A lecture about English

|A linguistics professor was lecturing to his English class one day. “In English,” he said, “A double negative forms a positive. In some languages, though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However, there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative.”A voice from the back of the room […]

Tips to improve your writing

|1. Avoid alliteration. Always.2. Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.3. Employ the vernacular.4. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc. 5. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.6. Remember to never split an infinitive.7. Contractions aren’t necessary.8. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.9. One should never generalize.10. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo […]

Europe English

|The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the EU rather than German which was the other possibility.As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty’s Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five year phase-in plan that would be known as […]

Poem of English

|Dearest creature in creation,Study English pronunciation.I will teach you in my verseSounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.I will keep you, Suzy, busy,Make your head with heat grow dizzy.Tear in eye, your dress will tear.So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.Just compare heart, beard, and heard,Dies and diet, lord and word,Sword and sward, retain and […]

Creative wording

|BEING CREATIVE WITH TROUBLESOME KIN You are working on your family genealogy and for sake of example, let’s say that your great-great uncle, Remus Starr, a fellow lacking in character, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Montana in 1889. A cousin has supplied you with the only known photograph of Remus, showing […]

Stop redundancy

|The Committee for the Reduction of Redundancy and the Antiproliferation of Repetition has decided not to meet until they have their first meeting and thus will not be meeting until the first time.Their Pre-meeting Statement wanted to make this clear before they had their first meeting, so that it would not be unor confusing.So their […]

Canada America

|An American will say, “Hot day!” A Canadian will say, “Hot day, eh?” meaning “It’s a hot day, isn’t it?”This is something deeper than spelling or pronunciation. It goes to the heart of the less-assertive Canadian character. The United States was born when Americans revolted against King George III and asserted their independence. Canada never […]

Canada language

|How you can spot a Canadian, eh? -Don McGillivray (Ottawa columnist for Southam Newspapers)How do you tell a Canadian from an American?It used to be enough to ask him to say the alphabet. When the Canadian got to the end, he’d say “zed” instead of “zee”. But 18 years of Sesame Street have taught a […]

Alphabet letters

|How many letters are there in the alphabet?Noel, noel, noel, noel … the angels did say…E.T. went home.Get rid of X. There’s too many unknowns in the world already!(Only one vowel left, or is that “Anly ana vawal laft” This may be stretching it a bit, but not unless you consider, as our good friends […]