Category Archives: Grammar & usage

Notes on the framework of language

Commonly confused phrases

I’m not sure I believe some of these. But if people are getting muddled, let’s get it fixed. Here are 33 commonly misunderstood words and phrases. Visit my websites via the links at the top of this page.

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Where does the word insurance come from?

National Insurance has been in the headlines since the budget. In the US, the word insurance is also topical. Read some background to the word insurance in this post. Visit my websites via the links at the top of this … Continue reading

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Best bib and tucker etc.

We’ve got a collection of phrases today: Best bib and tucker From pillar to post Like the clappers (although I would have said clapper) Brassed off Visit my websites via the links at the top of this page.

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44 overused words and phrases to avoid

There are some words that drag your writing down. Overused words make everything sound dull. Here are 44 overused words and phrases to avoid, and some suggestions about what to use instead. Just don’t spoil everything by getting too flowery! … Continue reading

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Swashbuckling

Here is a bit of background to a good word. Swashbuckling. Visit my websites via the links at the top of this page.

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The origin of the word “inauguration”

I know this is a little late, but I’ve just found this post about the origin of the word “inauguration“. And at least it is topical, but not depressing. Visit my websites via the links at the top of this … Continue reading

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What is the mail in blackmail?

Blackmail is an ugly word, as we all know. It is also an odd one, until you know the background behind it. The links aren’t what you might think. So what is the mail in blackmail? It all makes much more … Continue reading

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