Warning: Contains Language

Warning: Contains Mild Language UK film classifications have been getting silly over the last couple of years – ever since someone decided that the standard set of certificates didn’t contain enough information. So now, next to the actual certificates, posters will often have further descriptions of the content like “contains fantasy violence” or “contains one… Continue reading Warning: Contains Language

“email” vs “emails”

Obviously I’ve got my copy of the new Guardian and I’ll have more to say about it later on. But I just wanted to raise a point about the letters page. They’ve renamed it “Letters and Emails”. Now that makes sense on one level as I assume that a large proportion of the letters aren’t… Continue reading “email” vs “emails”

Vanishing Adverbs

When did people stop knowing the difference between adverbs and adjectives? It’s becoming common to hear people using adjectives instead of adverbs and it really grates. There’s an example on the BBC new site right now. The headline says “Charles urges society to go slow“. Isn’t it obvious that the last word should be “slowly”?

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

I saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory yesterday. In general it’s a decent version of the story. But let’s not forget that it’s a children’s book so the plot isn’t exactly complex :) However, there was one thing that really annoyed me about it. And that was the blatant Americanisation of the dialogue. The book… Continue reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

The Disinterested Media

An interesting anecdote about Alastair Campbell from John Humphrys’ book Lost for Words. In order to follow the story, you need to know two things about Campbell. Firstly that he was Downing Street’s Director of Communication (and could therefore be assumed to know a little about the English language) and secondly that he often accused… Continue reading The Disinterested Media

How Not To Phish

If you’re planning to embark on a phishing attack, here’s a little tip – get your text checked by a native English speaker. Here’s the text of an email I just got. IMPORTANT NOTIFICATION Since 1968 National Westminister Bank is serving its clients with the most reliable service. In Banking the most important part is… Continue reading How Not To Phish


I go online sometimes, but everyone’s spelling is really bad. It’s… depressing. Tara – Buffy the Vampire Slayer I’m having one of my periodic phases when I get really wound up by the illiteracy that is so prevalent on the internet. Sometimes I find IRC incredibly painful. Grammar tip of the week: Remember, “install” and… Continue reading Grammar