon but what she is known for is her podcast, so she does an amazing podcast where she, believe it or not this is one of the most popular podcasts in the world, and it is on grammar, it’s on you know how to use words and so on what makes sense and then what doesn’t. And she does it in such a way that it makes it fun, you get off of there feeling like your works will go right, you feel inspired not just a okay well I learned something else, I’ve been doing it wrong all this time. She does a beautiful job of helping us appreciate language. I guess that’s really the best way to put it. All of that to say Minion oh excuse me I keep on saying Minion because my son is in love with Minions, Mignon thank you for joining us today.

Mignon: Well thank you so much for that wonderful introduction if this were a video podcast people could see that I’m blushing (laughing)

Derek: (laughing) Well good then my job is done, my job is done here. So listen, you know more, you probably forgot more than I will ever learn about the nitty gritty, how to put to words together, how to actually write, how to do all of this, you’ve been helping people online and in the real world for years, so can I just give the floor over to you and you talk to us about what it’s like to, to write?

Mignon: Sure, well you know it’s funny that you say I’ve probably forgotten more than you know because one thing I always start by telling people is that I have to look things up every day too there are just so many rules to remember, the nit picking of the little details, but I don’t think anyone could remember all of them, to hold that all in your brain. You know some of my favorite reference books Neil Garner’s Modern English Usage for example is 900 pages long, you know nobody could remember all of that so it’s really important to have, just have good references, know where to look up things, and you know if you don’t know go look it up or rewrite your sentence to work around the problem which is what I often did before I became Grammar Girl (laughing)

Derek: (laughing)

Mignon: I was a writer and editor and I would just say I don’t know how to phrase this, or I don’t know what the rule is, I would rewrite my sentence you know now that I’m providing advice to people and like contestants (crosstalk)

Derek: Yeah that’s, that’s my turn to-

Mignon: (laughing) I actually have to go find the answer

Derek: (laughing)

Mignon: So it is always fascinating I mean I, the reason I still love doing the Grammar Girl Podcast after 10 years is you know probably, maybe not every week, but every other week when I do my show I come across something that I find fascinating, that I didn’t know or you know when we were talking before at the show you mentioned you know the difference between critique and criticize that I did, I think I did the difference between this last week in my show, and, and you know I just had no idea there was such an interesting history and you know they were contentious in the past and despite this you know the recent you know you can think of all the differences and criticize something you thought was negative, or critique something you could be providing more of a broad overview of the good and bad point, but you know there’s been an ongoing debate in the usage world about whether why it can’t be used as a verb or a noun and an-, you know it’s always fascinating to go back and look at words people thought were you know horrifying or are we just you know back in the 50 years or something like that so I just find English fascinating and that’s what keeps me doing it.

Derek: Well you know the, your love and fascination of language absolutely comes through in the, in the podcast, in your books, and it’s, it is refreshing to know that even after 10 years of, of doing a podcast and being the Grammar Girl that’s a you’re still looking up things at every day and learning something fascinating every week or every other week so those of us who love language that is, that’s helpful to know that you never get to the, the end of it, that there’s always something else to learn.

Mignon: Now there’s always something, just the other morning my husband said he’s helped perky and I was drinking coffee and I thought I wonder if perky is related to perking coffee you know

Derek: (laughing)

Mignon: But you know because coffee makes me feel perky and you perk coffee is I went to that and actually they aren’t related so I was disappointed but you know there’s always something to look at, yeah, yeah I absolutely thought they would be related but a perky comes from, I think it comes from a bird’s bringing of feathers back in the 1600’s or something like that, but I was so disappointed they were not related. (laughing)

Derek: I love finding things that we take for granted especially in the oddest place is the 2 books, one I think that really blew my mind that how many different things that we take for granted and how we say things, and even some of our outlook kind of cultural idiosyncrasies here in the United States traces back to the 1893 Chicago World Fair, and I have no idea of India but until I read Devil in the White City which is absolutely one of my favorite narrative nonfiction books but in, just in talking about you know the parallel between building the Chicago World Fair and the serial killer that was operating in Chicago at the time, I got to learn about language, I love whenever authors can do  that, can slip in you know little bit of learning so that you, you learn even while you’re being entertained which I, which is probably certainly one of the nicest ways to learn if not the easiest.

Mignon: Yes, and actually the other people like you men that book is definitely on my to be read prior, I have it but I haven’t read it yet, and you’re making me wanna get to that, thank you for that book.

