Author Archives: Ruth Davies

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

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Mythbusting: To boldly split infinitives

If I had to pick a side in the descriptivist/prescriptivist non-war, I’d say I’m on the describers’ side. It’s not that I don’t like writing to vigilantly follow that follows the rules vigilantly – I do, in the same way … Continue reading

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Let’s agree to agree

Here’s a basic test: which sentences below are correct and which incorrect? They is red. You are happy. I were ready on time. (notwithstanding certain dialects in parts of England) You would easily have picked only the second one as … Continue reading

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Mythbusting: don’t use ‘and’ or ‘but’ to start a sentence

Many people were taught in school not to begin a sentence with and or but. The rule they were taught was ‘don’t begin a sentence with a conjunction’. This rule is a myth. It has no basis in grammar, nor … Continue reading

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Survival guide to climate change … hyphenation

In the scheme of things that are going to happen under climate change, hyphenation is surely the least of anyone’s worries. However, I am in the business of making reports readable and internally consistent, and while I’m waiting to get … Continue reading

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Atomic typo – yes, that’s really a thing

Malapropisms, the topic of my last post, can occur in writing but most often you hear them in speech. As an editor, I am  usually correcting writing not speaking (although you’d be amazed at how many garrulous people become carefully … Continue reading

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And a happening ear chew too

A bit of light-heartedness for the new year: We’ve all made the mistake at some point or other of using a word that sounds like but is not the one we mean, sometimes with hilarious results. Language learners make them … Continue reading

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