Category Archives: Writing

What makes someone an authority on the English language?

A vocabulary slip on my part in a recent post led to an email conversation with long-time reader Steve G., which eventually meandered over to this question. I’ve done a fair amount of thinking on the idea, and can offer … Continue reading

Posted in Language, Requested, Things you should know, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

i.e. and e.g.: You’re not writing in Latin, so why are you using them?

i.e. and e.g.: What are they? Why do we use them? What do they mean? And why don’t we just get rid of them?

Posted in Culture, Grammar, Language, Punctuation, Things you should know, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Please try to understand: it’s “try to” not “try and”

I’ve often stressed that the observations and advice posted here are primarily about written English, as opposed to spoken English. For a number of reasons written English and spoken English can almost be thought of as two separate languages, or … Continue reading

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Posner’s Ruling: Jargon, you’re out of order!

If you’re a writer or editor or someone who follows the latest developments (such as they are) of the English language, you’ve probably spent time on various grammar and vocabulary and writing advice sites. You’ll know some of the popular … Continue reading

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Amidst, Amongst, Whilst: You Stillst Shouldn’tst

A reader recently took issue with my long-standing recommendation to avoid the use of the “-st” variants of amid, among, and while (original 2013 post here). Our exchange about it was growing unmanageably long for the comments section, so I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Language, Requested, Things you should know, Words, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments