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punctuation

When missing punctuation catches you out!

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I have had an interesting  couple of weeks running,  two workshops one on business Writing and one covering Report Writing. this was to intelligent and articulate students with first degrees.  However it soon became clear how little grammar and punctuation was taught when they were in school. Or how little sunk in. It was surprising how many of my participants admit to still struggling with pun...
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2015 – Favourite English Language Traps

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During the year I have written a number of blogs featuring English Language traps.  From Split infinitives (no longer a problem) to commmonly confused words our language is often out to fool the unwary.  Here's a few of my favourites. http://quicklearn.org.uk/compliment-or-complement-that-is-the-question/   http://quicklearn.org.uk/are-you-the-subject-or-the-object-of-my-feelings/ ...
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Just because a word ends with an ‘S’

I don't know why it happens and I don't know where the idea came from but lots and lots of people think that if a word ends with an 's' it will need an apostrophe in front of it. And it gets worse if we have more than one item which normally adds 's' to signify the plural and yet again that dratted little apostrophe gets shoved in. Then there is the problem with acronyms.  why, oh, why a...
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Why the English don’t understand their grammar

An article in the Times reported that “The written English of British undergraduates is significantly worse than that of overseas students.  Apparently UK based students make 52.2 punctuation, grammatical and spelling errors per page on average, whereas international students make just 18.8.” How frightening is that?  People who do not know how to write their own language?  I know it is true be...
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Ae you confident you are getting your message across?

I was discussing the problems caused by too much reliance on Microsoft's spell checker with some students last week.  I cited my favourite story of a consultancy who lost a contract with a well-known Dairy because they unfortunately described them in their proposal as a 'Diary'. There is nothing more likely to lose your audience than having an article, a proposal or even a blog which contains poor...
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