The oft-neglected subjunctive – it’s important that we be aware of it

  Unlike many European languages, the subjunctive mood is relatively rare in English. Nonetheless, if you’re wanting your written English to be flawless, it’s definitely worth understanding the appropriate use of the subjunctive.       Consider the following:   If I were you, I wouldn’t lend him money.   If your brother were here,… Continue reading

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Change – the only constant (Part 2)

As we wrote last month, change is constant. Not only vocabulary, but grammar and punctuation also change, albeit quite slowly.   Part 2: Grammar Changes in grammar “rules” evolve fairly slowly over time. How much grammar use has changed since you learned the basics at school will largely depend on how old you are. In… Continue reading

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Why We Need Proofreaders – Errors That Really Matter

As someone who writes, edits and, yes, proofreads for a living, I’ve developed the sort of eye where errors just leap out of the page at me. I find it frustrating, and definitely friends and family do, when one of them gives me a piece of writing to “edit.” After all, they generally just want… Continue reading

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It’s All About Clarity: 5 ways grammar errors can cause confusion

Find grammar nerds annoying? You’re not alone. Reasons for being ‘anti-grammar’ range from a strong dislike of being corrected through a dislike of people we consider ‘nit-picky’ to a feeling that obsessing over grammar stymies the creative flow. In all fairness, these are all reasonably valid reasons. Unfortunately, as an editor, it’s the errors in… Continue reading

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Numbers, numbers, everywhere

Ten? 10? 1,000? one thousand? 15%? fifteen percent? 15 percent? 3/4? 75 percent? Confused on the ‘correct’ way to use numbers, decimals, fractions and percentages in your writing? Relax – we have the answers. Numbers are everywhere nowadays; it’s common knowledge that using numbers or percentages in headings will make it more likely that readers… Continue reading

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