Monthly Archives: May 2011

More mangled modifiers

Yesterday I received a letter that made me laugh out loud. It was a fundraising letter, so that probably wasn’t the reaction that the author was after. But the first sentence created a wonderful image for me. Here’s the sentence: When I was told I might have leukaemia in 2008 I was shattered. The image […]

Read More


Mangled modifiers

I’ve been focusing a bit on modifiers recently – those bits of sentences that add extra detail or explanation. I’m amazed at how often they’re put in a spot that’s awkward or confusing. Take this sentence – which I heard on an ABC news report last week: ‘There had been very little awareness for a […]

Read More


Coping with unfamiliar settings

An unfamiliar environment is almost guaranteed to bring my facade of confidence unstuck. It doesn’t need to be a difficult or stressful situation – just something that I’m not familiar with. It’s all about lacking the ‘script’ for how I’m meant to behave in that environment. And my reaction seems to be influenced greatly by […]

Read More


Pesky possessives part 2

I didn’t expect to find more to say about the possessive apostrophe in Mothers’ Day … But then I received an email from Grammar Girl, letting me know that I should write Mother’s Day – it’s singular possessive because the day is about families honouring their individual mothers, rather than being a plural possessive honouring […]

Read More


Signs intended to calm disgruntled customers

Is it possible for organisations to diffuse customer frustration using signs? The ultimate message of the signs is: Please, don’t get frustrated with us; this is the way our system works, and we’re not going to change it for you. I’ve come across two examples of these signs recently, and I felt that one was […]

Read More