This is worth sharing. White Debt is a new book by Thomas Harding about a slave uprising on sugar plantations in what was the British territory of Demerara. Harding is a careful writer. This Guardian review of the book highlights his subtle ability to unsettle complacent ways of thinking: He replaces “slave” with “enslaved men… Continue reading Abolitionists not rebels
A beautiful dead woman
I don’t often throw things at the radio when BBC journo Nick Robinson is on – but missiles were launched this morning (including a complaint via email) when he described a dead female refugee as ‘beautiful’. What?? Here’s what he said on the BBC’s flagship news programme: “The photograph of a beautiful young woman stares… Continue reading A beautiful dead woman
A quick word … poring over poor spelling
Oh dear. This one never goes away: “But, as always, the proof will be in the detail and experts have begun pouring over the documents … “ (Metro) “Epps, who had previously been dean of Temple’s Law School, said she remembers pouring over rankings surveys with her teams to make sure the data was correct.”… Continue reading A quick word … poring over poor spelling
A quick word … an outbreak of flaunting
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
A quick word … seperate: smell a rat?
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?
A quick word … averse to adverse
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
A quick word … side effect and after-effect
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