A writers trivia quiz for a Sunday afternoon. A couple of the questions are fairly easy; a couple not so easy. (I’ll be interested to see if anyone gets the bonus one; my daughter reckons no-one will.) Answers will be posted here next Sunday, along with the names of anyone who guesses all four (or five) correctly. If you’ve worked any of them out, please write the first letter(s) of the key word(s) summarizing the answer in the comments section below: i.e. be cryptic — no spoilers. Good luck! Continue reading
TGIF: That Gerund Is Funky. In this month’s language usage news, we have a high-profile hold-out on the use of the singular “their”; the word okay and its origins; a list of horrid words; a vulgar word finds its way into the OED; a spelling mistake that thwarted a bank heist; bad spelling used for effect in an ad campaign; Donald Trump’s 6th-grade linguistic skills; and a spelling quiz from a fine New York institution. (Warning: explicit vocabulary ahead.) Continue reading
That Gerund Is Funky — Feb issue. Recently in grammar and language news: a Palin portmanteau that NPR’s Ari Shapiro can’t let go of; Oxford Dictionaries faces an accusation of sexism; a grammar quiz from The Independent; how to pronounce the name of a Dutch musician with a Swedish-sounding surname; the new legitimacy of the singular ‘they’; and the end of the road for a punctuation mark? Continue reading
It’s National Grammar Day! To celebrate the occasion, take Glosso’s short quiz to find out if you know your grammar. Have fun and good luck!
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How many of the eleven images below depict a grammatical mistake? Post your number (no spoilers please) in the comments section; the answer, with explanations, will be published tomorrow. Continue reading
TGIF. In language usage and abusage news this fortnight: Hugh Grant’s new character offers an English lesson; David Remnick talks about the New Yorker‘s copy-editors; a French MP is fined for using sexist grammar; a new documentary about grammar; and the superiority of paper over digital in book-reading … Continue reading
TGIF: That Gerund Is Funky. Words and language in the news this week include a schoolboy pointing out BMW’s bad grammar; a prime minister’s spelling error and a president’s incorrect pronunciation; the relationship between texting and bad (or good) spelling; and some real Nazis who are also grammar nazis. Continue reading
Benjamin Franklin called it “awkward and abominable” in a letter to the lexicographer Noah Webster in 1789. He was talking about “verbing”: the hijacking of nouns for use as verbs — a practice that dates back many centuries. Even Shakespeare was doing it back in about 1595 when the Duke of York reacted angrily to his nephew Bolingbroke’s greeting: “Grace me no grace, nor uncle me no uncle!” Continue reading
Where language was in the news this week …
Grammar Girl (aka Mignon Fogerty) appeared on the Today Show on Wednesday. Take her quiz that contained all the discussion topics she suggested to the producers. (I couldn’t find a correct answer to Question No. 2; please comment below if you think one of the answers to that question was grammatically correct – and why…) Continue reading
Today is International Apostrophe Day!
As Sam Tanner tweeted earlier this morning: “An apostrophe is the difference between a business that knows its shit and a business that knows it’s shit.”
Here’s a round-up of apostrophe news and celebrations on its auspicious day. (This particular awareness day was conceived last year by The Guardian‘s production editor, David Marsh.) Continue reading