Possessive Verbs

At the moment I'm studying for a diploma in editing and book publishing. (If any of you have noticed I don't tend to post on Fridays, that would be because it's course day, and the course is in Sydney.) Yesterday's course notes included an article, Rules for Using the Possessive with Verbal Forms by Mary […]

my predictive library refuses to remember deb

The Alien Onion reports on a new trend wherein "book" evolves into meaning "cool", which I am linking both because I find the evolution of the english language a fascinating process, and because my publishers really do rock. Lately, my brain appears to be fixating on txtspeak and lolspeak. For example,┬áthe dinner discussion last night […]

for the roses were weak and the petals fell away

Focus. I lacks it. Walked out of the house this morning with the nagging feeling something was wrong. Odd. Misplaced. It wasn't until I got to the top of the driveway that I figured out what it was: the letterbox was missing. Uprooted and vanished in the night. I stood there bemused for some time, […]

all of these hours, they will add up to a day

Sometimes I think my metaphors require more research than the rest of my novels' worldbuilding put together. It can be tricky, in a first draft, to hit a metaphor which is in keeping with the worldbuilding but at the same time not so unwieldy that a modern reader is going to stumble over it. Yesterday […]


What is it about cafes? Are they pathologically incapable of hiring staff who can spell? I've stopped counting the crimes against apostrophes (its/it's usually takes a real beating in a cafe menu), but this one was new to me:

and this isn't even high-density living

Lately, all my mornings start the same way: I lay in bed, listening to the sound of my neighbour throwing up. First time it happened was a weekend, and I wondered (not without some satisfaction) whether it was him, suffering the after-effects of too much alcohol. But it's been going on for over a month […]

new improved edition!

Yesterday I spotted the following on an invitation to a baby shower: Eggcorn? Malapropism? Both? Definitely funny, definitely wrong.

that, that and which

Glenda Larke has started a Sunday Writing Tips feature on her blog. Last week she focussed on the perils of the word "that". This week, she's explaining the difference between "that" and "which".

because commas count, kids

Dear coffee shop next door to where I work: May I suggest you examine the (lack of a) comma on your sign? I'm not going to harass you over the issue of the serial comma: it's something only writers and editors quibble about, after all. But if you want a list, then please use a […]

how difficult is it? really?

A snap of the lunch menu at the nearby cafe the other day. I draw your attention particularly to the entry a little over halfway down the board. Weep, my friends, for the dumb is winning.