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…]

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…]

Grammar humor – what a difference a dot makes

If you think punctuation is for the precious grammar police, have a read of these. Yes, most of them are funny.

Grammar humor - what a difference a dot makes
But trust me … incorrect punctuation really can get you into some serious doo-doo. Be warned, read on, and enjoy!

If you don’t think punctuation is important …

…try forgetting the comma when you write to someone “I’m sorry, I love you.”

Other classic whoopsies

[Read more…]

Grammar banana skins: when your est should be your etter, etcetera…

Being a boring Grammar Fascist, whenever I hear or read something like ” I have two kids and the oldest is 7,” I start to grind my teeth.

Grammar: when your est should be your etter, etcetera...

Do you slip on comparative adjective banana skins? Or on “between/among?”

Why? Because if you only have two kids** one is “the older” and the other is “the younger.” (Unless they’re twins, although one twin is likely to be at least a couple of minutes older than the other. However let’s leave the topic of obstetrics for another day.)

It’s all about those pesky comparative adjectives

[Read more…]

Writing online: naked words work hardest

People say a picture’s worth 1,000 words. But a few right, naked words are worth much more than 1,000 wrong ones whether pictorial or otherwise. Especially online in blog posts, web text, and above all in social media posts and comments.

Writing online: naked words work hardestWhy?
Because even though we have images, video, audio, infographics or other gizmos online, what really reverberates is words. Text.

Despite the popularity of live video on platforms like Facebook, Instagram et al, can you be sure that viewers will retain your message loud and clear? Even if they’re a little bit distracted by your beautiful earrings, the potted plant growing out of your left ear, or the zit on your chin? [Read more…]

Does your writing get invaded by the CAPITALIZERS?

Updated February 27th, 2020.
Do You Capitalise Every Word In Your Titles And Headlines?
Or do you Capitalise Only the Nouns and big Words in Titles and Headlines?

Why capital letters should not be over used

Or do you, perhaps, capitalise Common Nouns as well as Proper Nouns?

OR DO YOU WRITE LONG PASSAGES ALL IN CAPITAL LETTERS THINKING THAT READERS WILL ASSUME THEY’RE IMPORTANT AND SO PAY ATTENTION?

It’s the invasion of the CAPITALIZERS!

[Read more…]

css.php