I’ve just Written this Post, and Twitter’s Response is Perfect!

I’m impressed with Twitter. According to most clickbait articles which appear on my Facebook newsfeed on the odd occasion I venture there, it’s got the perfect response to everything!

I’m impressed, because there was a period of about a year there when apparently Twitter couldn’t handle anything!

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Sic Burn!

If you’ve read enough, you’ve probably come across sic. And you probably also have a good idea of how it’s used. If you’re not familiar with it, or you’ve seen it used but aren’t sure what it means, no worries. It’s not something that’s taught much in schools, and it’s not something most of us ever need to use in our lives. It might be mentioned in a style guide at university, especially on a course with a strong focus on writing, such as journalism. But generally, it’s not talked about much. Which is a bit of a pity, as it can be quite a powerful weapon. Continue reading

Shut the Gate

No-one would ever accuse the average tabloid writer of a great love for the breadth of the English language. They go for a particular sensationalist and informal tone, with a specific vocabulary, and stick with it. Unlike broadsheet journalists, who tend to play it down the middle or go highbrow, they have a particular house style. This is even more true for tabloid sub-editors, who write the headlines, except for the odd occasion when they go above and beyond the call of duty.

I’m thinking of a specific journalistic trend, which, in fairness, isn’t restricted to tabloid journalism. And that trend is the tendency to add the suffix -gate to a word to refer to any manner of scandal. Some notable recent examples include Continue reading

Only the Winningest

There are many clear differences between American and British English, particularly in terms of spelling and vocabulary. It’s natural enough, and I’m loath to say that one is better than the other. They both work for the people who use them, and that’s what matters. Recently though, I’ve been thinking about one area in which British and American English are very different: sport.

Even that word itself shows the beginning of the division: if you’re American you probably use sports when referring to the general concept of sport(s) (when I hear the word I always hear Homer Simpson’s final line from this clip:) Continue reading