Top Stories language
- The Psychology Of Language: Why Are Some Words More Persuasive?
- How Keeping It Simple Can Make Writing Better
- Why The Habit Of Accuracy Matters Whenever You Write
- How To Successfully Learn A New Language This Year
- How To Detect When Someone Is Lying (And Get Them To Tell The Truth)
- Practising The Defence Of The Australian Way To Spell Licence
Mind Your Language exists to offer narky advice on accurate language usage, but we’re more than happy to let others do the work. This new song from legendary comedy musicians The Lonely Island (featuring Solange) offers a reminder in humorous form on the correct use of the semicolon.
‘Make do and mend’ was a popular slogan during World War 2, designed to encourage people not to needlessly throw out clothing that could be repaired and repurposed. That in itself is a very Lifehacker-friendly idea, but it is not our topic today. Instead, we’re here to remind everyone that the correct expression is ‘make do’, not ‘make due’.
When you’re digging through the internet and reading essays, or having a heated discussion with someone else, it’s often tough to immediately spot where the argument breaks down. Professor of philosophy Daniel C Dennett suggests that one key word to look for as a sign of a weak argument for is “surely.”
Experience has taught Mind Your Language that even native speakers struggle with composing basic sentences. As such, it’s no surprise that attempts at machine translation come off like idiotic garbage. But in an atmosphere where gushing hype along the lines of “this phone will translate everything you say” is all too common, a reminder certainly won’t do any harm.
The word ‘Google’ has been widely embraced by the English speaking world as a de facto verb for internet searches. When you want to find something out online, you don’t search for it; you “google” it. But what about Microsoft’s rival search engine Bing? Over the past few days, I’ve been asking friends, family and co-workers to ‘Bing’ search queries for me. Here’s a transcription of some of their reactions…