Delay ≠ délai; délai ≠ delay
In keeping with a promise I made to share some common Gallicisms with you, here’s one I constantly see in French copy and English translations: délai = delay, and vice-versa. As I was consulting my Facebook news feed this morning, I read the following French message in form of a camera shot (underlining is mine): « Madame, […]
Like my Twitter colleague André Racicot, I thought it would be a great idea to comment on French words often used incorrectly or Gallicisms that constantly ooze into English texts. Today, I’d like to talk to you about a word that rubs my French-speaking colleagues the wrong way: impact. Below is a text excerpt written by […]
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 […]
“Do not put statements in the negative form.”
This was one of many writing techniques rules I learned a few years ago. Why should writers avoid putting statements in the negative form? According to KwizNet’s website, putting statements in the affirmative form “tells or asks about what is.” It is important to tell readers what they want or need to know, not what […]
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 […]
Mind Your “It’ses” and “Itses,” Please!
In fall 2011, I took a writing techniques class at Montreal’s McGill University. I remember receiving and reading a list of rules for writers and writing techniques. One of the rules read as follows: “Use the apostrophe in it’s proper place and omit it when its not needed.” The rules were meant to be humorous […]
Futebol & Fútbol = Football?
From June 12 to July 13, 2014, Brazil will host the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Sports fans will gather together to cheer their favourite teams on, hoping one of them will ultimately be declared the world’s champion. Sports fans won’t be the only ones watching this Cup. I bet some of my language professional colleagues […]