How I lost my 25-year battle against corporate claptrap

Lucy Kellaway of the Financial Times:

For nearly a quarter of a century, I have been writing columns telling business people to stop talking rot. For the same amount of time they have been taking no notice.

The first example I can find comes from 1994 when I wrote an article mocking ugly business jargon, arguing that language had got so stupid that the pendulum must soon swing back and plain talking about business would shortly reassert itself. The words I objected […]

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“The Chaos” by Gerard Nolst Trenité

Dearest creature in creation,Study English pronunciation.I will teach you in my verseSounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.I will keep you, Suzy, busy,Make your head with heat grow dizzy.Tear in eye, your dress will tear.So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.Just compare heart, beard, and heard,Dies and diet, lord and word,Sword and sward, retain and Britain.(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)Now I surely will not plague youWith such words as plaque and ague.But be careful how you speak:Say break and […]

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51 Most Commonly Misused Words

In his latest book, The Sense of Style, Harvard cognitive scientist and linguist Steven Pinker explores the most common words and phrases that people stumble over.

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Here are the 51 most commonly misused words and phrases from his book:

Adverse means detrimental and does not mean averse or disinclined. Correct: “There were adverse effects.” / “I’m not averse to doing that.”
Appraise means to ascertain the value of and does not mean to apprise or to inform. Correct: “I appraised the jewels.” / “I apprised him […]

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