Strictly No Admittance Sign

This Week, I Have an Admission to Make (Or is it an Admittance?)

This week’s word discovery proves that even very complacent dogs (so to speak) can occasionally learn new tricks. The other day I was travelling on the London Underground, having managed to get on the train at the very front. During the frequent delays (sigh), I distracted myself by reading the advertisements and signs around me. […]

George Orwell hard at work rejecting foreign words.

Should You Use Words of Foreign Origin When Writing in English?

George Orwell thought not. So should foreign words and phrases really be verboten, or can they add a certain je ne sais quoi to your magnum opus? Orwell’s essay Politics and the English Language is a good read for anyone interested in the art of clear and truthful written communication. I recommend it as a […]

There’s No ‘I’ In Report Writing. Apparently

The passive voice: anyone who’s ever written a lab report or student essay will be mighty familiar with this concept. And they’ll possibly, like me, think it’s an absolute disaster. So, in case you’re among the fortunate uninitiated, what is the passive voice? Well, it’s that special stylistic affectation which makes most academic writing almost […]