Posts Tagged ‘English language’
Here’s the blurb:
This is a basic guide to writing well. Aspects of grammar and punctuation that commonly cause confusion are demystified in plain English. You’ll find clear instructions on the correct use of possessive apostrophes, commas, speech marks, hyphens and semicolons.
Other topics include the subjunctive, split infinitives, and the difference between ‘fewer’ and ‘less’. You can also learn more about active and passive sentences; commonly used foreign words and phrases; and word classes, including nouns, adjectives and verbs.
Also included is a brief, no-nonsense guide to politically correct language.
Coming soon: a paperback version.
Welcome to Wordwatch Towers where you’ll find lots of stuff about how to write well. Please scroll down for the latest posts or explore the Wordwatch Towers vaults for more information about punctuation, grammar and how to use the English language.
*Important legal disclaimer: Not really.
A woman without her man…
Good grammar and punctuation aren’t optional extras:
A woman without her man is nothing.
With the correct punctuation all becomes clear:
A woman: without her, man is nothing.
I have been inundated with literally one request to provide a tip to remember the difference between ‘bought’ and ‘brought’.
I went to the shops and ‘brought’ some shoes, or ‘bought’ some shoes?
Just remember that ‘bought’ is the past tense of ‘buy’: neither word has an ‘r’.
And ‘brought’ is the past tense of ‘bring’: both words have an ‘r’.
Now you can spot the glaring error in this example from an interview with a BBC safety advisor published on the BBC website:
So then Stuart, what first bought you in to the wonderful world of Health and Safety?
Unless some unnamed object paid money for him, that should be ‘brought’. (I’m also not sure why ‘health’ and ‘safety’ is capitalised there, but that’s another subject.)
‘Buy’ and ‘bring’ are of Germanic origin. ‘Buy’ is from the Old English word ‘bycgan’, and bring is from the Old English ‘bringan’.