Friday, 18 December 2009
Dare I say that the results of Yougov's survey last year are more interesting and useful than the opinions of a single individual? ;-)
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
The suggestion that "exam results have soared as a consequence" of a "ban" on slang at a high school (Manchester Academy) can be taken with a pinch of salt.
Monday, 7 December 2009
Thursday, 5 November 2009
Sunday, 1 November 2009
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Sunday, 25 October 2009
Thursday, 15 October 2009
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
Tuesday, 29 September 2009
More chocolate than a biscuit
Eh? It should be "More chocolate than biscuit"! (They're about two-thirds choc.) I can only imagine that this slogan was the victim of hypercorrection in the seminar room.
Interesting article about the marketing of Bahlsen biscuits, by Meiklejohn and Crane.
Thanks to Blogrot for th'ace title.
Sunday, 27 September 2009
For the time being, I'm going to split these tics into two categories: fillers and cliches. Fillers are things like "um", "er", "like", "you know", and they often litter the speech of poor or inexperienced communicators. Cliches are phrases - often metaphors and other figurative expressions - that made us sound more interesting when they were original but nowadays have exactly the opposite effect. An iconic example, currently under discussion over at LL, is "at the end of the day". Americans tend to label this as typical management-speak, while here in Britain we associate it with sports people. In fact, as Mark Liberman has been seeking to demonstrate, this cliche knows no bounds - it's used by every sort of person in every register.
on Jeremy Kyle
the lovely Lauren Luke
Daily Telegraph competition
Tim Kidwell at WSJ
At the same time, I do still wonder whether some things that break the non-existent rules can be made to go away. For example, people using "phenomena" to mean "phenomenon". Of course, most people who make this mistake don't realise the latter word exists, or if they do, they think it's just the same thing.
Which kind of Canute should I try to be? The one who tries to stem the flow? Or the one who knows that that would be pointless?
Thursday, 24 September 2009
Friday, 18 September 2009
Geoff Pullum's (in)famous series of articles about the execrable Mr B are referenced here.
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
Saturday, 5 September 2009
Can you imagine what it would be like checking out at the supermarket if we all behaved in this way?
Assistant passes you some carrier bags.
you: "Thank you ever so much."
You hand over some money.
you: "Thank you very much indeed."
you: "Ever so kind of you. Goodbye now."
Assistant stares after you, pityingly.
Thursday, 3 September 2009
Kill the Apostrophe goes too far, I think, in wanting an end to all of them, everywhere. The possessive apostrophe (John's) is unnecessary, but we probably need the omission apostrophe (we'll, don't).
Thanks to Grammar Girl for the heads-up, and to The Ridiculant for its take on this.
Tuesday, 1 September 2009
Sunday, 30 August 2009
So I wonder whether it was an isolated incident this morning when my daughter, copying ABPLUS off a pocket torch onto a sticker, produced this:
Wednesday, 5 August 2009
Tuesday, 4 August 2009
Friday, 10 July 2009
it than others. I was taken aback just now by this headline at BBC
Botched op footballer's wife dies
Not only is it poorly formed, its tone seems disrespectful.
I notice that their previous story on this topic had the headline:
Ex-footballer wife's health blow
I presume the writer didn't like the look of two possessives in a
Wednesday, 1 July 2009
Appreciate of? Where did that come from? I assumed, correctly, that my find wasn't a one-off. A quick Google search turned up:
If you have decided on your career objectives, we would appreciate of description of them. (Alaska)
If you have items you think we might be able to use, or if you would like to contribute your time to assist in one of the many projects we have on-going, we would appreciate of these contributions, as well. (Georgia, US)
I would appreciate of synopsis of when and how fetal cells for transplant are obtained. (unknown)We thought that you would appreciate of being able to read the older Samui (and beyond) news any time. (Thailand)
I would appreciate of any help. (Mauritius)
Some of the required data are still missing thus we would appreciate of any completion of the already available data set. (Germany)
Stick a bird feeder or two near the pond, I'm sure the birds would appreciate of full smorgesbord of nuts and mozzies. (Devon, England)
Should contents, layouts and designs on our site harm the rights of third parties or violate legal rules and regulations we would appreciate of being informed accordingly without costs. (Germany)
i would appreciate of your responses. (Malaysia)
I would appreciate of getting readers views of their measurement needs related to downloadable media. (unknown)
There's also a suspiciously large number of instances of "would appreciate of" that clearly mean "would appreciate (it) if". I suppose these could all be typos, but perhaps there are people who actually say "of" in this context also.
Sunday, 28 June 2009
Friday, 26 June 2009
Wednesday, 24 June 2009
Not for the first time, the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has been telling us that he's doing "everything possible". Why do politicians go on generalising so blatantly, despite the fact that it's so dumb and patronising? Old habits die hard, I guess.