WITH Covid and staff shortages becoming the default excuse for poor service and faulty products it is sad to see the malaise spreading to the world of publishing. Errors there are so visible and so irritating to readers. For publishers they are so difficult and costly to correct. In specialist areas, editing shortfalls can bring onerous penalties and litigation. Not all that long ago even the merest typo was a rarity. Now, at least a couple or so such errors can be expected in the average bookshop-bought volume. Regardless of how well-established and accepted is the publisher. And all bets… Continue reading
WAR has been declared. It has long been simmering with spasmodic outbreaks of invective hurled across the Great Grammatical Divide separating the two sides. But now it is out in the open. Apostrophe or no apostrophe, that is the question (as the greatest source of precise English would likely have… Continue reading
SAD times for the pedants among us. To start with, the man who waged a lifelong war against misuse of the apostrophe has met his own full stop. Then, as if to add insult to injury, that weird Californian couple who once were royal have continued their verbose mangling of… Continue reading
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Picture courtesy Elijah Hail, Unsplash WHAT is it about proofreading and editing that academics find so hard to understand? Yet again a university student has requested my help in preparing their thesis for submission. And yet again, and much as I would welcome the work, I have had to say… Continue reading
It was only a few days ago that I suggested many of the words and phrases that have already become lingua franca during the recent global crisis were sure to be well in the running for selection as Word(s) of the Year. Place your bets … Since then we have… Continue reading
Things are not going to change. All you poor sensitive souls out there, and you seem to multiply by the day, will simply have to accept my continuing rudeness. There will be no apologies if what I write upsets you. Grin and bear it, turn the other cheek, tweet away on Twitter, fulminate on Facebook, do whatever makes you feel better. But it will make no difference. You will not stop me; I am going to continue placing a FULL STOP at the end of my sentences. This is in defiance of such academics as Canadian linguist Gretchen McCulloch, who… Continue reading