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Word of the month: conniptions

Word of the month|

If some smart Alec repeatedly drops words into conversations you don’t understand, purely to show off the diameter of their planet-sized brain, you might justifiably suffer a fit of ‘conniptions’...

Increase your vocabulary the fun way

General musings|

You may not feel like a natural wordsmith, but it needn’t be the end of the world.

Doolally origins of English language

General musings|

Here in Britain, home of the Empire and all things historic, we like to think we exported all the finer things around the globe – most notably, Her Majesty’s English...

Words – they just keep on comin’

General musings|

Greedy things, dictionaries. No matter how many words you stuff them with, they’re always hungry for more...

Word of the month: slumgullion

Word of the month|

What a satisfying, visual word 'slumgullion' is, evocative perhaps of the rat-infested bowels of a ship, or an unpleasant condition of the lower intestine...

Adopting the write approach…

Writing tips|

Our recent piece on George Orwell's tips for better writing went down so well that we've decided to see which other authors' musings on the craft are worth investigating...

The ‘ize’ have it

Writing tips|

As anyone who spends much time reading American documents or literature will tell you, our crazy cousins across the Atlantic have certain quirks when it comes to writing the mother-tongue...

By George, he’s right…

Writing tips|

If you want to become a better writer, the late great George Orwell left behind Six Questions and Six Rules to help steer you in the right direction...

A thin line between neology and nonsense

General musings|

There's a real art to the creation of new words – so-called neologisms – and bureaucrats are generally best off leaving it to lexicographers and comedians...

Which will it be? That is the question

Writing tips|

It’s one of the most commonly-debated arguments in the English language: ‘which’ or ‘that’ - which is the correct one to use in different contexts?

No laughing matter – LOL

Business writing|

Thanks to the finger-fast nature of emails, it’s easy to forget that in the business world the same care should be paid to electronic communications as to traditional letters.

Word(s) of the month

Word of the month|

If you’ve had the distinction of mixing up the words ‘dubious’ and ‘doubtful’, you’re not alone...