- Street of Shame
- Archives A-Z
- Weird regional usages of English
November 22, 2016
Comments Off on Lacka-lacka-lack: Lack of vs. lack in
We lay down the score on the difference between 'lack of' and 'lack in.'
November 17, 2016
Comments Off on Time of the day
Stop being ambiguous and call your time of the day a spade.
August 6, 2015
Comments Off on Didn’t do, or didn’t didn’t do?
By the laws of the planets and logic, "didn't do nothing" means "did something." Only if you're language course is called "maths."
July 7, 2015
Comments Off on Just don’t do it
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’.…
May 12, 2015
Comments Off on To bullshit or not to bullshit, learn it properly
Remember, the effectiveness of any bullshittery is that it should be readily understandable. If not, then the bullshit is failing its mission.
May 10, 2015
Everything you almost wanted to know about the name 'grammar nazi,' when my grammar is gooder than yours.
March 6, 2015
Comments Off on A classical structure for composition
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.
January 10, 2015
Comments Off on How on earth do I write this?
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.
October 21, 2014
Comments Off on Why the stars in ‘bad’ words?
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?
July 18, 2014
Comments Off on The skinhead of spelling, the slag of speech
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.
June 29, 2014
Comments Off on More than skin-deep
What British words and phrases are not understood or even misunderstood by Americans, and vice versa? Get a flavour of the Anglo-American confusion.
May 23, 2014
Comments Off on The height of control
Are there any grammatically sound sentences in English where every word starts with the same letter?
January 18, 2014
Comments Off on Our plan for 2014 … and a small, longish reminder
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.
December 14, 2013
Comments Off on Missing the point … again
Learn to be easily blindsided by recourse to hidebound rules. Some lack of rules are meant for profit-taking, my friends.
November 17, 2013
Comments Off on The intellectual equivalent of a burst blood vessel
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.
August 28, 2013
Comments Off on Pad, but think of your audience too
Padding is necessary sometimes, but bear in mind WHY your readers are reading your stuff. (Some adult language in post.)
July 3, 2013
Comments Off on Nothing but a quimming linguanophile
The newest entry in our Glossary is 'linguist,' we'll have you believe...
June 23, 2013
Comments Off on Cured ham curated here
We aren't alone in noticing the job-title inflation about the word 'curator' today.
June 12, 2013
Comments Off on ‘Ninja’ really is invisible ninja
Probably the world’s only online explanation on the correct Chinese translation for the Japanese word "ninja."
June 7, 2013
The Economist asks why English has so little Chinese in it. I ask why Chinese has near-zero English. I think my question is more heavyweight than The Economist's.