Paul's Grammar Corner
Hi everyone, and welcome to Phase 2 of my peculiarly ad hoc grammar and punctuation tutorial.
The original intention was to try to offer useful tid-bits of grammatical quirkery, mis-types and blunders and to offer solutions to the mix-ups. My good friend Old Codger raised an interesting point:
Our language and its correct application is in a state of flux. What was unacceptable yesterday is frequently acceptable today. Things we were taught at school have sometimes been overtaken, as errors have been universally adopted and have become the new "truth". Part of the solution to maintaining standards is to know that while it may be acceptable to describe a product as "awesome" on your website, it will never be an acceptable word in your job application letter.
The reason these pages exist is that while everyone will accept, and possibly applaud high standards, not everyone will accept lower standards. Here's an unusual but feasible example: you are looking on the Internet for legal advice. You come across two attractive websites and start to read...
Site 1. "Pothecary and Partners are renowned for offering proffesional free advise. Ring for an appointment.
Site 2. The Stanley Partnership offers excellent, free advice and will only charge once we have agreed a way forward with you, our client.
Did you spot the biggest turn off? Many people would click away from site #1 because of two spelling mistakes in one line. How professional is a business which can't spell "professional" and doesn't know the difference between "advise" and "advice"? Which company would you use?
Right then - on to the meat and potatoes...