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Style and Grammar School – increase your command of English through better style and grammar choices

I have written text on every aspect of each section, as per the list of sections and the headings under each.

The six sections are:

  • Appetizers and bonbons: Developing an appetite to learn more about English
  • A brief history: How English went from a little-known Germanic dialect to a global language
  • Key ingredients of English: Nitty-gritty
  • How to write paragraphs, paraphrase, summarise and quote; fair use, plagiarism and such
  • English class with Stephen Fry, Stephen King, Strunk and White, Steven Pinker, Margaret Atwood and Noam Chomsky
  • Jargon, garbage language and the weaponisation of English

Note: It’s also possible to book sessions on King’s On writing: A memoir of the craft, Strunk and White’s The elements of style (the illustrated edition), or Pinker’s The sense of style: The thinking person’s guide to writing in the 21st century).

Appetizers and bonbons

A language joke

English class with Chameli Waiba: Literacy is a miracle

The English alphabet did not always contain 26 letters: 12 letters that didn’t make it

Partner words that have fallen out of use or never existed

When are words born as well as archaic, obsolete and dead words

The most widely recognised word in the world – OK – started as a joke

Can you pronounce every word in the dictionary? Jacques Bailly can

Can reading bad writing be as bad as… witnessing 9/11?

How Danielle Steel has managed to write more than 185 books

Those who write more show vastly more brain activity

Rewriting our stories may make us happier, among other health benefits

We now have a Planet Word Museum

When writing, consider…

Two ways to clean up a document

On transcripts

The proofreading trickster, or Muphry’s (sic) Law

Sometimes there’s no pleasing some journal editors

A brief history: How English went from a little-known Germanic dialect to a global language

 

The Great Vowel Shift

The English Renaissance

The printing press and standardisation

The Bible

Dictionaries, grammars and newspapers

The golden age of English literature

World Englishes

English today: An “embarrassment of riches”

Key ingredients of English: Nitty-gritty

All hail, the classic style! Why we should aim for the classic style, which differs from the plain, practical, oratory, official/school/bureaucratic, reflexive, contemplative, explanatory, apologetic, romantic and prophetic styles, as well as from informal style and slang

Individual English learning, fluency and its limit

English is more eccentric than many languages

Our attitudes to language tend to be conservative, yet language is not

Developing a love for the heart of language: Towards a robust vocabulary

The four stages of the Logical Writing Process Cycle for, say, an academic paper

Functional improprieties, the vocabulary of logic, logical sequences and fallacies

The punctuation marks, in short

So, what exactly is tone (as opposed to style, diction and voice)?

On prepositions: Words that go anywhere a mouse can go

An introduction to sentence structure (syntax)

Subject-verb (dis)agreement

Who farted? The passive voice, grammatical inexactness and scientific inexactness

The 16 tenses in English as well as mixed tenses

Some differences between UK and U.S. English

The singular ‘they’ dates back to at least 1375

What’s up, dog? The joys of informal, colloquial and slang words and expressions

How many errors are acceptable in a text?

Translation engines’ quick-and-dirty conversions of sentences into texts with little meaning

The demands of our time ask more from authors than a bright idea and limpid prose

If you are an academic and want to change the world, why write only for your peers?

How to write paragraphs, paraphrase, summarise and quote; fair use, plagiarism and such

Paragraphs

Plagiarism and the misuse of sources

Types of plagiarism

Copyright law

How plagiarism can happen

Avoiding plagiarism

Paraphrasing

Quoting

Summarising

Fair use

Repurposing and plagiarism

Referencing tips

English class with Stephen Fry, Stephen King, Strunk and White, Steven Pinker, Margaret Atwood and Noam Chomsky

English class with Mr. Stephen King (required reading: On writing: A memoir of the craft): Don’t wait for the muse, and tighten those sentences, dammit!

English class with Stephen Fry: Language is “worth thinking about at any time”

English class: Strunk and White’s muscular and marvellous The elements of style (required reading: the illustrated edition)

English class with Steven Pinker (required reading: The sense of style: The thinking person’s guide to writing in the 21st century): Towards a direct, conversational and unfussy classic style

More on the classic style

Writing class with Margaret Atwood (required reading: Negotiating with the dead: A writer on writing): What is writing? Who is the writer? “… by my voice I shall be known”

Linguistics and history class with the eloquent Noam Chomsky

Jargon, garbage language and the weaponisation of English

About the Plain English Campaign

From plain English to its weaponisation in garbage language

Business jargon: Some of the worst offenders and some fixes

For availability, costs and bookings, e-mail me at ink@johangrobler.com