Browsing All Posts filed under »Reading and Thinking Matter«

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’.…

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.

A fireside musing on ‘adequate’

August 20, 2013


We don't like to ride on the coattails of our betters, but every now and then something seriously good comes along that we just had to spread it around.

Orwell: Morally wrong to write badly

May 21, 2011


George Orwell (1903-50) was a literary titan of the 20th century famous for his passion for clarity in language and keen sense of social injustice. His works continue to influence popular and political culture even to this day. Orwell’s essay “Politics and the English Language” (1946) sets out his basic premise that it is morally […]

Training kids to be disingenuous

October 27, 2010

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This is a cross-post from our sister blog, The Naked Listener’s Weblog. * * * ‘Training kids to be disingenuous’ Marci Segal brings to our attention the negative effects of the intellectual hide-and-seek antics that schoolteachers and academics play on schoolchildren. Read the full post at the weblink: Marci Segal is Canada’s first accredited Creativity […]

The Rube Goldberg machine of language

October 26, 2010


Someone rather famous once said that we have to be pointed out the simple stuff that is easily seen, recognised or understood just to get by, let alone more complex things like The Truth: “… we have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.” […]

Making mistakes is normal

September 18, 2010

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You can't learn properly if you don't make mistakes and, by extension, you can't teach properly if you don't normalise errors when people gets it wrong.

Our bloody English heritage

September 17, 2010


The bloody, war-wracked history of England gives us a little insight into why our English language the way it is: visceral, direct, forceful and eschewing many of the linguistic niceties seen in other languages.