Derek: It really is a, it’s really a great book. But coming back to us writing our own books, tell us about, I guess one of the things I see whenever (stuttering) I’m working with authors, or talking to authors, or people who want to become authors and writers, they get so, they’re so fearful, they’re- almost to the point of being paralyzed about whenever they sit down to write not knowing, you know they feel like that every almost every other word they’re gonna look up to make sure that they’re using the word correctly and they, they overthink I think and they get, they stop themselves before they even start. There are plenty of great books that had probably never made it out of somebody’s head because the person felt that they needed to have you know a Master’s in Fine Arts or you know be an English Teacher before they were worthy enough or before they knew enough to write a book. So for those kinds of people what would you say?

Mignon: Right, well the most important thing is to realize your first draft is just a first draft and not only does it not have to be perfect, it’s never gonna be perfect, it can’t be perfect, so don’t feel like you know you’re failing cause if it’s not and don’t let that, that stress over feeling that it has to be perfect stop you, it’s just a draft and its only purpose is to get your ideas out there in a way that lets you refine them. So and I know it can be really intimidating to sit down in front the blank screen, that blank light screen that you suddenly feel like you have to fill up with genius so

Derek: (laughing)

Mignon: (laughing) A couple of important things that can help with that, number one you have it to start at the beginning, if you have you know an idea that you know and important point or an idea or if you’re writing fiction a scene that’s in the middle of your book, go ahead and write it down but you don’t have to start with the introduction, the forward, chapter 1, then go to chapter 2, you can write out of order and that’s often a good way to get over the anxiety about writing, and because you know you don’t feel like attacking from the beginning, this is just an idea that you wanna capture for later. So that’s one way to get over the stress and number two, I, when I was writing the Grammar Devotional which was a sort of like a tip a day calendar in a book form, so it’s 365 daily tips, and I started with a spreadsheet and I wrote down you know the ideas for each day and it just became cumbersome and overwhelming and what I did is I switched to post it note and I took a huge wall in my house, and I have a lot of huge walls in my house, so it was in my hallway, but in the hallway I would write ideas on post it notes and then I’ll put them off in the wall and then once I had maybe a hundred of the 365 I just started moving them around, physically moving them around in, in ways that made more sense than how I had originally arranged them. There’s ones I had so many I knew that you know, you know word of you know just a general interesting net word we’d do all those on Mondays and punctuation would be Wednesdays, and you know that I would see oh this tip are like, so that tips are this some poster together and just being able to physically see them all at the same time in real live space in my house (laughing) made it a lot easier to conceptualize the big picture of the book. And so and I know I’ve heard other authors say they do the same thing sometimes they’ll print, you know fiction authors will print out scenes and them move them around in the table and things like that now there are, there’s software that lets you do that, Scrivener is a book writing software is it, it has a virtual post it note and I’ve tried this that, but it’s just not, the physical post its worked better for me

Derek: Yeah

Mignon: Than virtual post its but I find it in getting out in the bond paper and physical space often can help to overcome that blank page anxiety on your computer.

Derek: I loved that image of a wall in your house being filled with post it notes that you just keep moving around and unstick and restick over you’re- guess you have to get the expensive time that you know we’d actually held on over age as sometimes I’ll get the al cheapos that (laughing) (crosstalk) you know that’s about two or three sticks then but don’t (laughing)

Mignon: And when the book came out I was actually really sad, when I had to take all the post its down eventually, I had come to, I’ve grown fond of them (laughing)

Derek: (laughing)

Mignon: My family, not so much (laughing)

Derek: (laughing)

Mignon: Yes it’s the day

Derek: That is funny, I, I’ve heard, I’m with you- you know, I like, I like you know printing it, printing them out, I like Dan Pointer calls it the Pile It Method where you’ll pile in aster he did but the late Dan Pointer would pile you know ideas together. I like to use the mentor limits of buckets right, the how this buckets we’ll put stuff in this different buckets and then those buckets eventually become a tap but the post it notes on the wall  that is a new one.

