Blog

I had a letter published in my local newspaper yesterday. It’s only the second one I’ve ever written to them, and I have a 100% success rate so far. Without trying to sound smug, I was confident it would be...
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One mistake I see time and time again is apostrophes being used incorrectly with plurals. Many people are just not sure where the apostrophe needs to go when referring, for instance, to men, children and people. The rule is actually...
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Every introductory paragraph is different, but all great intros have some things in common. A good introduction (intro) will grab your attention, keep you reading and offer you the promise that you’re about to discover something you didn’t know before....
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Exclamation marks are a form of shouting – journalists call them screamers for a good reason.  And if you’re writing for professional purposes, you don’t want to shout. After all, you wouldn’t shout at the person if you were phoning...
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There was a really interesting news story yesterday about the use of jargon at work. A judge criticised a social worker for over-using jargon in a report for a family court hearing. The judge said it ‘might as well have...
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I’ve been asked so many questions about commas that I have a little section about the curly little blighters at each workshop. One thing we look at is the comma splice. Now I didn’t know that this grammatical faux pas...
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It’s my wedding anniversary today and, feeling nostalgic, I decided to look at the website of the hotel where we got married all those years ago. Did my eyes light on the photos of the glorious gardens, the beautifully decorated...
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One of my favourite sessions during Sentence Works masterclasses is where we look at commonly misused words. Everyone gets a big tick and cross to wave in the air when they think a word is being used correctly or incorrectly,...
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Let me be clear about this (as politicians like to say). I’m not talking about politics here –  I’m talking about spelling. I teach journalism as well as writing skills, and I find that about 95% of my students who...
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Earlier this month, Judy was asked to deliver an email session as part of a training day for The Sentence Works. The two of us spent an enjoyable few hours scouring our inboxes  (and deleted folders) for emails that were...
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I’m a big believer in short sentences. One of the first exercises we do at my workshops is to take some examples of really long sentences. These come from various sources – a website, a newsletter, an email and a...
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A delegate raised an interesting point at one of our workshops earlier this month. We were talking about acronyms – words formed from the initial letters of another word. Some acronyms are of course very well-known, for instance the RSPCA...
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