Last year, I started listening to The Word Nerds podcast. This show examines a particular aspect of our language and culture in each episode. If you know the difference between a mondegreen and a portmanteau, this is the kind of thing you would like. I found it interesting for a while, but after a few months, my interest waned. Recently, the show has shown signs of fatigue, changing from a weekly podcast to one that comes out approximately whenever they feel like it.
On the other hand, Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing is a more practical choice for integration into language arts classes. She takes a friendly, common-sense approach to many of the common points of confusion in the English language. Are you feeling badly? Do you know when to use “who” and when to use “whom?” And shouldn’t Sally lie down and rest you in my arms? Grammar Girl covers them all.
What about the old school rules? Is it still forbidden to end a sentence with a preposition? Are split inifinitives really so bad? Does the punctuation really have to go inside the quotes? Maybe you should subscribe, or at least listen on her web site.
Grammar Girl encourages students and teachers to use her podcasts. According to her web site:
Grammar Girl believes that learning is fun, and the vast rules of grammar are wonderful fodder for lifelong study. She strives to be a friendly guide in the writing world. Her arch enemy is the evil Grammar Maven who inspires terror in the untrained and is neither friendly nor helpful.