Mignon: Right, it’s just you know really simple and then you know okay, so then you have your first draft and maybe it’s not even completely done but at some point you can go back and start editing it, cleaning up the language, writing it, looking you know looking things up you aren’t sure about or rewriting sets of those. You could join a writing group you know, find a writing group in your area and have you know people who are going to read the draft for you and give you feedback about you know usually the feedback is my useful about whether things are clear, or make sense or inspiring but you know if you have a of course what I mean you’re writing group you might also get some pre copy editing (laughing) and then you know all the way to you know hiring an editor in the end to clean it up so you’re just really confident that it, that it’s absolutely as perfect as it can be and as professional before you publish it. So you don’t have to know everything yourself, you know that’s why people hire you know artists to do the cover for their book and it’s the same with if you want to you can hire an editor to clean up your text. You know you can go out on your own but you know it just depends on you know how you feel about it, how perfect it needs to be but you know if you feel like it needs to be perfect and that’s completely stressing you out you know there are people you can hire to help with that part of it just like mind was covered in saying so just another thing to keep your mind if you’re feeling anxious.

Derek: Let’s talk about a couple of quick and dirty tips for people especially you know in the initial stages where they’re trying to get the ideas down and they don’t want to, or maybe they know, they have accepted and embraced the fact that they can come back and edit it later or that they can even hire a you know professional to come in and edit it so but if they’re just trying to you know to write let’s talk about a couple of easy tips and tricks the first one being, the one said you used the one that I’d still but it’s probably my number one tool is a to write around a word, if you come against a phrase or something and you’re not quite sure (stuttering) can you give us what that looks like and how you use it in the past and then if you have any other kind of really broad easy to use quick and dirty tips like that to help people who are trying to write without you know the Chicago Manual Style by the way I’m still jealous that they sent you a gala copy (crosstalk)

Mignon: (laughing) Yeah I know, I was so glad to get that

Derek: Of the next topic of the next 20. But I’m

Mignon: You know well here’s (crosstalk) of go on

Derek: No go ahead

Mignon: Okay so here’s an example of a question someone asked me this morning on the sent Grammar Girl Facebook page I, it went something like this, so she had a sentence, this is one of the books that has or have inspired me over the years, so one of the, one of the pronoun I always have to look up whether it should be that a singular or plural verb to go with it, I cannot remember that rule so I’m after we’re done here I’m gonna go look it up and send and answer her question (coughing) excuse me I’m gonna go look it up and answer her question but you could just rewrite the sentence and say this book has inspired me, you know since the thing is just one of the books that had to have you could say just this book has inspired me. So that’s you know really simple way to rewrite that sentence when you’re not sure which verb to use and basically no one knows which verb to use in a sentence (laughing) like that so when I talk to other language experts sometimes you know if you and I can’t remember the rule, it probably doesn’t matter which word they use because nobody knows (laughing)

Derek: (laughing)

Mignon: But you know in just in a, a couple of other things that come up all the time very common question, so in American English periods and commas go inside a closing quotation mark so if you’re ending your sentence with a quote, you put the period inside that closing quotation marks, they do it the opposite way in British English so I think that’s why people are often confused they see it done different ways online but in (crosstalk) edited American English

Derek: British English, yeah British punctuation makes so much more sense to me. It just seems so much more logical and that it actually obeys the rules whereas with American punctuation the (stuttering) if you have a question mark or an exclamation point if often goes inside the quotation marks but if putting it inside the quotation marks say if you were referring to the title of the movie or something, if it goes, if the question mark or the exclamation point would change the meaning of what’s inside the exclama- the quotation marks then you put the mark outside, that just get the

Mignon: No hate, is it this big (unintelligible)

Derek: Why can’t, why can’t we just be British? Why can’t we just be?

Mignon: (laughing) Right and then another thing people ask about a lot is when you use a or an before a noun, so a lot of people, so it’s the sound of the next word that determines whether you use a or an, so if you’re writing about someone who has an MBA even though MBA starts with a consonant the letter M you use an, an MBA because it actually starts with an e sound that’s such a vowel sound when you say it out loud, so a lot of people would hot

Derek: Right

Mignon: This look use of a noun is it a consonant or a vowel and it’s not whether it’s a consonant of a vowel letter but it’s whether it’s a consonant or vowel sound, that’s another question I get all the time so

Derek: Yeah (crosstalk)

Mignon: (unintelligible)

Derek: You talking about, you’re talking you know if somebody who really knows you know doesn’t even know then maybe it doesn’t matter. That reminds me of in certain lights elements of a style that you know, it says Oliver Strunk was a professor he used to shout at his students, if you don’t know how to pronounce a word say it loud, if you don’t know how to pronounce a word say it loud (laughing)

Mignon: This is great and what’s so funny about that is people would say that’s grammatically incorrect that he should be saying say it loudly (laughing) so it’s just also funny because of that

