21 reasons why English is a b*tch of a language to learn

The English language never fails to astound us with how utterly ridiculous it is … in many places. Here are a mere 21 examples of homonyms / homophones / homographs that confuse us on a daily basis and make life hell for most students from other cultures who try to learn it …

English homonyms and homophones on HTWB

Would you desert your dessert in the desert?

1.The bandage was wound around the wound.

2.The farm was used to produce produce. [Read more…]

How not to write signs in English…

With English being the utterly lunatic language it is, it’s not surprising that our non-native speaking friends in other countries find it hard to get signs right for their English speaking tourists. Here are 44 of the most intriguing examples…

how not to write signs on HTWB

Cocktail lounge, Norway:
LADIES ARE REQUESTED NOT TO HAVE CHILDREN IN THE BAR.

At a Budapest zoo:
PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS. IF YOU HAVE ANY SUITABLE FOOD, GIVE IT TO THE GUARD ON DUTY. [Read more…]

How to write fluent Snobbish

English language,snobbish,snob,aristocracy,upper class,royalty,class system,humor,funny jokes

Are you fluent in Snobbish? Here’s some help…

Only a few years ago, if you wanted to be “posh” in England, you needed more than just a cut-glass accent: you needed (and still do need) to know Snobbish … the secret language that tells people you really are from the “top drawer.” [Read more…]

How to be insulting in English without using 4-letter words

Gone are the days when you could make someone shrivel up and crawl down a drain with an educated, upmarket insult. And I think that’s very sad. Surely it’s more fun – and more effective – to use clever insults rather than all those clumpy words representing body parts and bodily functions, sexual inadequacy, and other boring clichés?

My cousin Alyson in Canada sent these to me recently to remind us just how cutting a good, clean insult can be. Enjoy… and how about coming up with some new ones? Send yours in as comments – and I’ll try to think some up, too…

The exchange between Winston Churchill & Lady Astor:

She said, “If you were my husband I’d give you poison.”  He said, “If you were my wife, I’d drink it.” [Read more…]

English Language Business Expressions: Jan 3rd 2017

Am delighted to say this popular series is back – another 10 common English business expressions explained not only for those of you who speak English as a second language, but for anyone who wants to know – whether a native English speaker or not.

English language business expressions on How To Write Better

English language expressions you’ll hear in business and elsewhere, Jan 3rd 2017

Here are the next 10 such expressions that I find most interesting, and I hope you do too…

Bald men fighting over a comb: this expression has had various interpretations but essentially it means some kind of conflict or argument about something that really doesn’t matter very much. If you think about it, bald men fighting over a comb (when they haven’t even got any hair to use a comb on) is a silly and pointless exercise… [Read more…]

How to write better blogs for the realities of today

In the current social media environment we read a lot about how to write better for blogging, almost as if it has become an entire written creative entity in its own right.

How to write better blogs for the realities of today

That is understandable in some ways …after all, journalism, copywriting, scriptwriting, speech writing and most other forms of written business communications became part of the social/business media types over the last few decades.

For a list of the top 10 most helpful articles on blogging for business as chosen by our readers, click here

However blogging, for a while at least, became a cute little wordy-form in its own right, championed in some cases by bloggers who didn’t know how to express themselves accurately in writing but said it didn’t matter, as long as readers more or less understood what they meant.

Is that still the case?

[Read more…]

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