Yearly Archives: 2017

Got to dash? Hyphens, en dashes and em dashes

These little lines cause more than a little confusion. Here’s a quick-fire introduction to how to use them. Hyphens Let’s start with hyphens, as they’re the easiest (at least in theory!). Hyphens are used exclusively to join parts of words,

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Posted in Proofreading/copy-editing, Punctuation

Making words mean what you want

‘[…] There’s glory for you!’ [Humpty Dumpty said.] ‘I don’t know what you mean by “glory,”’ Alice said. Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. ‘Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant “there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!”’ ‘But “glory”

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Posted in Etymology, Grammar, Vocabulary

‘I before E except after C’ – techniques for remembering tricky spellings

It may have the olde-worlde ring of a quaint but questionable proverb, and has indeed been much maligned in recent years, but there’s more truth to this well-known rule than initially meets the eye (or E). Here, we take a

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Posted in Spelling, Vocabulary

Full stop? Or not?

Is Mr. and Mrs. acceptable or not? No… this is not a posting on the merits of marriage! It’s about the full stop at the end of ‘Mr.’ or ‘Mrs.’. Do we need it? There are other examples too, of

Posted in Uncategorized

Defining things or adding information? – Correcting relative clauses

Everybody loves a quiz, don’t they? Well, if you do, read on. Relative clauses (sentence components starting with ‘who’, ‘which’, ‘that’, ‘whom’ or ‘whose’) are quite possibly one of the most confusing areas of English grammar. Just when you think

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Posted in Grammar, Proofreading/copy-editing