Book Review: Making Sense: The Glamorous Story of English Grammar by David Crystal

Crystal against crystallization by James Harbeck (Oxford University Press, 2017) How can we have crystal-clear language spoken by people with a crystal-clear understanding of how it works? For one thing, don’t try to crystallize it—just Crystal-ize. Making Sense: The Glamorous Story of English Grammar, by David Crystal, is for anyone who wants to get Crystal … Continue reading Book Review: Making Sense: The Glamorous Story of English Grammar by David Crystal

Book Review: The Story of Be: A Verb’s-Eye View of the English Language by David Crystal

(Oxford University Press, 2017) By Christine Albert Some words are so familiar that it feels as though we instinctively know what they mean. And when we don’t, we use a dictionary to read its definition and determine how it can be placed alongside other words to form cohesive narratives. But how often do we think … Continue reading Book Review: The Story of Be: A Verb’s-Eye View of the English Language by David Crystal

The Nitpicker’s Nook: November edition

The Nitpicker’s Nook is a monthly collection of language-related articles, interviews, blog posts, and podcasts. If you read or hear something that would make a good addition, email your suggestion to [email protected] By Carol Harrison Need a five-minute break from hacking and chopping and cursing the English language? Open Culture features a short lesson by … Continue reading The Nitpicker’s Nook: November edition

The Nitpicker’s Nook: early October edition

The Nitpicker’s Nook is a monthly collection of language-related articles, interviews, and blog posts. If you read something that would make a good addition, email your suggestion to [email protected]ca. By Carol Harrison Thanks to Sara Scharf for her contributions and to Deven Knill for the lovely new banner image!   Blimey! The Guardian’s Mona Chalabi … Continue reading The Nitpicker’s Nook: early October edition

Report on ACES 2017 in St. Petersburg, Florida

By Berna Ozunal This year, 591 people travelled to St. Petersburg, Florida, for the annual American Copy Editors Society (ACES) conference held from March 23 to 25 at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront Hotel—the second-highest attendance ever. I went to St. Pete’s for a few reasons this year: I enjoyed last year’s conference in Portland … Continue reading Report on ACES 2017 in St. Petersburg, Florida

Webinar: What’s wrong with this sentence?

Correct usage of language is paramount to effective communication. The education system—from primary through post-secondary—does not offer students the tools needed for communicating effectively, whether verbally or in writing. The webinar is based on a workshop that was originally developed for the Canadian Authors' Association national conference, and has since been presented to numerous groups, … Continue reading Webinar: What’s wrong with this sentence?

Webinar: A linguist’s guide to grammar

What you learned in English class will help you with syntax about as much as what you learned in driving lessons will help you with mechanics—you get by fine until one day you find yourself stopped in the middle of a sentence with smoke coming out from under the hood. In this webinar, we're going … Continue reading Webinar: A linguist’s guide to grammar

Nitpicker’s Nook: March “it’s almost spring” edition

The Nitpicker’s Nook is a monthly collection of language-related articles, interviews, and blog posts. If you read something that would make a good addition, email your suggestion to [email protected] Irish editor and “swivel-chair linguist” Stan Carey blogs about how usage snuck/sneaked into The Simpsons. Writer and teacher John Kelly dishes up some fresh hell on … Continue reading Nitpicker’s Nook: March “it’s almost spring” edition