- Street of Shame
- Archives A-Z
- Weird regional usages of English
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.
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.
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.
July 12, 2013
Comments Off on Street of Shame: First candidates
STREET OF SHAME CANDIDATES REGULAR readers will have noticed that we have a static page called Street of Shame. We think we now have debut candidates for entry. Once upon a time (yesterday) it all started with one innocent Facebook status update:— “How fast can you uncork a bottle with a handscrew?” No sooner had […]
November 22, 2012
A VERY IRATE READER wrote in (off-site, by the way) about our manifestly well-researched article “Scholarism? Is it edible?” (LEOS, 1 Sept 2012), specifically homing in on the description of the student protest group called Scholarism (學民思潮). That very irate reader (who we shan’t name in order to avoid general embarrassment) wanted to know just […]
November 12, 2012
HAVE BAD HABITS, say sayonara to learning a language. Full story by yours truly at Yago:— Ten horrible language study habits you must ditch | Yago.sg | 28 Oct 2012 © Learn English or Starve, 2012, licensed to Yago.sg. Image via healthtap.com.
October 26, 2012
Comments Off on Deep end: The difficulty of learning languages
The biggest problem facing anyone learning a language boils down to just one line.
April 30, 2012
Comments Off on How different? Just do it! (4/4)
FROM PART 3 PREVIOUSLY in the first three parts, we’ve seen that dictionaries and usage experts support different from as standard usage. Statistics also showed that different from is used by the majority of American and British English speakers. Today, let’s get down to brass tacks with protips. * * * WHAT YOU SHOULD DO […]
April 24, 2012
Comments Off on According to your crap or my gold?
Updated 15 Oct 2012 Stylebook of Invoiceable English according to WHENEVER you use the expression according to (especially in paid work), it needs to be followed by some kind of counter. Otherwise according to on its own will make you sound sarcastic and possibly also defamatory. Leaving according to dangling without a counter is plain (and plaintively) bad English […]
June 11, 2011
Yesterday, we were given a block of text and we had to do three things on first reading: The probable ‘nationality’ of the writer. Whether the writer is a native or non-native English speaker. Which words or phrases are being used incorrectly. Improve the text. * * * Here is the original text again: My […]
June 10, 2011
Here’s a small reading comprehension/identification/editorial exercise. [Original text follows] My ex boss asked me for password of my MSN (aka. Windows Live Messenger) today, (it’s also used as my primary email box contacting with my customers during the past years), before paying me salary of the last months, and, after my resignation for almost an […]
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 […]
September 16, 2010
Comments Off on Usage: Contractions
Contractions can make your English more natural and authentic-sounding, yet they are one of the hardest things in the English language to do well.
August 28, 2010
Comments Off on How to learn a language
Two posts from those who know what they are talking about when learning a language. And don’t forget to read the comments in the posts. Learning a language for busy people – http://blog.yago.sg/2010/08/23/learning-a-language-for-busy-people/ Language learning: how to use your new skill – http://blog.yago.sg/2010/08/27/language-learning-applicatio/