Derek: (laughing) Yeah but you know I think that, that, think at that sentiment sort of captures the heart of language so you know we have these all of these whole rules and this guidelines and all this things to help aide communication, to help lessen the chance of a miscommunication or misinterpretation but at the end of the day the most important thing is to communicate, right? So punctuation and the rules of grammar, they help us communicate, but they’re there to support us not to dictate to us, so the most important thing is to make sure that we’re sharing our ideas, we’re sharing these words, we’re sharing these things with the world and then you know having them, using the rules of grammar and punctuation to make them as clear as possible, to make sure that they’re as legible, not legible, intelligible as they can be, that’s the purpose of those tools but they’re tools, they’re not the, they’re not the, they’re not the point.

Mignon: Right they help you get your point across but the story telling and the content of your message, whether it’s inspiring or that people find it useful is definitely more important than having perfect writing and I think you know the thing I’ve always thinked about the, just that (stuttering) make that point so clearly as you look at some of the best sellers in the last 10 or 15 years you know a 50 Shades of Gray, Twilight, The Da Vinci Code you will see here people who are sort of sloppy about writing you know going on and on about terribly perhaps how terrible those books are, how terribly they’re written, how the writers can’t write at all just paint ball but you know I picked up the Da Vinci Code and as I was reading through I was like ah this writing is so bad but I couldn’t put it down.

Derek: (laughing)

Mignon: I could not put that book down and you know millions and millions of other people feel the same way. So those authors are doing something right and it has to do with storytelling and human emotion and you know I think that we, you really need to look at what those kind of people are doing and why it works and you know if you, a book doesn’t sell because it has perfect grammar and perfect punctuation, it sells because it has a message that resonates with people or something that people enjoy and that people find useful and compelling and that, that’s the most important part and then you know getting the technical detail right you know that will just make you look more professional and insulates you against criticism (laughing) bad reviews.

Derek: I’m going to; I’m going to quote you on that a book doesn’t sell because of perfect grammar or perfect punctuation, I’m gonna quote you on that (laughing)

Mignon: You bet (laughing) (crosstalk)

Derek: (crosstalk) it’s hard to people don’t- go ahead

Mignon: Necessary but not essential or I forget oppressive. Necessary but not efficient I’m getting it wrong (laughing)

Derek: You talking about you know people criticizing Twilight and 50 Shades of Gray, it makes me think of the time I read about someone who was criticizing you know this Children’s Book- Goosebumps or maybe some of this other ones that you know they we’re so elementary that you know that wasn’t really a whole lot of challenge there but that they were so easy and then why are ki- you know why are these kids reading this Goosebumps and Twilight whenever they could be reading Tom Sawyer and or you know some literary classics and I, you know I thought to myself that you’re it’s the wrong comparison to say, you know why don’t this kids, you know do another try reading this other classic books that really if this kids weren’t reading you know Twilight they would be you know watching a movie instead so that the fact that they’re, that they’re reading Twilight instead of watching Twilight I mean that’s the win, so maybe they (crosstalk) read Twilight

Mignon: (crosstalk) (unintelligible)

Derek: Yeah, instead of (crosstalk)

Mignon: Yeah I remember saying as- (crosstalk)

Derek: Ladies first

Mignon: I remember hearing a story about a book signing where you know mothers were coming out and saying to the author you know thank you for getting my daughter to read. You know so, so you know just you find in things that kids like that they can read

Derek: Yeah

Mignon: This is the first step and then you know you helped it develop a habit of reading and move on to more challenging books or you know. But just getting them read and developing that habit is a really great first step (laughing)

Derek: Yeah that’s the, the um, you know it makes me think of, of my Dad; he had a particularly mean first grade well  maybe I shouldn’t say first grade teacher because maybe somebody will look it up and figure out who it is, anyway so he had a mean elementary school teacher that would she whipped the kids, she’d give you one paddling for every spelling word you missed on your test, and so my Dad just you know tend to have this hatred is too strong of a word my Dad is too wonderful of a guy to really hate anything but this distaste for you know reading, and language, and he does, he shied away from it ever since then just because of those awful associations, and his mother couldn’t get him to read for anything but my father has a, is he’s an engineer now so he’s you know very mechanically inclined, so his mother started getting him a Hot Rod Magazine subscription, a car you know car subscriptions mostly back in the 60’s I guess and my dad would read them cover to cover cause he was in love with cars and in love with the content.

