Blog Archives

Practice makes perfect

Proofreaders find many different errors in documents (thankfully, or we’d be out of a job!). However, some are much more common than others, and one that we seem to see time and time again is the word ‘practice’ – or

Posted in Proofreading/copy-editing, Spelling, Vocabulary

It all depends on the prepositions

The other morning on my way in to work I passed the van of a pharmacy whose slogan is ‘Dispensing quality’, and some linguistically minded prankster had inserted ‘with’ between the two words, showing what a difference one small preposition

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Posted in Grammar, Proofreading/copy-editing, Vocabulary

Not so redonkulous? New words in English

He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. I abhor such fanatical phantasimes, such insociable and point-devise companions; such rackers of orthography Holofernes in Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost (http://shakespeare.mit.edu/lll/lll.5.1.html) While neologisms such as

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Posted in Etymology, Vocabulary

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