How To Take The Tension Out Of Tenses

AT LAST, a grammar guide especially for South Africans. And not a moment too soon, I reckon.
I’m not a snob about these things, but now we’re all part of a hugely competitive global village in which English is the language of business communication, getting it right is more important than ever.
Nothing looks as unprofessional as a poorly written document. First impressions do count, and if you don’t care about getting the basics right, other people (especially potential clients) are less likely to trust you with anything else.
While much of what’s in Linnegar’s guide is already in a gazillion other grammar guides – punctuation, hyphenation, adjectives and all – what makes it useful is its focus on common South African errors.
Prepositions are particularly troublesome, especially when they’re translated from another language, so there’s an easy guide to Afrikaans prepositions and their English equivalents, as well as a list of English prepositions and their isiXhosa, Northern Sotho, Siswati and isiZulu equivalents.
Then there are those problematic words that commonly cause confusion.
For some reason even many South African English mother-tongue speakers don’t realise there’s no such word as “alot”, that “everyday” and “every day” have completely different meanings, and that “who” refers to people and “that” should be used to refer to animals and objects.
Linnegar lists these and more along with simple explanations.
The book is clearly written and its compact format – it’s surprisingly short, and that’s something of a  limitation – will make it less daunting for anyone who gets tense over tenses.
(Engleish, our Engleish: Common Errors in South African English, by John Linnegar, is published by Pharos)
This review by Stevie Godson was originally published in the Daily Dispatch

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This entry was posted by stevieg on Thursday, July 1st, 2010 at 8:55 am and is filed under A Passion for Words, General . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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