Archive for February, 2009

Please bear with me!

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

I am upgrading the site so please bear with me if you spot any glitches! I hope to have them all fixed soon.

St Thomas’ Hospital or St Thomas’s Hospital?

Monday, February 9th, 2009

In the comments to a previous post, reader katypea asks the following:

“St. Thomas’ Hospital” (as per the directional signage around Waterloo) or “St. Thomas’s Hospital” (as per my sheer editorial common sense). Please tell me i won the arguement with The Boyfriend last night…?

It’s an apostrophe question many people struggle with, so I thought my answer warranted a post of its own. (more…)

Spelling disaster?

Friday, February 6th, 2009

More proof that those who run the country don’t care about standards of literacy in the UK.

The minister responsible for education (repeat: for education) has been criticised for having a blog rife with spelling mistakes.

It’s obvious Jim Knight’s blog is written by someone else (an exploited young graduate of a new university, no doubt), because the minister himself went to Cambridge when that institution still demanded decent English in its students. (Something that’s not necessarily the case now – a friend who teaches at Oxford once told me that he’s expected to award marks for correct spelling and grammar in lit crit essays).

No wonder we “word warriors” are a growing band, according to this article.

The rules you follow that make smart people think less of you

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

A new post over at the Daily Writing Tips blog discusses the contentious issue of paragraph length (gosh, we writers really are a sad bunch).

You know, that old rule drilled into us at school about never, ever, writing a paragraph that’s less than three sentences long.

I’m afraid I disagree with this ridiculously prescriptive idea. What if you can say what you’re trying to say in just two sentences? (more…)

A good reason not to pay your Council Tax

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Thanks to reader Blake Evans for alerting me to this story about Birmingham City Council banning the apostrophe in its road signs.

A tad worrying that the head of the city’s transport scrutiny committee, Councillor Martin Mullaney, seems to think that a basic grasp of the apostrophe is an advanced level skill.

Don’t know what the schools are like in Birmingham, Martin, but I had mastered it before the age of ten.