grammar

Google’s new Terms of Service

This entry was posted by Will on Wednesday, 7th March, 2012 and is about grammar, style.
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Google have had a lot of flak from privacy campaigners and even the EU for their new Terms of Service, which came into effect on 1 March. More interesting for Clarity is that they’ve made a big effort to use simple language and avoid legalese. They’ve also included links to explain technical terms in plain [...]

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Just because …

This entry was posted by Will on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011 and is about grammar, style.
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I recently received an email asking if it was ever OK to begin a sentence with the word “because”. It’s definitely one of those words, like “and”, that people are reluctant to use at the start of sentences following years of tellings-off from dogmatic grammar teachers. The emailer also asked if, having decided that you [...]

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Why bother with grammar?

This entry was posted by Chris Mohr on Monday, 17th October, 2011 and is about grammar, punctuation.
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“Why can’t we let people write the way they want to?” someone challenged me in a training session last week. Like many others, he had never been taught grammar at school and didn’t see why he should start now. And he cited his heroes – Jack Kerouac, Hunter S. Thompson, William Burroughs – as examples [...]

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Tautology

This entry was posted by Will on Thursday, 4th March, 2010 and is about grammar.
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Tautology is the habit of saying the same thing more than once in slightly different ways. “Free gift” is a good example as a gift is something you don’t pay for. Breedon on the Hill in Leicestershire is more extreme as it literally means “Hill-hill on the Hill”. We all know that repetition creates emphasis, but repeated repetition, [...]

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“Around”: the preposition that can make your writing sound slippery and bureaucratic

This entry was posted by Clare on Monday, 11th May, 2009 and is about grammar, how not to write.
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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch's blog, goodcopybadcopy] Last week I reflected on the tendency for business types to favour the invasive-sounding “into” over the correct “to”. Today, I turn my attention to another preposition you should be careful with: “around”.

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What’s with this word “into”?

This entry was posted by Clare on Tuesday, 5th May, 2009 and is about grammar, how not to write.
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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch's blog, goodcopybadcopy] If I were to go round claiming that the square root of 100 is 15 or that the Battle of Hastings took place in 1783, I’d quite rightly be thought a fool. What’s more, I’m fairly sure most people wouldn’t hesitate to inform me of my [...]

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

This entry was posted by Clare on Tuesday, 3rd February, 2009 and is about grammar, how not to write.
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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch's blog, goodcopybadcopy] 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 [...]

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Possibly the most embarrassing apostrophe crime ever

This entry was posted by Clare on Wednesday, 3rd December, 2008 and is about grammar, punctuation.
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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch's blog, goodcopybadcopy] Note to the The National Literacy Trust: when you’re bewailing the poor grammar and punctuation skills of the UK population, do try and get it right.

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What happens when you don’t bother to get a writer in

This entry was posted by Clare on Monday, 27th October, 2008 and is about grammar, how not to write, punctuation.
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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch's blog, goodcopybadcopy] This, from a full-page ad for Hill & Knowlton, who describe themselves as “a leading international communications consultancy”. I spotted it in the “Thought Leader Series” supplement, which came with a recent issue of “PR Week”:

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“Less” is no more

This entry was posted by Clare on Sunday, 31st August, 2008 and is about grammar, how not to write.
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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch's blog, goodcopybadcopy] Still obviously the silly season if this story about Tesco makes the BBC news, but interesting for us language nuts: Tesco checks out wording change.

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