Pivot! As noun or verb, it’s been around in business articles and blogs for a while, but the contagion is spreading. It’s the latest darling of the buzzword brigade. Apart from boring predictability, there’s the problem of its meaning.Continue reading “Pivot? Say What You Really Mean”
Guess what? You might be in the minority. By that, I mean those who understand the real meaning of ‘decimated’. Most don’t.
If you want an example, here’s a beauty! This is a snippet from an account of a road accident: ‘… the impact fully decimated half the car’.
Your challenge is this: ‘How much damage was done to the car?’ Hint: you might need maths.Continue reading “Decimated? Devastated? Or Just Damaged?”
Consider this sentence: ‘He died hopefully’. Am I wishing ill on someone? Am I unfeeling and cruel? Do I benefit from his will? Not at all. It’s just another of those wrongly placed adverbsContinue reading “Wrongly Placed Adverbs: Hopefully, I hope”
Writers are totally, and probably literally, missing the point when they talk about ‘the stigma surrounding . . .’ something.
You’ve probably read it many times, and even used it yourself. The problem is that a stigma doesn’t ‘surround‘ anything.Continue reading “Are You Missing the Point?”
The Oxford comma (or lack of it) can make a real mess of our intended meaning. A newsletter, which I used to receive, always previewed its feature articles in the email header. In one, it was considerate enough to put women on the alert. Or was that just one of its regular comma controversies? Continue reading “Oxford Comma Controversies: Shooting Clay Pigeons and Men”
There should be penalties for women having babies who smoke. I agree. Babies smoking! Whatever next?
Seriously, though, the big problem with the opening sentence is a common one: the problem of misplaced modifiers. We see them everywhere. They can totally mangle the meaning of a sentence. And, inn some cases, they are just downright comical. Continue reading “Misplaced Modifiers: Babies Who Smoke”
Every day, we see more and more errors in written texts. Mostly it’s a question of lazy language from those who should do better. Misplaced adverbs can turn a sentence into a nonsense. Here are just three examples. Continue reading “Misplaced Adverbs: ‘He sadly died’”