An Opinion Piece

rogersgeorge on September 24th, 2017

Two of my rules about good writing are to be clear and correct, the latter partly meaning to follow the rules of grammar and spelling. We call these rules the mechanics. I even proofread my emails and seldom abbreviate even my grocery lists (ahem, whenever I write one).

I even have a sixth rule, to write for your readership, and here I must depart a bit from correctness. There’s a place for variation in writing style. On the one extreme, we have passages like the Olive Leaf Petition I mentioned two posts ago, addressed to King George III, and on the other extreme, well, I’ll let this 9 to 5 comic speak for itself, and for me:

Sigh, I hate to say it, but he has a point.

I generally write these posts in advance, so sometimes another comic comes along that also makes my point. Case in, um, point:

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Maybe He Should Read More

rogersgeorge on September 22nd, 2017

Sometimes we get idiomatic expressions wrong, especially if you don’t read much. These types of mistakes are mainly mondegreens, language that’s misheard, but plenty clear when you read it. I already wrote about this; here’s the link. And here’s today’s example of egregious English, from a strip named Daddy’s Home: PS—Since I mentioned mondegreens, here’s […]

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We Don’t Do Tech Writing Like This Any More

rogersgeorge on September 20th, 2017

Here’s a sentence from some correspondence from the 1700’s: Your Majesty’s Ministers, persevering in their measures, and proceeding to open hostilities for enforcing them, have compelled us to arm in our own defence, and have engaged us in a controversy so peculiarly abhorrent to the affections of your still faithful Colonists, that when we consider […]

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Adjectives Don’t Show Number in English

rogersgeorge on September 18th, 2017

In a lot of languages, when you put an adjective with a noun, the adjective has to agree with the noun. Feminine nouns get feminine endings on their adjectives (gender), plural nouns get plural adjectives (number), and so on. If you know other languages, you know what I mean by the “and so on,” such […]

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Two Pretty-Much Useless Words

rogersgeorge on September 14th, 2017

The words are “within” and “upon.” Both are fancy versions of what they actually mean, namely “in” and “on.” For example: This line of code can be found within that module. Instead, how about: This line of code can be found in that module. We’ll skip my usual rant about using the passive; isn’t that […]

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