Browsing All posts tagged under »usage«

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."

According to your crap or my gold?

April 24, 2012

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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 […]

Bloody ’ell, wotcha bleedin’ attitude

March 19, 2012


AS SOME OF YOU have gathered already, my other blog (The Naked Listener’s Weblog) is on furlough until further notice. (If perchance you are unfamiliar with the word furlough, you should head straight to this article instead. Then go furlough yourself afterwards.) My upstairs neighbour Johnny remarked that the arseholes people who have upset me […]

Complete vs. finished

June 2, 2011


No English dictionary has been able to explain the difference between the words complete and finished. Some people say there is no difference. It’s the same situation with the words ‘complex’ and ‘complicated.’ Textbooks usually give dried-out examples, such as: A complete set of Mark Twain’s writings. (Full, entire, nothing lacking) A complete orbit. (Finished, […]

When you hate something, say it

May 31, 2011

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LOATH or LOATHE? MANY PEOPLE ARE IN CONFUSION with these two words — even well-educated native English speakers are fallen. Usually the problem is the use of one where the other is more appropriate. loath (adj) ‘Loath’ is a rather formal adjective meaning ‘unwilling’ or ‘reluctant’ to do something. It is usually followed by ‘to’ (as […]

‘Add oil’ is lingo spillage

September 4, 2010


Why the Chinglish "add oil" used for encouragement is pointless linguistic oil spillage.