“Pun”ctuation and grammar

A dangling participle walks into a bar. Enjoying a cocktail and chatting with the bartender, the evening passes pleasantly. A bar was walked into by the passive voice. Two quotation marks walk into a “bar.” A question mark walks into a bar? A comma splice walks into a bar, it has a drink and then […]

Mistranslated text, misspellings and bad grammar

All three of the above can be found in the murky world of the tattoo parlour. A professional translation service recently launched a “Think Before You Ink” campaign to cut down the number of terrible tattoo travesties. One man wanted to show the world how “awesome” but he ended up “awsome” instead. A young lad […]

Dead words

A couple of days ago someone wrote to me and asked if I had heard of ‘Corpus Linguistics’.  The first thing that popped into my head was “dead words”.  (Corpus – corpse / linguistics – words).  In my mind’s eye I saw a load of words lying around, unloved and unused, dying or dead.   […]

Jane Austen or William Gifford?

According to Oxford University English professor Kathryn Sutherland, Jane Austen was a poor speller and erratic grammarian who got a big helping hand from her editor  William Gifford. After studying 1,100 handwritten pages of unpublished work from the pen of Jane Austen, the professor concluded that they contradicted the claim by Austen’s brother Henry that […]