There's been an outbreak of flaunting. Look at these examples: People who flaunt the new rules for gatherings of six … face fines of up to £3,200. (Telegraph.co.uk) It only takes a few to flaunt the rules … (WalesOnline) Thousands of Wuhan drinkers flaunt social distancing rules … (Daily Mail) Spot the mistake? All of… Continue reading A quick word … an outbreak of flaunting
This is a case of if it looks wrong, it's right. 'Separate' looks wrong. 'Seperate' looks right - which is why you'll often see it spelt like that. However, the correct spelling is: separate. Remember: there is always a rat in sep-a-rat-e. The following spellings also look wrong, but are correct (there's a rat… Continue reading A quick word … seperate: smell a rat?
Look at this from a recent story in Retail Week: “We aren’t adverse to a change in the leasing model." And this, from Nottinghamshire Live: "I'm not adverse to slowing down the road ..." This is a mistake you will see EVERYWHERE. People use 'adverse' when they mean 'averse'. But it rarely happens the other… Continue reading A quick word … averse to adverse
Now here's a strange one. One of those English language quirks with no rhyme or reason. 'Side effect' does not take a hyphen. 'After-effect' does take a hyphen. However, note that the American version is written as one word: 'aftereffect'. (I'm glad that we haven't - yet - adopted this on our side of the… Continue reading A quick word … side effect and after-effect
Shoe-in ... or shoo-in? A 'shoo-in' is a person or thing certain to succeed. It's not spelt 'shoe-in' (See Oxford Dictionaries). Lots of people (especially those who write for news outlets) think it is. It isn't. So in all the examples below, 'shoe-in' should be 'shoo-in': The former Brampton Manor Academy student’s humbling accomplishments made… Continue reading A quick word … shoe-in??
Is it all right to write 'alright'? 'Alright' is perfectly OK in informal writing, unless you're emailing someone with grammar-related blood pressure issues. Oxford Dictionaries says: There is no logical reason for insisting on 'all right' as two words, when other single-word forms such as 'altogether' have long been accepted. Nevertheless, it is still considered… Continue reading A quick word … all right or alright?
Wordsworth, the Wordwatch Towers butler, was dusting the vaults yesterday and came across a post that had to be archived pronto. Why? Because it was no longer accurate. The post (first published in 1847) asserted that the word 'minuscule' should not be spelt 'miniscule'. However, things change ... Oxford Dictionaries now says that 'miniscule' is… Continue reading A quick word … not a tiny spelling error