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Scripturient: Fowler for the 21st Century

On the desk of every writer, every reporter, every editor, every PR director and every communications officer is a small library of reference books. A good dictionary (Oxford, American Heritage, Merriam Webster, Random House but gods forbid, never a ge… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Fowler for the 21st Century

Scripturient: Type Crimes and Taxes

Type crime is the term author Ellen Lupton uses in her book, Thinking With Type, to describe egregiously bad typography. That description came to mind as I perused the latest fluff mailer from our MP; the so-called “Tax Guide.” So-called be… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Type Crimes and Taxes

Dead Wild Roses: We Love You Capital Letters

Hard to argue with this. 🙂 Filed under: Humour Tagged: Grammar, Humour . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: We Love You Capital Letters

Scripturient: The Secret to Good Writing

Spoiler alert: the secret to writing well is…. (insert drum roll)… writing. Writing a lot. Every day. Every possible minute you can spare. Writing and writing more and then writing even more. But doing so within a pre-specified limit. Oops&#823… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: The Secret to Good Writing

Scripturient: Grammatical Hell in a Handbasket

The Washington Post has started the apocalypse. Yes, they have. And the whole world is about to go to hell in the proverbial handbasket because of it. The maw of Hell has opened… The Post has decided after decades – centuries? – of e… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Grammatical Hell in a Handbasket

Scripturient: A Sense of Pinker’s Style

I share one of Steven Pinker’s passions: I like to read style books, grammar books, language books. To me, they’re like literary chemistry sets. When I was young, getting a chemistry set for Christmas or a birthday opened a whole world to … . . . → Read More: Scripturient: A Sense of Pinker’s Style

Scripturient: Another Archy Poem

Most of Don Marquis’ Archy pieces were written in lowercase. The literate cockroach, we learned, would stand on the typewriter and dive, head first, onto the keys. But this way, he couldn’t use the shift key to get capital letters or punctuation (he did get capital letters, once, when Marquis left the shift-lock on the . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Another Archy Poem

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Me, Myself and I Redux

At Collingwood Council meetings, you will always hear someone say “Moved by myself…” when presenting a motion at the table.* Argh! Where did these people go to school? Clearly our education system has failed us if people were raised to say that. And this is in the public record, too. To me it’s like nails . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Me, Myself and I Redux

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Me, Myself and I

At council meetings across the province, you will hear someone say “Moved by myself…” when presenting a motion at the table. To me it’s like nails on a blackboard. The grammatically correct way to present a motion is, of course, to say, “Moved by me…” So why the mistake? Common misunderstanding and discomfort, it appears, . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Me, Myself and I

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Feetish or Fettish?

I was surprised to recently read in David Crystal’s book, The Story of English in 100 Words, that fetish – which I pronounce “feh-tesh” – was once pronounced “feetish.” In fact, in the 1920s, Crystal writes, the BBC had that pronunciation in its guide for radio broadcasters.* It makes sense, of course, when you think . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Feetish or Fettish?

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Words, words, words

Writing before the arrival of the internet*, Bob Blackburn commented on the nature of exchange on then-prevalent BBS (Bulletin Board Systems), words that could as easily be written today about the internet: “…the BBS medium reveals not only a widespread inability to use English as a means of communication but also a widespread ignorance of . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Words, words, words

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: The nit-pickers always can find something

In high school we parodied For Whom the Bell Tolls relentlessly: “Que va, what a cafeteria lunch that is.” “Truly, it is a cafeteria lunch.” “That is a cafeteria lunch to test a man.” “Que va.” Alltop is a humor … Continue reading →

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Kill the Apostrophe? Rubbish! Keep it!

A site has popped up with one of the stupidest ideas about English I’ve read in the past decade or two. It’s called Kill the Apostrophe. Subtle. At first, I thought it was a joke, a spoof. After all, how can one realistically get rid of perhaps the most significant element of punctuation based on . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Kill the Apostrophe? Rubbish! Keep it!

centre of the universe: Mr. Grinch

There is an unwritten, often unmentioned social contract that takes place when you do what you think is something selfless. We like to think that we are altruistic. That is, unselfish; showing concern for others. And by and large, I think we are. We can always do more, of course. There are some things we . . . → Read More: centre of the universe: Mr. Grinch

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: How NOT to use a semicolon: a short musical interludeum

Great stuff! Alltop finds the word “colon” highly irregular and funny. HT to tejassssssssss’s tumblr for this one, originally on .

centre of the universe: To Be or Not To Be

What Shakespeare was talking about in the famous soliloquy from “Hamlet” was not all about whether it’s better to end your life or to continue to endure pain and heartbreak. It was not an extended existential whinge. It was, rather, a contemplation on whether or not to use the plural or the singular third person . . . → Read More: centre of the universe: To Be or Not To Be

centre of the universe: Full Stop

The Nipper is learning punctuation. They were studying periods, exclamation points, and question marks in class. He told us they have hand signals for each one (they clap for an exclamation point, raise their eyebrows and touch their chins for a question mark, and they hold their hands out in front of them, palms facing . . . → Read More: centre of the universe: Full Stop

The Scott Ross: Canada Has Moved Backwards On Education: Our Past Demands Free Post-Secondary

Canada 140 years ago was a more intolerant, sexist, and unequal place, but on one important issue it was far more progressive than the Canada of today, and that’s on public education.

Nations often like to look back and take pride at the progress they’ve made over the years, and Canada has a lot to . . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Canada Has Moved Backwards On Education: Our Past Demands Free Post-Secondary

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: Foolish words that still resonate

Foolosopher. What a wonderful word. Not much in use these days, but it ought to be. It is a portmanteau word, first used in English way back in 1549*, according to my copy of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary. It … Continue reading →

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: Is Tar Baby the new N-Word?

As far back as I can recall, the term “tar baby” was a metaphor in common political parlance for a “sticky situation.” It has no racial meaning in that context, any more than saying “honey trap” or “sticky wicket.” Both … Continue reading →

Dead Wild Roses: So that’s why we need to learn Grammar…

 

Filed under: Humour Tagged: Grammar, Humour

centre of the universe: Part of the Precipitate

It’s not “a savings”. There’s no such thing as “a savings”. “Savings” means more than one. Know why? Because it’s fucking plural. Fucking plural means “more than one”. In fact, just regular plural means “more than one” whether or not … Continue reading →