Blog

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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Many people were taught at school that you shouldn’t begin a sentence with either of these two words. It’s something that still causes heated debate. The thinking behind this was, I believe, that and and but are co-ordinating conjunctions –...
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      Imagine that on your way back from the coffee shop one lunch break, somebody stopped you in the street and asked what you know about classical literature. It certainly beats someone asking you for any spare change...
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