Tricky, tricky spelling quiz: can you crack it?

I can’t afford to offer a trip for two to Las Vegas as a prize, but this quiz could keep you busy during quiet moments in the next few days. Answers at the bottom. (No cheating – look later!)

spelling mistakes

What do you feel are the most common wrongly spelled words in English?

And what really is infuriating is the way that simple spelling mistakes tend to creep in only because our own ‘word blindness’ – especially when we are writing extensively for business or other occupations – is largely to blame for our errors.

(That, and the fact that the English language has fewer rules to help us than a dog has when choosing which tree to pee on.)

Never mind: let’s have a laugh with the following:

Find the spelling mistake (or two, or none!) in the following:

[Read more…]

Grammar: do you write ESTs when they should be ERs?

It’s not exactly the end of the world, but did you know if you only have two children you don’t have an ‘oldest’ or ‘eldest?’

writing tips
(Or a ‘youngest,’ for that matter.) Everyone today seems to forget that the suffix ‘est’ should only be used when writing/talking about more than two items, people, etc. If it’s just two, the suffix is ‘er.’ And by the way…

‘Elder-eldest’ or ‘older-oldest?’
According to Merriam Webster, ‘elder’ and ‘eldest’ are only
used to refer to persons, whereas ‘older’ and ‘oldest’ are
used to refer to both persons and things.
More on the
detail of that here if you’re interested! [Read more…]

Gender pronouns: let’s start writing solutions

Once again the issue of non-binary pronouns has been highlighted with the recent declaration of pop star Sam Smith asking followers to drop the he/him and write/speak about ‘them’ and its derivatives.

An understandable and increasingly important issue we, in the writing world, need to contend with. But…

New pronouns

It’s evident that we need new thinking about gender and how we write about it. Here are a couple of ideas to get us started. Please join in and share your views!

Is the new shift already working?

[Read more…]

Want some help to write your next book? Here’s a useful update

Do you have a great idea for a book, but don’t know how to go about writing and producing it?
Does writing a book seem a lovely idea, but as such a large project is a bit scary – especially if it’s your first one?

Get your book written and published - without the scams

That wonderful feeling when your new book is actually published and out there…me with my latest. (And over-bleached hair – apologies.) Photo by Kate Everall https://www.kateeverallphotography.com/

The help you need to write your book and get it out there

[Read more…]

Does it matter who publishes your business or self-help book?

Let’s stop kidding ourselves: self-published books under a cool-sounding publishing company’s name probably do not fool anyone these days.

self-published books

Does the interior of the book look attractive and inviting to read?

Today what matters is that readers get full value for money with a book that looks, and is, professionally produced and published – not necessarily by whom.

Self-published books have come a long way since vanity publishing days

The last thing you want your book to be associated with is anything remotely connected with the vanity publishing ethos of print 5,000 copies of it as it came in unedited, send the books in boxes to the customer, bill them for a lot of money and disappear.’

But what about ‘confessing’ that your book is independently published, as Amazon now refers to it? [Read more…]

Written smiles to cheer and end our week

Want some smiles from the ‘media’ that aren’t about Brexit or Donald Trump?

sales pitches that are wrong

OK, maybe there isn’t much to laugh about in UK and USA politics right now, but let us at least try to get a smile out of something…

Given the sheer hysteria we’re experiencing in UK politics right now, plus the increasing capriciousness we ingest from politicians in the USA and elsewhere, let’s end this week with a few smiles, rather than sobs.

It has been a while since I curated the funniest of the UK’s Daily Fail’s goofs, but here are a few of my favourites that have emerged over the last couple of weeks or so. Enjoy. [Read more…]

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