Mignon: Yeah that’s brilliant, that’s such a great idea and you know I think that you don’t encourage learning by telling people they’re stupid or punishing them for making mistakes. I think you encourage learning by being positive and supportive and you know helping students find the ways that work with them to learn to read and writhe, you know there are

Derek: Yeah

Mignon: Some kids are gonna enjoy poetry more than others, some kids are gonna what to write their personal stories you know, some kids are gonna want to write fiction, and just and finding what they enjoy and you know enjoy spending time doing and encouraging that I think is the best way you know for parents to get their kids reading and writing you know it’s in school they have things they have to do and lesson plans they have to follow, but when you’re a parent trying to like support that, and develop things that you think are important you know during the summer keep your kids doing interesting things, you know let them choose what they wanna read or work on or write like when, I think studies have shown when students are able to choose their own books they’re much more likely to actually finish them and say they enjoyed reading them.

Derek: Yeah and bringing this back into the discussion of you know helping business authors actually write their books. One of the underlying ideas in here is focusing on the content and delivering a book that people actually want to read and even if you’re not a great writer or even if you know it’s a magazine instead of a full length book, just the fact that people are actually reading it and absorbing it is the, is the win. So like you say you know if you have a professional criticism of the Da Vinci Code but yet you loved the book and couldn’t put it down and I mean I’ve read the Da Vinci Code, I read Angels and Demons, then Inferno I love Robert Langdon, I love him bringing all this you know history together and I think he does a great job of storytelling so that’s the, you know what actually and forgive me for (stuttering) so much of myself in here but it is a book I’m reading Shantaram I think that’s how you pronounce it s-h-a-n-t-a-r-a-m Shantaram by Gregory Roberts it is beautifully written, he is an absolute master of language. I mean I don’t say this often because I in my heart of hearts so many evil person and I’m quite critical and judgmental although I try to hide it, part of it. But I sit down with that book and I am in awe with his ability of love language, I love it but do you know that I haven’t finished a book yet because it is so slow

Mignon: (laughing)

Derek: So just this I haven’t finished this (laughing)

Mignon: There’s a difference between fantastic writing and storytelling that pulls you through a book. I mean I, you know I think that you know when you have that, let’s say you have that first draft you know then you think of back and look, look at it and say is there anywhere I could use alliteration you know Grammar Girl with the 2gs of alliteration the similar sounds

Derek: Yes

Mignon: Is there anywhere I can add some alliteration, is there anywhere maybe I could add a metaphor you know  life is a highway a you know you can go back and try to make your writing more beautiful. You know if you are inclined to be that but the most important thing is getting that first draft down because if you don’t get it out there you’re never gonna write your book. So you have to start in letting go of the idea that it has to be perfect when you start. It can really get you going and you know get you on the path to getting your book out there which is what you really want so don’t let, don’t let perfect be the enemy of good, you know you could always go back and make it more beautiful, make it more perfect, but make it more accurate, but a more perfect is probably not a good thinking

Derek: (laughing)

Mignon: Cause perfect is an absolute like you know I’m touching myself with a little language error there but um nobody’s perfect actually. You know I’m not perfect either, so I have an editor that goes over my stuff, and sometimes she misses things too you need to get 2 or 3 people look at something and they will still miss a typo or something so you know nothing, I doubt there is a single published book out there that is absolutely perfect. First of all they all have at least one typo and you know your first draft is just a first draft it’s a step along the way to getting your book out there.

Derek: Celine Dion has a Singing Coach, Tiger Woods has or had a Golfing Coach, and Grammar Girl has an Editor.

Mignon:  Of course

Derek: Great. Now like there’s hope, there’s hope for all of us then.

Mignon: Absolutely

Derek: Well um any parting, any parting words or pearls of wisdom that you’d like to, to leave with our listeners before I let you get back to saving the world from hatred of language and (stuttering) oh what do they, my mind has completely gone blank, what do we call it whenever we’re texting and we don’t, and we use shorthand you know BRB and you know U instead of y-o-u

Mignon: Yes, text messaging abbreviations yeah that’s what I call them. Yeah I guess you know my I guess my final word of advice, words of advice would be you know number 1 just start, like make yourself start and a good way to do that actually can be to have some kind of deadline or some sort of support group there to you know be expecting work from you maybe, so you know if you’re really serious, number 1 just start. And number 2 try to find a writing group, and if you can’t find a writing group there’s also online there’s National Novel Writing Month and it’s primarily for fiction authors but you don’t have to be a fiction author you can be a non-fiction author to follow along and, and then the writers word for National Novel Writing Month then you know right now they’re still in (crosstalk) panel (unintelligible) though

