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Reg Gothard - "Yonder Pedant"

Month – February 2016

Coralling Text

Today’s article is about the placement of text and its accompanying punctuation in containers of various descriptions—parentheses, other-shaped brackets, and quotation marks. The Pond (The focus of this website is on Canadian English, with British and American English being discussed where relevant. Other varieties of English are out of scope.) As with so many things […]

Clarity: Ambiguous Words

This week’s piece focuses on a couple of words that always cause confusion. What do you understand by the words biweekly, bimonthly, and biannually? And for bonus marks, what do you understand by bicentenary and bimillenary? Let’s use biweekly and bimonthly to illustrate the problem. They actually mean nearly the same thing. Or they don’t. […]

The Possessive Apostrophe

There is so much material on the wonderweb about possessive apostrophes that I find it inconceivable that people still get it wrong. Yet I see it all the time, across all kinds of material, at all levels of supposed writing ability. There is one news website not a million miles from where I live that […]

Homophones 3: Reign, Rein, Rain

This is the third in a series of short pieces on homophones. (In case you’re puzzled by that word, it has nothing to do with telephones that all look the same.) Reign, Rein, Rain—the three “R”s In most accents, these three words sound identical. They have very different meanings, yet far too many people confuse […]

Bang! Exclaimed Mark

This week’s post is about another abused punctuation symbol—the exclamation mark (or exclamation point as it’s known in the USA). In our email/text/facebook world, exclamation marks are no longer loners—they now hunt in packs, causing peace-loving sentences to arch their backs, look big, and sound intimidating in some way. A large number of people now […]

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