The Worldwide Weblog of Donald Pincher

by Joshua Gaskell

Tag: Grammar

Saturday, 14th November 2015

A strong network of contacts among influential people contributes more effectively than good professional skills in advancing one’s grammar. In other words, it’s not what you know, it’s whom you know.

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Saturday, 17th October 2015

Split infinity:

To be, or to not be: that is the question.

Thursday, 16th July 2015

Moracy, n.

Pronunciation: U.S. /ˈmɔrəsi/
Etymology: < blend of the name Morrissey, English singer and songwriter + oracy n.

Competence in melic language; the ability to express oneself fluently and grammatically in song.

Wednesday, 3rd June 2015

I think the proposed EU referendum ought to compel newspaper sub-editors and style-guidees to dust off that long-neglected en rule (–), which is ‘used like a solidus to express an alternative’ (New Hart’s Rules): we’re to have an in–out, not an in-out referendum. The en rule denotes the fact that Britain will either be in the EU or she will be out of it – one or the other, not both – whereas in-out hyphenated suggests that the reality will be more along the lines of shake it all about.

… On second thoughts, let the hyphen stand.

Monday, 4th May 2015

The businessese phrase going forward is criticised for being a modish, redundant and irritating example of groupspeak. The new edition of Fowler’s, for example, calls it ‘much maligned’, and the OxfordWords blog laments the fact that it ‘now seems to be tacked on unthinkingly to every utterance’.

I wonder whether it offends the ear as it does on account of being American not only in origin but also in grammar. Adverbially speaking, forward is fast gaining ground over forwards, with British and Irish English the remaining strongholds of the latter. So let’s keep it that way; and, if we must jargonise, do so in our native tongue – going forwards.

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