Apostrophe abusers nabbed

ALL’S well that ends well – almost – in the case of the punctuation-challenged Old Navy T-shirt advertised for sale to US college students last week. Lets go, it announced, to the horror of perfect punctuators worldwide. And now it’s gone – nabbed by the “Grammar Police” and taken into custody, say the makers, while […]

Serial comma goes on trial

BROADCASTER John Maytham told Cape Town the other day: “Here’s self-confessed grammar Nazi, Stevie Godson.” I spluttered – which was perhaps not the best way to start a radio interview. “I’m definitely not a grammar Nazi,” I told him, as I quickly recovered my composure. “They’re scary people – very abusive. I’m more of a grammar […]

The Birds is Coming …

… Better Eat, Pray, Love JUST before film director Alfred Hitchcock released The Birds almost 50 years ago, many people in the English-speaking world were outraged. It wasn’t so much the film’s creepy theme – flocks of sinister black birds viciously attacking villagers for no apparent reason – that freaked them out. If you were […]

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. […]

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 […]

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