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Archive | Grammar tips

Time for a good segue

As I join the Red Pony team, it seems the perfect time to write about segues. A segue is ‘an uninterrupted transition from one piece of music or film scene to another’ in musical terms or, more generally, a ‘smooth transition from one role, state, or condition to another’ (Oxford Dictionaries). The second of these […]

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The unexpected history of ‘Mrs’

The use of ‘Ms’, once controversial, is now mainstream. But it’s not so long ago it was viewed as political correctness gone mad. Personally, it’s bizarre to imagine that complete strangers ever felt entitled to know whether or not I am married. Picture a news article beginning ‘The unmarried CEO of BHP Billiton today announced…’ […]

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The truth about texting

Are you really committing a grievous error by using correct punctuation in text messages? A recent study out of the US getting a lot of media attention seems to suggest exactly that. But how much can we really read into their findings? ‘Texting insincerely: The role of the period in text messaging’, by Binghamton University, […]

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Barbarous mutilations

Text messaging, tweeting and other electronic communications have led to an increasing use of abbreviations over the past few years. Some of us might grumble at this informality, but it was ever thus – the ancient Greeks and Romans shortened words to save space and time, even when chiselling into a stone tablet, as did […]

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Beware the dangling modifier

What’s wrong with these sentences? Yesterday, after conferring with my senior national security advisers and following extensive consultations with our coalition partners, Saddam Hussein was given one last chance. (President Bush in the Chicago Tribune, 1991) Driving home recently, a thick pall of smoke turned out to be Deepak’s bungalow, well alight. Their meaning is […]

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