Following on from last week’s first post on the 12 links of Christmas, here’s the final six websites to keep you occupied over the festive season:
7. Turbo charged novel writing
If you’ve always fancied taking the plunge, but put off by the amount of time a novel would take to write, this site may give you the push you need. 30 days in November, 50,000 words, potential fame and fortune…
8. Because nobody’s perfect
Regular readers of the Wordsworks blog will know of our love for this site. Retractions, corrections and apologies are documented for your amusement and sometimes, astonishment.
9. The Dictionary, and then some
From the experts: this is the ultimate encyclopedia of words, grammar and punctuation. With something for all ages, from word of the day to puzzles and games.
10. Daily Dose
If you would like a more formal approach to learning the vast landscape of grammar, then your search is over. 440 bitesize lessons cover everything from basic punctuation to predicate nominatives.
11. The magic of words
A community of linguaphiles, dedicated to sucking the marrow out of literature. Active discussion groups and daily emails mean you’ll never be short of inspiration.
12. Who’s been naughty or nice?
As the special day approaches, we wanted to share one of the best festive uses of the internet we’ve come across (apart from shopping of course). Create a personalised video message from Santa for the one you love. A simple way to keep the belief alive!
The meaning of the phrase or the word huckle my buff!
One too many huckle-my-buffs…
With the weather set to take a chilly turn over the next few days, you could do far worse thany stay inside with a warm huckle-my-buff or two.
Huckle my buff is an old Sussex drink, a rather delicious sounding combination of beer, brandy and eggs.
If you fancy a spot of home-brewing (we do!), here’s the recipe for huckle my buff:
- 2 pints of beer
- six eggs, beaten
- brandy to taste
- 2 oz sugar
- 2 teaspoons of ground/grated nutmeg
Heat 1 pint of the beer with the eggs and sugar, but do not boil. Remove from the heat and add the remaining beer, a generous amount of nutmeg and brandy to taste. Serve in heatproof glasses – and relax…
What better way to celebrate the festive season than your own special Wordsworks Christmas list. Alas, not prezzies I’m afraid, but 12 of the most useful, informative or just downright entertaining words-related websites we’ve come across.
Fitting them all in to one blog post, however, might be a little cumbersome. So here’s the first six, with the remaining six to follow next week
1. Grammar Girl
Friendly and easy to use blog that unpicks the vast rules of grammar. Grammar Girl also creates grammar-related podcasts for your listening pleasure.
Dedicated to playing with the idiosyncrasies of the English Language. From useful definitions to anagram software and hangman games.
3. Sub editor’s thoughts and musings
Step inside the mind of someone who has to deal with crimes against English on a daily basis. Amusing observations and general musings give this blog a fresh take on the usual journalistic cynicism.
4. Plain and simple
The campaign against gobbledygook has taken its fight online with downloadable writing guides and even a free software package called ‘Drivel Defence’ to help keep your plain English in check.
5. Quite Interesting
The partner to the TV series, this site lives and breathes the QI philosophy that is to educate, inform and entertain. There’s an extensive Quibbles section on the rights and wrongs of episodes’ content, plus plenty of nourishment in the form of words, quotes and facts of the day.
6. Mind your language
Regular contributions for the Guardian’s literary luminaries, dotted with extracts from the paper’s much talked (but not often used?) style guide.
The meaning of the word pulchritudinous
Our mission at Wordworks is to help businesses get straight to the point. To write brochures, newsletters, websites and many other forms of communication that are simple, effective and – who knows – even enjoyable to read.
We also want to, wherever possible, use the more wondrous words of the English language – and not just when we’re playing scrabble.
Pulchritudinous is one of them. A word that sounds like an insult, but is actually the opposite. It describes something or someone of great beauty or appeal.
“The guys were excited to meet Bob’s new girlfriend. They’d heard great things about how pulchritudinous she was.”
“The Christmas display in Selfridges was one of the most pulchritudinous ever seen in Manchester”
Also fact fans, it’s the longest word in the dictionary for the meaning of ‘cute’.
Even us copywriters know not to believe everything we read in the newspapers (did Freddie Starr really eat that hamster?), but some fibs are easier to spot than others.
Good job the more esteemed organs of the Third Estate take it upon themselves to point out some of the unwitting (we hope) untruths they publish, saving both us and them from embarrassment.
Below is a collection of corrections that newspapers (well, The Guardian to be precise) felt duty bound to publish when errors were brought to their attention:
A reply to a question yesterday recommended purchasing lion and tiger urine from Chester Zoo to stop neighbourhood cats from urinating in a vegetable patch. Chester Zoo would like to forestall requests for its big cats’ urine: it asks us to make clear that it does not in fact sell either tiger or lion urine. Many years ago the zoo sold elephant dung, but it no longer does.
We said that, in the American TV drama 24, Jack Bauer, the counter-terrorism agent, resorted to electrocution to extract information. You cannot extract information from someone who has been electrocuted because they are dead.
We misspelled the word misspelled twice, as mispelled, in the Corrections and clarifications column on September 26, page 30.
There’a cornucopia of media corrections, retractions and apologies here: www.regrettheerror.com
Hopefully not a website we’ll ever have personal mentions on…