Posts Tagged ‘grammar’

Grammarly weekly report

Monday, December 5th, 2016 | Tech


I have started using the free version of Grammarly to double-check my spelling and grammar. I have the standard spell checker on of course, but Grammary catches some mistakes that the spell checker does not. Here is my invite link if you want to give it ago.

More interesting, is that Grammarly send you a weekly report with some stats in it. I have just received the first one, and it contains some interesting stuff.

  • I wrote 2082 words, putting me in the 87th percentile
  • I made 16 mistakes, putting me in the 91st percentile
  • I used 464 unique words, putting me in the 85th percentile

Whether Grammarly has found some statistical trick to massage my ego, or just has a dubious user base I am not sure. It seems like the kind of tool writers would use, which suggests the former. Still, statistically I seem to be doing okay.

It is also worth noting that I am only using the browser plug-in, so it does not monitor the writing I am doing in desktop applications.

Grammar at the LGI

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 | Photos

Back in April, I wrote about the LGI’s dubious spelling of ultrasound. We’ve been there quite a bit recently: volunteering with Anxiety Leeds, having baby scans and visiting my grandma. Each time we go, we seem to notice another sign that is not quite correct.


A bold new spelling of gynaecology.


Capitalising each word seems to be an interesting stylistic choice, but why is “thank you” hyphenated? It is bizarre.


Why would you capitalise “floors”?


Why would you capitalise “hospital”?


Areas “are” safe and secure?

Strictly English

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016 | Books

Strictly English is a book by Simon Heffer. It is a forerunner to Simply English, which I have already read.

While Simply is an A to Z of words and how they are often misused, Strictly is a work of following prose. It goes from subject to subject describing the English language in detail.

In the introduction to Simply, he describes it as complementing Strictly. This is for the most part true. However, there is a significant amount of crossover. I regularly found myself skipping through sections because I had already read the point in Simply. On balance, I think this might be the more valuable of the two.


Simply English

Monday, November 30th, 2015 | Books

Simply English: An A-Z of Avoidable Errors is Simon Heffer’s second book on grammar.

It is a very interesting read. Approximately half the content I already knew, but it was a good refresher on that. Other issues it clarified or corrected me on. It literally is an A to Z of words and how they should be used correctly, and how they are often misused.

He frequently talks about the pedants. A group that he does not seem to include himself in. This seems strange given he has written two books on grammar. I agree that it was a sorry mistake for a leading national newspaper to misspell blackguard, but cataloging the date on which it was published strikes me as obsessive.

He does approve of the verb ‘to text’ though. I am glad, because as Heffer correctly points out, there can be little rational objection to it. However, he does like to reminder the reader on a regular basis that he is down with it.

Some of the content is rather elitist. Formally addressing a baron, for example. Am I ever going to use that? It feels like space that could have been put to better use. There was no entry on ‘troll’ for example, even though people frequently use the verb incorrectly.

I think the book will have a positive impact on my use of English. I have learnt some things already, and see it as a valuable reference for when I am writing in the future.