Author Archives: Inge Otto

New in English Today: A Fuss about the Octopus

The March issue of English Today includes the latest feature article from our project in which I discuss the options English has to refer to more than one ‘octopus’ as well as a usage rhyme written on this specific topic. Four … Continue reading

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Wanted: Rhymes on Usage

nutritioneducationstore.com The Dinner Guests They seem to have taken on airs. They’re ever so rude with their stares. They get there quite late, There’s a hand in your plate, And they’re eating what’s not even theirs. O’Conner- Woe is I … Continue reading

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The Alphabet of Errors: L, M & N

Have you told people a 1000 times not to use lie for lay? Are those people, after all your well-meant though prescriptive advice, still lost as to when to use the one and when the other? Do they forget your … Continue reading

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A Word on Asphalt

Did you ever see the word “ashfault” in a newspaper, book, article ­– or anywhere else at all? Well, until recently I was unaware of this word’s existence (too). It was only when I read Paul Brian’s usage guide Common … Continue reading

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Jeremy Clarkson on car journalists and “generic he”

Jeremy Clarkson, whom many of us might know from the British television show TopGear, in his column of October 2013 worries about things other than cars. Right. What could that be? you might think. Well, from the outside, most of … Continue reading

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Hain’t

Have you ever heard anybody say hain’t?  Have you seen it written down somewhere for have not or has not? Until this morning I was totally unfamiliar with the expression. To be honest, I  only knew of the existence of … Continue reading

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Does Only spelling Matter? A Word from the Creator of the Text of the Dutch Spelling Contest

Yesterday the Volkskrant introduced the composer of the text of the 24th edition of the Grand Dictation of the Dutch Language (het Groot Dictee der Nederlandse Taal), a Dutch spelling contest that is scheduled to be broadcast on 18 December … Continue reading

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