Category Grammar

Noun Strings, I Think I Love You. Not.

For some reason, some English writers love wordiness. Surprisingly, several newspaper journalists are notorious for this pesky practice. I have been a Globe and Mail subscriber for the past two years. Generally speaking, journalists write well. Lately, however, I’ve noticed that writing has become somewhat stiff, somewhat wordy. It seems that in-house or freelance editors no longer […]

Editors, anyone?

The following excerpts read: « … à des milieux de travail différents, à des besoins différents, à des clientèles différentes… » « Je désire remercier X… pour son invitation à participer à ce projet… qui nous a permis de vivre une expérience… Nous exprimons une vive reconnaissance à X qui nous a permis de vous offrir cette […]

Media: Singular or Plural?

Within the space of a week, Peter Mansbridge, anchor of CBC’s The National, and co-anchor Wendy Mesley have accompanied media with singular verbs when presenting a panel or an upcoming story in future broadcasts. Last night was no exception. In preparation for a discussion about the way in which the media are covering the ongoing […]

Non-Restrictive and Restrictive Sentences

Of all punctuation marks in the English language (and all languages, for that matter), the comma is by far the most difficult to master—it’s also at the core of much debate. For instance, must we place a comma before the final and or or in a series of three items or more? Debates surrounding the serial or Oxford […]

Overused Words & Conciseness

During the summer, I have had several opportunities to read publications on a variety of topics: film archives, shyness, music—the list goes on. I also listened to several breaking news headlines on television. As I was reading and listening, I couldn’t help but ask myself why authors and spokespeople loved long-winded, overused words and structures […]

Montreal’s Subway Stations & Articles, Prepositions

Recently, the Société de transport de Montréal, Montreal’s transit commission (STM), announced name changes of some subway stations. According to the STM, these changes ensure consistency with subway station names and their corresponding thoroughfares. For instance, instead of Acadie Parc L’Assomption the STM will now rename these stations as De L’Acadie Du Parc De L’Assomption […]

Translation from Spanish: Experiences

For the second time in over a year, I received a Spanish>English project from a Sherbrooke-based client this week. Though I clearly mention in my professional title that I am a Spanish>English freelance translator, the truth is that I rarely receive work in this language combination. At any rate, the Spanish translation experience was just […]