Author Archives: Ruth Davies

All the married ladies: unravelling the puzzle of plural titles

I recently saw a photo of my cousin, her two sisters-in-law and her mother-in-law at what looked to be a lovely evening out with family. The photo was tagged ‘Four Mrs Jenkins’, and my cousin had asked where the apostrophe … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Provide me food: dependent prepositions

Over the last year or so I’ve noticed some language change happening to the word ‘provide’ and how it’s used with prepositions – the words that tell you the relationship between the nouns (and pronouns). A verb like ‘provide’ can … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged ,

Dashing through the alphabet

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Christmas 2017 Dashing to the end of the year, and what a year it’s been! You can see here on the work section of the site what’s been keeping me busy: among other things, I’ve edited reports about the Great … Continue reading

Gallery | Leave a comment

Oh, the dilemma!

I was recently asked by a friend about the difference between ‘choose’ and ‘decide’. She felt that ‘choose’ implied more personal agency and that ‘decide’ is what you do when you have less personal agency and you’re left with having … Continue reading

Posted in Word choice | Leave a comment

Everyone’s a critic: beware Muphry’s Law

Sometimes you see people taking to the streets, vigilante style, to right wrongs and solve the world’s problems, especially those very important problems, like grammatically incorrect graffiti. Sometimes, stories like this even make it around the world, as when a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Help me to assist you

One of the hallmarks of formal writing in English seems to be that it uses Latin words even where there is an Anglo-Saxon (Old English) synonym; in fact, changing Latin words to their Anglo-Saxon equivalents is one of the tools … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Get amongst it

Just as new words come in (twerking, anybody? don’t worry, the link is the very SFW OED’s online quarterly update of new words), some words draw a resigned last breath and fade away. It may be that the thing they … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments