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The rise of the fearless female: why words matter
26 August 2019

The rise of the fearless female: why words matter

I grew up in an era when women were routinely referred to as ‘the weaker sex’. We were expected to be afraid of mice but not of childbirth; we were expected to be capable of raising well-adjusted children (with no days off) but not of running a company. Words have a powerful effect on the reader and can define us positively or negatively. Although true gender equality may still be a long way off, some of the rhetoric has thankfully changed. Enter the fearless female.

Gonna, wanna and cos: bad grammar or accepted modern usage?
12 August 2019

Gonna, wanna and cos: bad grammar or accepted modern usage?

Listen carefully to many native English speakers and you’re more likely to hear them say ‘gonna’, ‘wanna’ and ‘cos’ rather than a clearly enunciated ‘going to’, ‘want to’ and ‘because’. Known as 'reductions' (lost sounds in words), these casual forms have also been infiltrating written communications including emails, social media posts and newspaper articles. But are these terms acceptable in business writing?

What’s the difference between enquiry and inquiry, program and programme?
12 August 2019

What’s the difference between enquiry and inquiry, program and programme?

There are many words in English that sound the same but are spelled differently. Two of these are 'enquiry' and 'inquiry', and 'program' and 'programme'. Is there a difference in meaning? Or does it simply come down to personal preference?

Avoid these 3 plain English traps at all costs
5 August 2019

Avoid these 3 plain English traps at all costs

When we speak, most of us use plain English. Yet, many people believe they need to switch to a complicated, formal and bureaucratic style when they write at work. Several decades ago, your employer may have expected such a style in written communications. It is certainly not appropriate today. We need to take the effort to make our message crystal clear. To achieve this clarity in writing, watch out for these three common traps.