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  Hands up all those who consider grammar as an outdated concept?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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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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I Judge You When You Speak

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I was called by Peter and Mary on Radio 4BC (Brisbane) last week to comment on the slang being used by young people today.  I learned a new variation of meaning of a word during the conversation – frothin’ having the meaning of intensity of feeling.   The topic being discussed was the slang young people use.  It was obvious from the comments made by the broadcasters and the listeners that there was general disapproval of the practice.   I found...

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