Browsing All Posts filed under »Colour Section«

Lacka-lacka-lack: Lack of vs. lack in

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.'

Time of the day

November 17, 2016

Comments Off on Time of the day

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

Didn’t do, or didn’t didn’t do?

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."

Just don’t do it

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’.…

To bullshit or not to bullshit, learn it properly

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.

Origin of the name ‘grammar nazi’

May 10, 2015

1

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

A classical structure for composition

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.

How on earth do I write this?

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.

Why the stars in ‘bad’ words?

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?

The skinhead of spelling, the slag of speech

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.

More than skin-deep

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.

The height of control

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?

Our plan for 2014 … and a small, longish reminder

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.

Missing the point … again

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.

The intellectual equivalent of a burst blood vessel

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.

Pad, but think of your audience too

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.)

Nothing but a quimming linguanophile

July 3, 2013

Comments Off on Nothing but a quimming linguanophile

The newest entry in our Glossary is 'linguist,' we'll have you believe...

Cured ham curated here

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.

‘Ninja’ really is invisible ninja

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."

The Economist: ‘Why so little Chinese in English?’

June 7, 2013

7

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.