People might speak of being passionate about art, music, or cooking… or ‘delivering cost-effective digital solutions that maximise customer benefit…’
Editors and grammar geeks are strange people. The internet is full of these strange people shaking their metaphorical fists over punctuation points, word usage or grammatical constructions... But sometimes they're right!
India has a lot of languages—according to a 2001 census, there were 29 different languages in India that had at least a million native speakers each. The official language is Hindi—but English in India is a rich variant in its own right.
After raging ad-hoc, non-traditional apostrophe abuse, one of the most common mistakes an editor sees is people using i.e. and e.g. interchangeably. First things first: they are not interchangeable. Well, they may be interchangeable in some kind of surrealist anti-grammar situation, where the desired effect is to get your reader to tear out their tongue [...]
How do we explain the general homogeneity of the Australian accent (almost no variation in a country 30 times the size of Britain)? What is Australian English, anyway? (Is it more than just the accent?) This post explores these questions, and influences on Australian English—from colonial times to present day.
A noun is a thing, like an apple or regret. If we talk about a red apple or a great regret, both ‘red’ and ‘great’ are adjectives. So what’s an adverb?
English is full of relics, throwbacks to old words or expressions, that often only remain in a single contemporary term or expression. Like 'teller' in 'bank teller'. Tell is an old word meaning 'to count', and we don't see it anywhere else...
See this simple sentence: The dog bit the cat. It's built of these basic bits: The dog [subject] bit [verb] the cat [object]. You would never dream of putting a comma after the subject and before the verb: The dog, bit the cat. [No. You wouldn't do this, would you?] But when the subject is a longer noun phrase, many people (I catch myself sometimes) will want to add a comma after the subject, just it feels like there should be a pause...
Several years back, my colleague Ben and I developed a Chrome extension for editorial quality assurance... then we thought, 'it'd be cool if this could detect passive voice'...
I've been having a lively conversation with my friend Kevin, around the merits of certain grammatical rules. I seemed to have ended up in the descriptivist camp, while Kevin is representing the prescriptivists. Of course, the delineation is never that simple. I think there's more of a spectrum, with 'do whatever you want' at one [...]