Search Results for: syntax

Grammar goofs: classic syntax attacks by the UK Daily Fail

A quick glance at the UK’s Daily Fail – especially on weekends when they leave the cleaners to write the stories – shows you just how ridiculous you look when you get the noun-verb relationships and other syntax wrong.

HTWB Kenny

“The Keeping Up With The Kardashians star also shared another video clip while walking with her boyfriend Tyga, 27, in the gold one-piece bathing suit.” Tyga, your choice of swimwear is beginning to worry me.

Do you ever do this? Of course not…but just in case you might miss the odd goof, the following will ensure that you never make a tw*t of yourself as these Daily Fail writers do…

The latest grammar goofs from one of the UK’s most “popular” newspapers

Bling: Kim posted this image of the £3.5m ring that was stolen on Instagram before the robbery. I thought the ring was stolen during the robbery? [Read more…]

Do you get the syntax attacks? Here’s the cure…

Do you ever get your nouns and verbs and knickers in a knot? It’s surprising how many people do, as you’ll see from this selection of absolute howlers taken from picture captions in one of the UK’s most popular daily newspapers.

But while we have a good laugh at some of these dipsh*t goofs, at the same time we can also learn a few things from them to help us with our own writing.

Syntax writing mistakes on How To Write Better .net

Syntax: what is it and why does it matter in your writing?

Basically (purists: I will apologise only once, OK?) syntax just means the way sentences are formed … and getting your syntax right means your sentences are understandable, and mean exactly what you intend.

This sounds simple enough.

However syntax is very, very easy to get wrong, as this classic caption demonstrates… [Read more…]

How to write a feedback form that gets useful results

Have you ever looked at the feedback form you get at the end of a presentation or conference, and wonder what the hell those questions mean? Being a little tired and keen to get home, can you easily figure out what the subjective, often leading questions are trying to worm out of you?

feedback formsAnd do you, as so many people do, fill in the bare minimum of answers or even not bother at all? Relax: it’s the form writers’ fault, not yours.

Here are some examples of terrible feedback form questions, how to do them properly, and why. Stick with me: it gets better…

Why are so many feedback forms utter garbage?

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Why you need to know the difference between writing errors & writing mistakes

Most old-fashioned editors (hereafter known as OFEs**) and all my happy clients know that when it comes to “sticking to the rules” of writing I am an anarchist.

mistakes in writing

The fact that information crosses approximately 3,400 miles of Atlantic Ocean in less time than it takes you to sneeze does rather make a mockery of trying to preserve the good olde days of British English. British, American, Australian? They’re all OK.

Please note, however, that I’m not particularly anarchic in any other ways. I never burned my bra for Women’s Lib (although I was too young to need one then) and I didn’t even go to the anti-Trump protests in London in 2018 but only because there was no-one available to let my dogs out for wee-wees.

Grammar, spelling, punctuation: do you control them or do they control you?

This question has been bothering me for a long time over issues like the Oxford comma and whether you use a capital letter after a colon or not. Short answer? Issues like that do not matter worth a pinch of coonsh*t, as my dear old Canadian dad used to say. [Read more…]

Punctuation: praise it or punch it on the nose?

Are you a slave to proper punctuation? Or is punctuation a slave to you?

Being a pro writer and author and all that, I have given dozens (literally) of traditional editors self-induced alopaecia after reading my book manuscripts. Why? Because I don’t stick to punctuation rules.

Article on punctuation

Punctuation rules: should they be relaxed? Now there’s a puzzle

Being a North American, too, I use punctuation that spans the Atlantic giving the grammar police on both shores the desire to stab me with a red pencil.

And you know what? I don’t care.

Don’t forget that I am a former copywriter, and copywriters are notorious for flipping the bird at conventional grammar, punctuation and even syntax sometimes in order to create an effect.

Ridiculously bad punctuation: not what we’re talking about

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Where next for How To Write Better: on page 1 of Google today!

Really thrilled to see that How To Write Better is back on Page 1 of Google, from a grand total of 2,270,000,000 results (approximately!)

How To Write Better on Google page 1

Sorry for the poor picture quality – best I could do with an IPhone…

Admittedly we’re only at the bottom, but it’s an achievement all the same. Thank you, readers, for supporting the site and helping it to grow

What would you like to see more of on How To Write Better?

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