“As fit as a fiddle” ‘Fiddle’ here is the colloquial name for a violin. ‘Fit’ didn’t originally mean healthy, in the sense it is nowadays often used to describe the gym-goers but was used to mean ‘suitable’ or ‘seemly’, similar […]
How NOT to write a novel – from an established author
Many months ago (in 2019) I read an interesting article by Fay Weldon in a Sunday magazine. She is the author of Life and Loves of a She-Devil that was also turned into an excellent TV series some years ago. […]
The cost of not proofreading can be great
In a previous blog on my website I stated that it can be costly not to proofread you publication. Well, here a few examples of other people’s losses and misfortunes due to failing to proofread. Case A I’ll tell you […]
Confused words: N to Q
During proofreading I frequently come across the same words that have been confused time and again. I have already discussed words beginning A to M, now I will continue with words beginning with the letters N to Q. naught / […]
Is the double negative a definite no-no?
The Oxford Dictionary of English says a double negative “is a negative statement containing two negative elements (for example he didn’t say nothing)” and “a positive statement in which two negative elements are used to produce the positive force, usually […]
Doublespeak is language that disguises or distorts the meaning of words deliberately and can often involve a degree of ambiguity. Doublespeak may use euphemisms (that is, indirect expressions used in place of words judged too harsh or blunt when referring […]
House style – Part 2
In part 1 I considered why a house style is necessary for a business – for reasons of consistency, brand identity, and economy. Here I will cover a few areas that should be considered based on UK English usage Writing […]
Developing a house style
Why you need a “house” style By “house” style I mean a writing or editorial style that a company or organization will aim to apply to all the documents and communications it produces. The same can perhaps apply to an […]
The decline of the apostrophe
John Richards, a former journalist, started the Apostrophe Protection Society in 2001 after his retirement, with the aim of preserving the correct use of this much-abused punctuation mark in written English. However, he announced in November 2019 that he would […]
Humorous Winston Churchill quotations
The first section on politics is perhaps rather timely in view of the pending UK general election, and the comments are still quite accurate!
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