Category: common errors

Veracity and voracity: use these words correctly

Is this voracity or veracity?
Voracious appetite

In the spell of untruths around COVID-19, today, we are going to have some fun exploring the difference between veracity and voracity.

These words if not heard correctly can be interchanged to disastrous effect.  The one has to do with truth, the other appetite.

Say it simply with said. Correct attribution in writing

Photo by Elle Hughes
Sub-editor multi-tasking

In my work as a sub-editor, the only word allowed for an attribution is ‘said’. No, ‘revealed’, no ‘pointed out’, no ‘suggested’, no ‘argued’ – just plain ‘said’.

How sticking to your knitting will get you stuck: idiom usage

Pivot on your toes
Pic by David Hoffman -unsplash

There was not enough wool to buy for all the crochet hours I would need to fill during the slumpy ‘non-work’ hours of lockdown. For one thing, I only bought enough for three weeks.

How years and ears distort the English language: origin of idioms

pic by Thomas Morse (unsplash)

Shakespeare was the theme of our Toastmasters meeting last week. We learnt about how much The Bard contributed to the English language – from general words and phrases to idiomatic expressions and even people’s names.

Best is best! Language quirks

I am constantly amazed at the number of authors who label their books ‘No 1. Bestseller’. Last weekend, I shared a platform with a new writer who did just that. A Google search reveals 2.2 billion responses for the term ‘No.1 bestseller’, but by the strict definition of the term there should be only one.

Limelight or spotlight? Use the right phrase.

Novak Djokovic enjoys the limelight

The English language is full of tricks and words of similar meaning that are confusing to second language speakers.

One of these is limelight and spotlight. While some believe that to be in the limelight and under the spotlight are much the same, I think they are quite different.

How to tackle intelligence: word meanings

pic by David Hellman: Unsplash

At university our syndicate was referred to as ‘The Brains Trust’ and in other groups I was touted as ‘Brainiac’. Thus, I  thought I had intelligence – quite a bit of it if you don’t mind my arrogance for a moment.

I thought it meant the ability to learn, acquire information, store knowledge and so on.

Last roll of the dice: how idioms are used

It’s all fair in love and war and friendship too.

I felt I was losing ground with a friend and that we would soon be going our own separate ways, so I asked her to do something for me which would require her to commit to making an effort in a very specific way.

A new take on money laundering

This week while editing an academic text, my hawkish eyes fell upon the phrase money laundry. The esteemed professor had made a typographical error. I smiled quietly to myself as images of ‘money laundry’ flooded my imagination.

No such thing as a free webinar

webinar.jpg
Money up front for webinar 

Last night I tuned into a webinar and it might just be my last.

I have done many, maintaining my naivety and unfailing hope to find the magic, the million, the answer to life’s deepest questions, and the fastest way to  make a fortune, always ending with the same promise.

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