Month: June 2010

Manglishing the language

Back in 2006, it was reported that Malaysia planned to fine people who mangled the national language on posters and signs. Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Rais Yatim warned that billboards and posters showing “mutated” forms of Malay would lead

Posted in Language, Words Tagged with: , ,

Proofreading – Knight in dingy armour fights for the cause

It’s important to proofread your own writing, said British Schools Minister. He should know. His own blog was riddled with errors …

Posted in Editing, Language, Proofreading, Typos, Words Tagged with: , ,

Death by PowerPoint may mean what it says

“When we understand that slide, we’ll have won the war.” That’s what General Stanley McChrystal, leader of the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, reportedly said when shown this PowerPoint slide in Kabul a year ago. If the slide, titled

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Bad writing can sometimes be bad-minded

The French and the Dutch voted down the EU constitution in 2005. A prominent American judge, Mark P Painter, in an interesting article titled ‘Did Bad Writing Doom the EU Constitution?’, suggested that one reason for this rejection was that

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How churnalists make us solastalgic for the good old days

We’ve invented  a lot of ghastly new words and phrases in recent decades: ugly, bland, abstract, meaningless jargon. So it’s good to come across some colourful new words on Paul McFedries’s website Wordspy: churnalism Churnalism is what so-called journalists do

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Two kinds of language – and a dam letter event

An exchange of letters illustrates vividly two different ways in which we use language.

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‘PowerPoint makes us stupid’

Have you ever bored an audience stupid with a PowerPoint presentation? I think I may have done so once or twice – not because the presentation was especially awful, but because I packed in too much and went on too

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