Author Archives: Morana Lukač

Read all about it! Our third feature in English Today

In the latest issue of English Today I briefly address the history of the possessive apostrophe, the most notorious punctuation mark in the English language. Here are some interesting facts from the article: Did you know that the apostrophe was first … Continue reading

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Can ‘Cheers!’ be inappropriate? The story of email sign-offs

In one of our previous posts Ingrid Tieken wrote about her analysis of commonly used email sign-offs she found while going through her inbox. (To find out more about the differences she found between American, British and non-native email authors, … Continue reading

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Censoring the ‘G-word’

Within the political correctness (PC) movements, many words addressing discrimination ended up on the banned list throughout the years. However, the PC vocabulary has a number of opponents as well, who rightfully claim that the PC movement is occasionally used … Continue reading

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Overused exclamation marks!!!

In the latest issue of Intelligent Life magazine published by the Economist Group, six writers including Julian Barnes, Claire Messud, and Ali Smith discuss their favourite punctuation marks. We have addressed the topic of punctuation in a number of our … Continue reading

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“Could care less” or “couldn’t care less”

“Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn,” are Rhett Butler’s famous last words to Scarlett O’Hara. Could you imagine a modern remake of Gone with the Wind in which Rhett would rather say “Frankly my dear, I could care … Continue reading

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Some words are(n’t) better than others

Michael Proffitt, the new Chief Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, was recently interviewed by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour (see video here) commenting on the place of the largest English dictionary in the modern age. Although the O.E.D. was one of … Continue reading

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Wikis and usage advice

You have surely concluded from our recent polls that we are interested in your favourite online sources on language use. After receiving a large number of different answers from you when asked about your go-to online sources, I noticed that … Continue reading

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Who’s to blame for literacy levels in England and Northern Ireland

Although each new generation always seems to be worse than the previous one from time immemorial, those criticizing the young kids of today finally have some evidence to support their claims. The newest OECD Survey of Adult Skills shows disappointing results … Continue reading

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A few tips from the editor

This October, Joy Burrough, an authors’ editor, gave a talk entitled ‘An Introduction to Editing’ to the humanities PhD students at Leiden University. Aside from describing the editing process, Joy answered some specific questions regarding common issues researchers come across … Continue reading

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The history of txt spk and Queen Victoria

For years the language of instant messaging or text speak (txt spk) has been targeted in the popular media as hard evidence of the ongoing decline in literacy. In 2003, The Daily Telegraph published an article about a 13-year-old girl who … Continue reading

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