Friday, 27 December 2013

Grammatical rules for writers

With time to kill during the holidays, you might like to brush up on your writing skills.


Verbs has to agree with their subjects.

Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.

It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.

Avoid cliches like the plague. They're old hat.

Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.

Be more or less specific.

Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.

No sentence fragments.

Contractions aren't necessary and shouldn't be used.

Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.

Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.

One should never generalise.

Comparisons are as bad as cliches.

Don't use no double negatives.

Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

One-word sentences? Eliminate.

Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

The passive voice is to be ignored.

Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical words however should be enclosed in commas.

Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.

Kill all exclamation marks!!!

Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.

Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forward earth-shattering ideas.

Use the apostrophe in it's proper place and omit it when its not needed.

Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, 'I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.'

If you've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times: Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly.

Puns are for children, not groan readers.

Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

Who needs rhetorical questions?

Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

Writeres should always chekc thier speling.

Apostrophes' in the wrong place's annoy your reader's.

Keep your writings concise and to-the-point. I mean, you shouldn't ramble. It's really annoying. Really, nobody likes someone who goes on and on, paragraph after paragraph, and never seems to get to the point.

Monday, 23 December 2013

The 12 Typos of Christmas

For the final post before Christmas Day I've gone completely festive with a YouTube collection of typos from xthankmyluckystarx.

As she admits, she can't sing but hats off to her anyway for putting them all together.


Back on Friday with more holiday fun.

Meanwhile, have a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, 20 December 2013

Tell it like it is

It's been a while but we're back in Peterborough today with another peach.

And another photo featuring Jon C's reflection.


When it comes to publicity for the Peterborough Women's Centre, perhaps the Women's Language Group should try being more assertive.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Take my hand

Thanks to Greg L who points out that, even after his death, Nelson Mandela still has a knack of bringing people together.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Marry in haste

If you've not seen Bad Ink, it's all about overwriting seriously bad tattoos with better ones.

As it's that time of year, I thought I'd get into the spirit with one that caught my eye.


Perhaps he just wanted Nina to make him happy this Christmas.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Oxford blues

OK. Where's the one place you'd least expect to find a typo?

An academic institution perhaps? A university probably.

And, out of all the universities in the world, which is one of the most prestigious?

The University of Oxford?

OK.

But then, which department within the University of Oxford would be particularly careful about checking its use of English?

Even more so than the Faculty of English.

Ah yes. The Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics which, as it proclaims on its website, specialises in the study of the structure and history of languages, the evolution of language, and speech.

Well, I hear you say, if that Faculty has produced a typo, it's hardly surprising given that many of the concepts it researches on a daily basis are very complex.

So, the word which yields the typo must be some sort of complicated, highfaluting technical jargon, yes?

Er, no.

It's the word students.


Yes, students. The word which gives rise to the Faculty's existence. The word which portrays its very lifeblood.

And it's not as if the website has been lying unread for an age.

It was updated on 9 December. That's last Monday.

So, Oxford, never mind syntax, Proto-Indo-European and glottal stops.

Try a course in writing, reading and checking.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Lifted

At first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking that this is just an ordinary lift.


Actually, because it's to be found in the library at Stanford University, we'd better refer to it as an elevator.

But it's not quite what it seems.

According to Jon C, it's the radical new design for Dr Who's TARDIS.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Trust deed

Here in Leeds we consider ourselves very fortunate to have several fantastic hospitals at our disposal in the heart of our city. One of them, St James's, better known to most of us as Jimmy's, is the largest teaching hospital in Europe.

With a name like that, the hospital is very careful with the correct placement of its apostrophe. And I'm particularly pleased that it has never resorted to calling itself St James', although many people do so.

But someone must have taken their apostrophic eye off the ball on this occasion.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Thighs matters

Spotted and photographed the other day at the Spar store in Ringsend, Dublin by Brian Daly and reported in The Daily Edge.


OK, I'll take a pair of silky soft ones with a slight sheen please.

I wonder if they're Pretty Polly's?

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Your inconsistency

One of those unsolicited emails that comes along every so often whose sole purpose, or so it seems, is simply to annoy you.


First of all, your inconsistency with your your and your you're is too much to bear.

Let me explain?

You don't actually explain anything. All you do is repeat the headline.

Two products that allows...? Comma instead of a full stop? Its so simple?

Everyone. Really? Everyone?

No, no, no, ProductTesting.UK

Your (or, as you would say, you're) client, Santander: Driven to do better?

Driven to distraction, more like.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Happy Hamukkah

A seasonal contribution today from Janis Ian's Facebook Page via Dennis A.


No one seems to be offering any information about where it was spotted so I'm hoping it's a spoof.

If not, then you're idiots, whoever you are.

And you have so little respect you can't even be bothered to check the correct spelling of Chanukkah.

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