Derek: (crosstalk) (unintelligible) you out (laughing)

Mignon: Yeah so they do that a couple of times a year (laughing) so you can find online groups and writing groups and support groups to really like follow along the National Novel Writing Month on Twitter their website so that’s another great way to get some support for your writing and then you know give a little self-plug if you’re you know, if you want to sort of learn all those writing tips by you know fun and osmosis maybe you could listen to the Grammar Girl Podcast because I you know every week you have to a great writing tip and I try to make them fun so you know if you listen for a year you’re getting a hundred tips (crosstalk)

Derek: And you’re doing a good job

Mignon: So (laughing)

Derek: You’re doing a good job. There’s (stuttering) so much I said you

Mignon: That can help you

Derek: And people I think that because of, usually because of their experiences in school or college that grammar punctuation that it has to be you know dry and then it’s the set of rules but you do a wonderful job of showing people of how funny that it can be, of how interesting it can be, and of how practical it can be, helping you know helping them answer some of the most common and in fact one of the things that I really like about the podcast is that you answer questions that I feel like I have all the time. There are there to write an email or text message and I have this question, oh wait is it this or that okay let me just write around it so I always have this recurring question that I never think to go look it up because it’s not you know, it’s not like I’m professionally writing for a website or something like that. It’s something that I need to get right, and you answer all this questions that I always have but I never take the time to go look up and find the right answer to it.

Mignon: Right, it was a podcast you can just hear that while you’re you know working out at the gym or can using solid with a handy radar so just absorb that information before having the you know go find the book and look it up. I mean I have books but in the podcast is a nice way to you know just passively learn I guess.

Derek: You know in a lot of other countries well especially in Europe a lot of countries have a you know the National Academy of Language of the National Academy of so I’m trying to think in Spain there’s the Royal Academy, Brazil has its own and these are the, these are the official governmental either sponsored or sanctioned institutions that determine if these are the rules of language. In Brazilian Portuguese this body of academics I think they meet in just being the capital Brasilia as if, in Spain it’s in Madrid, Paris has their own in the excuse me French has known in Paris, we don’t have that in the US but I am going to start a petition that we’ve created and I am nominating you as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Mignon: No, no, I don’t think we should have one (laughing) I actually don’t think that we should have one, I object (laughing)

Derek: (laughing)

Mignon: See you know language, I do think language should belong to the people not to some government body that oversees what’s right and wrong, I think that you know (stuttering) the way I describe it in my ted pod is that

Derek: A literitarian after my own heart

Mignon: (laughing) We vote with the people, we vote with our usage so you know we, what’s a good example, so people a long time ago in a me- people thought that we shouldn’t use the word drapes to refer to curtains, they thought that was horrible, that drapes was just a terrible word. But you know what we all like the word drapes we use the word drapes and then nobody objects to the word drapes but if we had a body like the French Academy you know they might rule from on high that we shouldn’t use drapes and I just, I just really prefer to let, to let the people vote and have to I’ll end with a funny story because I was in France a couple of weeks ago, for the first time you know on vacation, and you know I really wasn’t thinking about work at all and then suddenly it occurred to me I’m in France the land of the French Academy and I said this out loud and my husband looked at me he’s like you’re so weird (laughing)

Derek: (laughing)

Mignon: I was so excited to be in the land of the French Academy (laughing) in the sense of how I see the world (laughing)

Derek: Well you know bless another weird (laughing) Well Mignon, thank you so much for all this today, this has been fun but you know what I think it’s probably one of the most inspirational episodes that a that we’ve probably had on, on this podcast. Just the idea that someone as deep in grammar and language as you are to have been so transparent and honest and encouraging has been, well has been a treat. Thank you so much.

Mignon: Well thank you for letting me talk about the things I love.

Derek: Awesome, so you all go subscribe to the podcast it is absolutely worth it and then I just happened to have picked up a The Ultimate Writing Guide for Students but I realize that I don’t have the Ultimate Writing guide for or The Ultimate Guide to Better Writing so let me go this things sorry Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing, so I just the did the one quick ordering from Amazon to have that shipped here so I can enjoy more of her brilliant and pearls of wisdom. All right well thank you again and much, much appreciated you have a great day.

Mignon: Thank you and good luck to all your listeners get those books written.

Derek: Beautiful advice, beautiful way to end.

Mignon: Thanks