Word Crimes? Whose Crimes?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovich’s recent Word Crimes video has had plenty of exposure on Youtube and other social media. First Impressions My first reaction to the video was that it was entertaining and well produced. The music’s tight and the graphics are very well done. As a person who works closely with words, I grinned at the familiar language […]

Funny Writing: Endings to Make you LOL

Laughing at funny writing does you good. Language can be so enjoyable, and I love writing that makes me laugh. Here are some funny writing examples that I’ve enjoyed this month. If you’re looking for writing tips today, please visit my earlier posts on copywriting, apostrophes, to-do list, how to write a letter of recommendation or a job advertisement, editing, proofreading and how […]

English Pronunciation – The Rules you Don’t Know

Here’s a question that’s kicked off an interesting discussion on quora.com: What are some English language rules that native speakers don’t know, but still follow? According to Mark Ettlinger, Linguistics PhD at UC Berkley, the answer is, ‘pretty much all of them’: One of the first things you realize, when you study linguistics, is that language—every […]

The Unexpected Surprise (& other repetitive tautologies …)

Have you ever wondered why we say things like ‘widow woman’, ‘baby kitten’, and ‘new invention’? Isn’t it obvious that a widow is a woman, that a kitten is by definition a baby (cat), and that an invention must be new? Most people would probably agree, yet it’s surprising how commonly this sort of repetition […]

A Bloody Great Shark!

Since my university days in the 80’s, I’ve kept a little notebook where I copy striking sentences from the books I’m reading. Sometimes I don’t write in it for ages, but whenever I pick it up again the language and ideas that caught my eye months or years before resonate with me again. And for […]

Ordinary Things

Ellen had been told to watch out for the unexpected behind the ordinary. Each and every object in the world has its own history, it goes without saying, which is a result of some other history, and so on; forever continuing. Murray Bail | Eucalyptus


Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, The chance to draw back, Always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, There is one elementary truth The ignorance of which kills countless ideas And endless plans: That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one […]

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