Archive for November, 2010

Nelson Mandela and the X Factor

I FIND it hard to believe there’s a soul anywhere who doesn’t admire Nelson Mandela. Rational people go weak at the knees when they meet him. International superstars – often so aloof around mere mortals – practically queue round the block to have their picture taken with him. And although most of us, I’m sure, […]

As newsrooms lie bleeding …

Freelance writer and editor James Pringle gets inside the mind of a sub-editor “Certainly it was a shock to my system when I joined an agency and started to have my work covered with subs’ marks,” he admits on FreelanceFactsFile. “It was like being back at school. “Soon, however, I came to see the benefits of quality […]

Loopy Lingo

    If a word is misspelled in the dictionary, how would we ever know?    If Webster wrote the first dictionary, where did he find the words?   Why do we say something is out of whack? What is a whack?  Why do “slow down” and “slow up” mean the same thing?  Why is “phonics” not […]

Plain language, please!

SEEMS we’re all subject to the same linguistic frustrations these days – even the characters on one of my favourite cop shows. Scene from an episode of The Closer: Department surveillance whiz Buzz, clutching a sheet of paper, wanders distractedly in to one of Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson’s briefings. Buzz: “I applied for this Federal […]

Crack out the pimple cream

TYPOS are the scourge of any publication – online and in print. Who hasn’t spotted one blighting their “pristine” prose from time to time – even those of us who make a living carefully weeding them out? It’s like waking up with a glowing pimple on your face when you’ve got a hot date. Thankfully, […]

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