A nasty little writing quiz about apostrophes

By popular demand, another sneaky, nasty grammar quiz. The last one got hundreds of comments and likes and I’m told customers and staff in a certain UK fashion house nearly came to blows arguing over it.apostrophe quizThis time we’re looking for apostrophes … nasty little b*ggers they are, too…

In which of following sentences is there one or more (or no) apostrophe used wrongly?

No cheating now! Answers are below… [Read more…]

How to write with a tomato

Do you do Pomodoro? Yes, it’s Italian for tomato, but also it’s biz-speak for a productivity-increasing method. We writers like to think we can use methods like this to crank out the words faster. (Or do we?)

Pomodoro for writers

It’s named after a timer that looks like a tomato. Not exactly romantic, but it has caught on.

So we asked business admin expert Jean Weir to give us the skinny on how this technique works. And then we asked some other writers what they think about writing with tomato …

Over to Jean… Sz 

What is the Pomodoro technique from a writer’s point of view?

[Read more…]

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…]

How to make a great audio book without taking out a mortgage

Until recently the cost of recording an audiobook from your print/eBook tended to be prohibitive.

Recording audiobooks

State-of-the-art Old School Studios, Milton Keynes. Photo credit T Beezley.

Times have changed now, though. And being a tricky old goat I have found out some ways of making high-quality audiobooks that bring the whole project in at an affordable price.

How audiobooks are storming through to best-seller status

I have it on very good authority (yes, no sh*t) that … after Amazon has entered the audiobook market with its cohort Audible, it has found that audiobooks are on the way up, up, up. Audible’s competitors offering a similar service are building quickly.

Why, isn’t rocket science. [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…]

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