Guest post: some English language views

This post comes from Eddie Vaughan – my personal favourite is number 5. One nice thing about teaching English is that you learn something new every single day!

1) I like semi-colons; I find them useful. And using them makes me feel clever.

 2) My English teacher said, “You must never start a sentence with a conjunction like ‘and’. But times have changed.

 3) Using two negatives in the same sentence creates a positive. Using two positives in the same sentence does not create a negative. Yeah, right.

 4) A sentence must have a verb. Always.

 5) Many texts that I read have words split at the end of the line. My latest print edition of The Economist (30 April) has numerous examples. Here’s one that I noticed: “The houses should be built of mass-produced materials tough enough to protect their inhabit -ants from a hostile world.”

 Here are two more:                                                            

                                                                                         “…gold has risen by double dig-


                                                                                                                      “…salvaging something from the talks by hiv-

ing off the least contentious…”

 How do you react when you read texts that use this technique? I find it absolutely ex-


 6) Is it true that many people have problems using apostrophe’s appropriately?

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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