Three million reads about writing: check out the most popular here

Just checking out my stats and found that HTWB has now had more than three million page views.

I’m “gob-smacked,” as we say in the UK: surprised, thrilled, delighted and humbled all at the same time. What a wonderful testimony to those of us willing to share our expertise for no financial gain.

3 million page vieww for HTWB

Celebrate with us: more than 3 million page views of HTWB

And what a wonderful testimony to the many writing and allied contributors who have made this humble site what it is. You all know how you are: too many to name individually but covering all aspects of writing that I can’t, from writing fiction to business plans to terms and conditions to bids and tenders to music to poetry and much, much, more.

No ads, no covert links in articles, no need to sign up, so no spam

(But you can buy some books from the Bookshop or right side bar if you like!)

Here are some of the most popular articles and tutorials you can choose from: [Read more…]

Apostrophes: a potty-mouthed poem about their misuse

This is pretty horrible, but should wake up apostrophe abusers a lot more than the weedy articles we see politely explaining how to use the poor little things.

how to suse apostrophes

Do not fool with this small tool…

Apostrophe fascists around the (English speaking) world take note: share the following poem if you dare. Your readers may find it offensive but with luck it will get the message over.

A Poem For Apostrophe Dickheads

[Read more…]

Why writing capital Letters for the Wrong words makes them (and you) look Stupid

Are you one of the increasing number of people who think that all you need to make a word more important is to give it a capital letter?

Misuse-of-capital-letters

Very nice – but don’t overuse!

As my business partner (an ex-Oxford University publisher/editor/author) would say, “why capitalise your status as a Bricklayer? Does that really make it seem more important than bricklayer?”

Capital letters: after apostrophes, the most commonly abused characters in writing

[Read more…]

BUT is a hurtful word: what writing lesson can we learn from dressage?

Have you ever noticed how the word “but” can rip the positivity out of the words preceding it in whatever you’re writing …at the expense of your poor readers who may suffer from its nasty negativity?

why the word BUT can be unnecessarily negative

Dressage: Easy? Sure. Like threading a needle blindfolded is easy.

Being a weirdo, when I’m not writing in here or for my own books or my clients’ books and blogs, guess what I do in my spare time? I write. And none of this namby-pamby keyboard or touch screen stuff. This is hard core handwriting on paper with a pen, cramped up in a car or sometimes in a drafty little wooden shack with a leaking roof in pouring rain and no heating. In mid-winter. Sheer masochism? [Read more…]

More English language lunacy: pronunciation poem from 1922

Many thanks to my son Tom who found yet another incredible testament to the sheer lunacy of the English language, in a poem written back in 1922 by Gerard Nolst Trenité (1870-1946), a Dutch observer of English.

Poem about English language

Say inveigh, neigh, but inveigle, make the latter rhyme with eagle.

Trust a sensible, no-nonsense Dutchman to show us how ridiculous English can be…and I’m so glad to realise that it isn’t just me, but several other writers over the years, who have felt the same way.

Let me start the ball rolling here in 2018, with three areas of my home city, Milton Keynes, England:

Broughton (pronounced Brawton)
Woughton (pronounced Woofton)
Loughton (pronounced La-owton)

Enjoy…

Gerard Nolst Trenité – The Chaos (1922)

Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
   I will teach you in my verse
   Sounds like corpsecorpshorse and worse. [Read more…]

Why English is a lunatic language – listen, learn and laugh

Have you ever tried to explain to a non-native English speaker how pronunciations in English are, er, a little difficult to understand?

English language humour

I’m just going to stop here and let you laugh as hard as I did when I first listened to this…

Here follows the most delightful and funny exposé of English language lunacy that I’ve heard in a long time.

English language lunacy only needs a short introduction

[Read more…]

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