Archive for the ‘Language’ Category


As long as I can remember, I’ve been a word person. I talked early, I read early, I wrote early (not that I’m trying to paint a picture of myself as some sort of child prodigy – I definitely wasn’t!) – it’s just that words and language are my thing. I lap them up. I love spelling them correctly without having to use spellcheck.

In many ways my life thus far has revolved around words: I’m a bookworm, I’m a writer, I work in communications, I’m a freelance copywriter, I mentor kids in creative writing, and my degrees are in English. I’m a total punctuation and grammar cop – a misused apostrophe on a sign really, really gets to me. One of my fondest workplace memories was spending almost a whole morning consulting various style guides trying to decide how we should punctuate a new event series: “Global Citizenship Speakers Series” (apostrophe on Speaker’s? Plural Speakers? Okay, so we had a little extra time on our hands). But what I’m getting at is that I am a nerd, through and through.

While we’re on the topic, here are some of my favourite words:
– special
– decoration
– cake
– picnic (this one seems to be a perennial favourite with many people)

And some of the words and sayings that really bug me:
– touch base
– going forward
– shits and giggles
– tookus & bupkis (although I generally love how Yiddish words have worked their way into the lexicon, these two really get on my nerves for some reason)
– anyhoo
– I won’t even go into even lamer sayings like “talk to the hand,” etc. because fortunately that awful little trend has passed (I think), and we don’t ever have to mention it again.

Words that I sometimes have a hard time spelling are:
– occasion
– obsession
– recommendation
– accommodation
– Catch a theme here? “Occassion” and “Obssession” kinda look right, too, don’t they?

And some of my favourite books on the topic:
The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson
Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman
The Elements of Style by Strunk & White
Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss

I suddenly feel the urge to copyedit something, anything… see you later!


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