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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What does your voice sound like? Tips to speak more clearly.

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  What does your voice sound like?  Did you know that the sounds you hear when you speak are not the same as the one people hear? The voice you hear has the vibrations through bone in your skull added in – obviously people hear the sound of your voice without that added extra! What sort of voice you have been given? the throbbing drone of a Mongolian throat singer? the squeak of Mickey and Minnie Mouse ? the annoying whine of a chain saw? or...

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Punctuation. Major points at a glance.

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          These humble marks on the page do so much to corral the meaning of your sentences.  Here is a quick guide to important ones which can make or break your meaning.   Punctuation Full stop [.] signifies the end of a sentence was used in many abbreviations in the past Street, eg, ie, Mr usage now restricted to sentence end Commas [,] words that link a previous sentence to the idea that follows Unfortunately, the dress was incorrectly...

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What is a sentence? Four essential elements to recognise one.

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      A well-constructed sentence is like music to me.  I am a self-confessed nerd and proud of it. A sentence – the four essential elements: is the basic structure of our written language expresses a single thought begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop must have a verb and a subject. Structure There can be simple sentences. Go! Is a simple sentence. It is technically speaking a command but a sentence nevertheless. It has a...

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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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