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…]

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

[Read more…]

How to write some bantastic new words for 2019

If you’re fed up with the English language and how its sheer lunacy can drive us all doo-lally, here’s a nifty thought or three.

Who says we can’t write our own new words in English?

Writing bew words for 2019English has been around since the fourth century BC. Well, some of its forms have been, anyway

According to Wikipedia The earliest form of English is called Old English or Anglo-Saxon (c. 550–1066 CE). Old English developed from a set of North Sea Germanic dialects originally spoken along the coasts of Frisia, Lower Saxony, Jutland, and Southern Sweden by Germanic tribes known as the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes.”

So why are we constrained in writing new English words?

Bottom line is, we aren’t. Why should we genuflect to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), relying on them to approve new words? Here are a few from its December 2018 list. Surely we can do better than this?  [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…]

How to write in Canadian English…

If you want to annoy a Canadian, try telling them that you picked up on their American accent. That always does the trick to me even though my accent is tempered with a good few decades of British influence.

Writing in Canadian English

Writing Canadian English is not as simple as chopping it between US and UK English half-and-half…

But it’s not just the accent that’s different. (Tip: listen for the “ou” diphthong in a word like “house” … if it sounds like ha-owse  it’s American, but if it sounds like hoose  it’s Canadian. Plus, Canadians don’t whine/drone anything like as much as some Yanks do.)

Believe it or not, written Canadian English has a personality of its own

[Read more…]

css.php