Did you watch the “English 3.0” video examining the question: is the Internet having a detrimental effect on English and on “standards”? Here are my thoughts on the question. Social media = online conversation Much of the “bad writing” we see online is really just a form of conversation. People writing on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites are […]

Just enough time for one more gift idea for book lovers: “Spell It Out –The Singular Story of English Spelling”, by David Crystal. In the words of the publishers, Profile Books: Seventy-five per cent of English spelling is regular but twenty-five per cent is complicated, and in Spell It Out, our foremost linguistics expert David […]

The “As a Linguist” blog has a new post, Wait, who just died?, on the problematic pronunciation and spelling of Colonel Gaddafi’s name. I’ve been “translating” his name (from the Italian version, Gheddafi) just about every day since the Libyan uprising began (I work with another translator on the English version of the Italian Foreign Ministry’s website). So […]

It seems that Italy too has got problems with spelling and punctuation, though in this case at graffiti rather than local authority level. The text in black above should read “L’orgoglio non serve”. Roughly translated, “Pride doesn’t serve any purpose”, to which an Italian Lynne Truss has responded “But apostrophes do”. This picture is from a […]

I knew this would happen – the minute I blog about spelling, I make a spelling mistake on Twitter. The tweet was about creative and tech-savvy CV ideas, as featured in the Huffington Post. An area, I commented, where Elle Woods of Legally Blond Blonde led the way with her Harvard application on video. That’ll […]

I work with language, so it goes without saying (I hope) that I care about spelling. That said, I don’t think texting heralds the death of the English language and I don’t fall from my chair with horror if an email or text arrives with minor spelling mistakes. Indeed, I think texting and Twitterese are new […]

This morning’s “Call Kaye” programme on BBC Radio Scotland featured an interview with Richard Lawrence Wade, whose “Free Speling” campaign aims to help English “break out of the cage [of spelling] that’s been holding us all prisoners for over 250 years”. Richard isn’t proposing a spelling free-for-all: his goal is to modernise English and create […]