Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility The Grammar Hotline | University of West Florida
Skip to main content

The Grammar Hotline

Since its inception in 1984, the UWF Grammar Hotline has responded to over six thousand callers' inquiries about grammar, syntax, diction, mechanics, spelling, pronunciation, and usage. The Hotline is managed by trained and experienced hotline operators under the auspices of Writing Lab Director Mamie Webb Hixon and UWF's Faculty of English. Our callers include students, educators, persons working in news media and advertising, attorneys, writers and editors, clergy, activists and organizers, and business people from around the world.  

Hotline callers are allowed up to three questions per day for which they are given carefully researched responses based on preferred usage and/or conventional wisdom. Callers may not read or fax entire documents to the Hotline operators for editing. Callers are asked to provide their names and phone numbers for Hotline utilization records.

What kinds of questions do callers ask?

Contact the Grammar Hotline at (850) 474-2129 if you have questions like these:

  1. My principal concern is your business principles. Should principal be changed to principle?
  2. The clerical duties will be divided between the receptionist and (I, me, myself). Which of the three pronouns is correct?
  3. What’s the difference between brackets and parentheses, hyphens and dashes?
  4. Is it acceptable to separate numbers like telephone numbers and zip codes at the end of a line?
  5. Is the salutation of a business letter always followed by a colon?
  6. Is “To Whom It May Concern” still correct?
  7. Should a person’s name appear in the heading of a letter?
  8. Is it better to use downsized, terminated, or fired?
  9. Is credentialize a word?
  10. Are periods placed inside or outside closing quotation marks?
  11. Is it sexist to use a masculine pronoun to refer to a word with dual gender, such as the word employee?
  12. Is it a historical or an historical occasion?
  13. Should job titles be capitalized?
  14. Is irregardless a word?
  15. What’s the difference between insure and ensure?
  16. How do I cite a government document in APA?
  17. How do I create a hanging indent in Microsoft Word?

How can I help create great futures through the Writing Lab?

Each year, the Writing Lab relies on private support to provide necessary services to UWF students and the community. For example, our ability to offer an online and telephone Grammar Hotline is directly dependent on the generosity of alumni and friends. Through this Hotline, more than 6,000 callers have received carefully researched responses to their inquiries about a variety of grammatical and language issues. This service, along with others offered through the Writing Lab, helps provide students with the skills they need to be successful in life.
The UWF Writing Lab is helping to create great futures for UWF students.  Want to help? You can click here to make your gift online, or you make give over the phone (800-226-1893) or through the mail (UWF Foundation, 11000 University Parkway, Pensacola, FL 32514).  Please make all checks payable to UWF Foundation – Writing Lab.  If you have more questions about how your gift can impact the Writing Lab, please contact us at (850) 474-2987.