Who’s a nerd now: ever wonder how definitions evolve?

Is being a nerd a good thing? Once upon a time you wouldn't want that label, but I think that has changed. It's interesting to watch how definitions evolve. A nerd used to be the kid at school who was socially awkward, shy, overly studious. There was even a period when it was spelled knurd - … [Read more...]

Dr Seuss – collected works to form study guide

The Dr Seuss Study Guide - what a great idea. The Bank of England is using Dr Seuss books such as Cat in the Hat as models when training bank staff to write. Seems they found their complicated reports - I'm thinking for example the one that tackled the Quantitative Easing Asset Purchase … [Read more...]

Good-bye to witty word man Bill Walsh. Copy editor was “undisputed king” of his craft

The world is down a copy editor - and we are all the poorer for it. Bill Walsh of The Washington Post, described by the American Journalism Review as “the undisputed king of copy bloggers", died last month in Arlington, Virginia. He was 55. The Post's obit described those in Walsh's … [Read more...]

New book on word use, grammar a riveting read – really

It's been a while since I sat down to read a book about grammar - on purpose. I'd heard about Steven Pinker's latest The Sense of Style - the Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century so was keen to crack it open. The book is great entertainment. Who'd have thought it? The author, a … [Read more...]

Um – how “crutch words” help us; how to chuck that crutch

It's mostly unconscious, it could be a way to stall for time and it's annoying to listen to. I am talking about people who say um a lot during an interview. Have you, like me, found yourself listening to a broadcast interview and realized you are no longer hearing what the person is saying as … [Read more...]