Category: Grammar and writing help

Bond villain Blofeld and his cat

11 acronyms that are actually ‘backronyms’

Everyone knows what an acronym is – an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word, like ‘NASA’ or ‘NATO’ – but not all know what a ‘backronym’ is. While acronyms are formed from phrases or names that exist beforehand, a backronym is an acronym deliberately created to suit […]

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National Novel Writing Month

Words of encouragement, unsolicited advice, and a few reservations about starting a novel for NaNoWriMo

For those participating in NaNoWriMo, I salute you. By all means, please brag about your novel to your friends. Be proud of it. Appreciate the encouragement you receive. Ignore any eye rolls. And, most importantly, use this month as an opportunity not to simply write as many words as you can, but to become a […]

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confused man in a paper bag

Quiz: can you tell apart these confusing words?

There are dozens and dozens of pairs of words in English that are easy to mix up. Test your skills with our confusing words quiz, which covers all of your gnarly pairs, from affect / effect to defuse / diffuse and many, many more! If you find yourself lost, you might want to check out our list […]

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Here is a collection of some of the commonly confused words that you often encounter.

31 commonly confused words to watch out for

Let’s be honest: English can be a really confusing language. There are pairs upon pairs of words that seem specially designed to torment – sometimes differing by just a single letter – it’s not just language learners who have to be wary but also native speakers of English. Here is a collection of some of the […]

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Video: practice or practise?

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Dessert island

5 cartoons of confused words

Do you like walking around with bear feet? What would you take with you to a dessert island? There are many words in the English language that sound the same, but have very different meanings. These cartoons will show you just how awkward it can get with even the slightest spelling mistake… Bear feet or bare feet? Bear and bare are often confused […]

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double consonants

Double trouble (or accommodating doubled consonants in English)

The presence of doubled consonants in certain words can present a great challenge for students attempting to get to grips with English spelling. The sound of a word will often give an idea of whether a single letter or a double is required, but it is quite possible for two words to sound alike and […]

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Video: is it OK to split infinitives?

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