I love H W Fowler’s ‘Modern English Usage’. It was first published in 1926 and is the definitive guide to the complexities of the English language. As an added benefit, there is so much dry humour encased within I’ve often laughed at the quips Mr Fowler makes as he explains the subtleties of the language!
Be mindful about the difference between ‘it’s’ and its’. You wouldn’t believe how many professional journalists still get it wrong.
A long weekend – how wonderful! Be active, not passive – and not just this weekend. Active speech is preferred, not passive tense. So go do it and don’t get done by it!
Watch your dialogue like a hawk. Write it like you hear it. A good idea is to go somewhere you can listen to people’s conversations on the bus or train and write down some nuggets to get your dialogue sounding realistic.
When is the sun going to shine? Here’s an important tip to illuminate our writing skills:
So, is it ‘I’ or is it ‘me’?
The temptation is to say: ‘Would you explain that to Matt and I?’ Well, you would be wrong. Why? An easy trick is to omit the other object (in this case, Matt).
You wouldn’t say ‘Would you explain that to I?’
Another common example of where things go awry is ‘It’s just between you and I’. Correct usage is to say: ‘It’s just between you and me’.
Hope you like this one!