Would you like fries with that? Only questions really need a rising inflection at the end.

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I know, I know late again! Day #9 blog that is being posted on day 10. I was listening to a groups of teenagers speaking with each other the other day and I was jerked into socio-linguist mode for the first time in many years. When I was a furry Masters student at Australian National University , there was a paper presented by a friend of mine – more about her in a minute – where she discussed the possible reasons for upward inflection at the...

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Apostrophes. Smart tips on how to use them properly.

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I have a special fondness for apostrophes.  I have spoken about them on radio – take a moment to listen to the recording on the home page here.    I have championed them when they were in danger of deletion.  I ask you to save Aunt Em from the ‘twitch’ when they are abused. They are surely the most misused punctuation mark of all time! There are only two places where apostrophes are relevant, meaningful and correct. 1        ...

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Put your best Grammar foot forward!

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  Hands up all those who consider grammar as an outdated concept? Well, I challenge you to consider what our world of reading and writing would be without this set of rules?  Admittedly some of these rules seem arbitrary, particularly spelling, but come with me dear reader on a journey to discuss grammar. These examples are ones I regularly use to show how powerful grammar is when you get to know it intimately. Grammar is the difference...

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Word tangles – weather the whether.

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A word tangle occurs when two or more words sound the same and have different meanings. This is a common cause for confusion and embarrassment.  I always use a memory jog of some sort to help me work it out. Weather has ‘heat’ in the spelling – whether doesn’t!  Simple – but works every time (for me)! Find a way to help you remember! I will be adding new word tangles on the nifty guides and tips page. What other word tangles do you struggle...

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3 ways to make your business e-mails more professional immediately!

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It’s easy to consider e-mails as just another form of SMS or IM because they are instantaneous. The danger in that thinking is that you will allow casualness to creep into your business communications.  Business e-mails are just very fast, short business letters!  This does not mean however that your e-mails must be stiff, formal and unfriendly.   Your business name and associated reputation should be valued by every single person in your...

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