Browsing All Posts filed under »Colour Section«

Same words but opposites

August 1, 2017


Some expressions are the same but in different ways.

What is a normative question?

July 25, 2017


A normative question in many cases is scarcely a normal question.

Due to vs. owing to

July 18, 2017

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A quick guide to these two phrases because of many people using them back to front.

Hanged on a comma

July 11, 2017

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Ultimately, it's what the government decides what technicality we get hanged for, regardless of our commas.

To do well in English, don’t bother with Latin

June 27, 2017

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Don't kid yourself. Latin isn't English. Not by a long stretch.

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.

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.

Lacka-lacka-lack: Lack of vs. lack in

November 22, 2016

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

Time of the day

November 17, 2016

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

Didn’t do, or didn’t didn’t do?

August 6, 2015

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

Origin of the name ‘grammar nazi’

May 10, 2015


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

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?

The height of control

May 23, 2014

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

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.

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.

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.)

Nothing but a quimming linguanophile

July 3, 2013

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

Cured ham curated here

June 23, 2013

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We aren't alone in noticing the job-title inflation about the word 'curator' today.

‘Ninja’ really is invisible ninja

June 12, 2013

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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


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.