Tag Archive | reviews

Can’t take it any more, logging off

For the past year and a half I have published 40 articles about how the English language is being used, or rather abused. I have scored nearly 8,500 unique hits, for which I am grateful, but there is no sign of the language improving. What did I expect? Advertisements

British civil servants told to write proper English

The British Department for Transport has produced a guide that lists grammatical no-no’s for officials, according to newspaper reports. The instructions detail linguistic errors in official documents that annoy Justine Greening, the recently appointed Transport Secretary. I do welcome this initiative!

My pet hates 6 – having a problem with an issue

There was a time when a problem was a problem in the world of business. This is no longer necessarily the case. Today many managers and helpdesks will identify a problem as an issue. Why?

My pet hates 3 – saying the same thing twice

Tautology – This term suggests a redundancy, a needless repetition of the same sense in different words. Tautology is all over the place in the English-speaking world. I just want to mention what I believe to be the most common variation on this theme today and it is about adding “pre-“ to a verb.

My pet hates 2 – a source of frustration

Source – In my long career as a journalist a source to me was always a well-connected contact who gave me information for a news story I was writing. It was a noun. In the past several years, at least in Britain, it seems to have become a verb where almost everyone sources everything from […]

Head teacher in need of lessons?

A head teacher in Britain has been forced to apologise after a school report was sent to a parent containing 14 spelling and grammatical errors, the Daily Telegraph writes. But, strictly speaking, the report contained another four mistakes. Can you identify them?

My pet hates 1

I am your grumpy old editor who surfs the Internet in search of awkward websites. I also want to share with you some of my pet hates and give advice in general about online writing, including email. This is my first blog entry.