Archive for August, 2010

Quote of the Week

“Words, like glasses, obscure everything they do not make clear” Joseph Joubert, French philosopher (1754-1824)

Check out the Wannabe Hacks

FIVE young men. Five vastly different career paths. One capital city. All Wannabe Hacks. That’s the blurb on a creative blog I discovered the other day via one of my other favourites, Fleet Street Blues. “The Wannabe Hacks, as the name suggests, haven’t made it yet, but they’re well on their way,” said FSB. “… It’s a [...]

Trashed by a Typo …

… or, How the Montblanc Meisterstück Diamond pen lost its lustre* I COULDN’T believe my eyes. There, on the back page of the latest issue of my favourite lifestyle magazine was a full page glossy ad for a Montblanc pen. Not just any old Montblanc pen (although, come to think of it, there probably isn’t [...]

Quote of the Week

  Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people. William Butler Yeats

The tyranny of (book) titles

THERE it was, beckoning me from the book shop shelf – An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England. I had to have it. Don’t get the wrong idea – I’m no pyromaniac, it’s just that I can’t resist a quirky book title. This one – an off-the wall “tragi-comic” novel – looks like [...]

Saturday Soggies*

Unnamed US drug agency officer, interviewed on television:   … it would allow them to access areas or get exposed to things that are gonna be fatal to their person.     *Our annual Stamp Out Gobbledegook Awards – The Soggies – are dedicated to the memory of Maury Maverick, a take-no-prisoners liberal Texan politician [...]

The Good Punctuation Fairy

GOT a pet grammar peeve? Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of hugely popular news website The Huffington Post has. She goes red in the face over apostrophe abuse. I’m with Arianna. If it’s misplaced, an apostrophe can completely change the meaning of a headline, phrase or sentence, making nonsense of what you’re really trying to say. [...]

Quotation of the Week

  “You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you. And we edit to to let the fire show through the smoke” Arthur Polotnik

How to turn your customers off

Why you should check carefully for double meanings – as well as spelling and grammar mistakes – before publishing anything for public consumption! Restaurant poster advertising new menu: “We’ve even tossed in a few Salads” (From the Facebook page Correct Spelling, Punctuation and Apostrophe Use. Inevitably, there were dozens of comments.)

What NOT to do

(Or, how grammar gremlins could see you ending up like the dinosaurs – extinct!) IT WAS a scorcher of a day in the tiny Karoo *village. Not a whisper of wind stirred up the few dusty strips that pass for streets. Even the usually free-roaming goats were stopped in their tracks, huddled together in the sparse shade [...]

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