An uncensored look at and into the wankery and antics of pretentious and anal-rententive speakers and writers of English worldwide.
cicero Tue 27 Jun 2017 @ 12.00pm UTC

Is ‘news’ an acronym?

June 20, 2017

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This shouldn't be news to anyone that the word 'news' could ever be an acronym.

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Posted in: Colour Section

The longest known English word

June 13, 2017

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The longest known English word will surprise you because it's uncharacteristically shorter than many thought.

Posted in: Colour Section

Fast-tracking your writing skills

April 8, 2017

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Take a leaf from the pros on how to fast-track your writing skills so that both you and your readers know what the blazes you're supposed to be writing about.

Lacka-lacka-lack: Lack of vs. lack in

November 22, 2016

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lack-carol-rempto-pinterest

We lay down the score on the difference between 'lack of' and 'lack in.'

Posted in: Colour Section

Time of the day

November 17, 2016

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Stop being ambiguous and call your time of the day a spade.

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Posted in: Colour Section

Didn’t do, or didn’t didn’t do?

August 6, 2015

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todo list nothing

By the laws of the planets and logic, "didn't do nothing" means "did something." Only if you're language course is called "maths."

Posted in: Colour Section

Just don’t do it

July 7, 2015

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Originally posted on language: a feminist guide:
This week everyone’s been talking about an article in the Economist explaining how men’s use of language undermines their authority. According to the author, a senior manager at Microsoft, men have a bad habit of punctuating everything they say with sentence adverbs like ‘actually’, ‘obviously’, ‘seriously’ and ‘frankly’.…

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To bullshit or not to bullshit, learn it properly

May 12, 2015

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Aristotle

Remember, the effectiveness of any bullshittery is that it should be readily understandable. If not, then the bullshit is failing its mission.

Origin of the name ‘grammar nazi’

May 10, 2015

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grammar nazi image 61a

Everything you almost wanted to know about the name 'grammar nazi,' when my grammar is gooder than yours.

Posted in: Colour Section

A classical structure for composition

March 6, 2015

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If you're writing a formal essay or making a formal public speech, the three-part nonsense called 'Introduction,' 'Body' and 'Conclusion' just won't cut the ice. Take a leaf from the classicists and get a 21-gun salute.

How on earth do I write this?

January 10, 2015

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The essay is practically always the one thing that has even literate people beat. Lots of people don't seem to know how to do any kind of extended writing. Indeed, many don't seem to know how to do even a short job cover letter. S.O.P. for those who need a refresher, free of charge.

Why the stars in ‘bad’ words?

October 21, 2014

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Isn't it a bit hypocritical to use 'stars' to hide some letters in a foul word, when we all know what the word is anyway?

Posted in: Colour Section

The skinhead of spelling, the slag of speech

July 18, 2014

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We have the full version of the famous 'pronunciation poem' that sends chills up the spine of native speakers and dismay to the non-natives.

More than skin-deep

June 29, 2014

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british vs american

What British words and phrases are not understood or even misunderstood by Americans, and vice versa? Get a flavour of the Anglo-American confusion.

Posted in: Guest Features

The height of control

May 23, 2014

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constrained writing in commerce

Are there any grammatically sound sentences in English where every word starts with the same letter?

Posted in: Colour Section

Our plan for 2014 … and a small, longish reminder

January 18, 2014

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It's 2014 but the merrymaking continues. A plan for this year ... and a reminder of what we actually do here, if anyone has paid any attention.

Posted in: Site Updates

Missing the point … again

December 14, 2013

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Learn to be easily blindsided by recourse to hidebound rules. Some lack of rules are meant for profit-taking, my friends.

Posted in: Colour Section

The intellectual equivalent of a burst blood vessel

November 17, 2013

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Intellect has the reputation of being a good thing. Yet a high intellect doesn't seem to be a positive asset for some people, judging from what we could discern from one little Facebook escapade.

Posted in: Colour Section

Pad, but think of your audience too

August 28, 2013

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Padding is necessary sometimes, but bear in mind WHY your readers are reading your stuff. (Some adult language in post.)

Posted in: Colour Section