language

Immerse Your Senses In 10 Hours Of Chimp Chatter For Free

Are you looking for some eclectic tracks to add to your music playlist? Or maybe some audio for your homemade Planet Of The Apes remake? Perhaps you’ve just got a penchant for primate jibber-jabber and don’t care who knows it? If the answer to any of the above is “yes”, this is the dealhacker you’ve been waiting for. Scientists have just launched a freely available online audio library cataloguing more than 10 hours of chimpanzee vocalisations. Download it and get weird.


How Spelling Mistakes Will Ruin Your Amusing GIFs

There’s an animated GIF doing the rounds which sums up the plot of every episode of TV medical drama House. It’s pointed and cruel and funny — but the effect was ruined for me by a spelling mistake in one of the captions.


What's The Difference Between A Reticle And A Reticule?

I’ll admit it: before I began researching this topic, I had never used the word reticle in a sentence. So how did it end up as a target for Mind Your Language?


Give Us A Break And Put The Brakes On

I thought put the brakes on was an obvious automotive idiom and that everyone would be able to spell it correctly. Then I opened my eyes and realised that some people are writing put the breaks on instead. Oh dear.


Were You Going To Use Where Correctly?

Mixing were and where can lead you down some interesting temporal and positional paths, but unless you’re a Time Lord, you should learn how to use them correctly. We’re going to find out how.


These Uncharted Waters Have Not Been Chartered

Uncharted waters is a common phrase used to describe unfamiliar territory. Don’t make the mistake of writing unchartered waters instead.


This Language Learning Method Ensures You Never Forget What You Learn

We all like the idea of learning a new language, but the time and effort involved can be off-putting. Gabriel Wyner, who wrote our previous post on learning languages as quickly as possible, has revised his method to help you learn faster and better retain what you learn.


Your Stationery Can Be Stationary (But Not The Other Way Around)

The distinction between stationery (pens, pencils, binder clips and other office gear) and stationary (not moving) is the first spelling mnemonic I can recall learning. However you remember it, it’s important to get it right.


Avoid Breaches In Your Breeches

Breeches is a somewhat old-fashioned word for trousers, and one you probably don’t need to deploy often unless you’re heavily into riding gear or have scored a job writing Asterix comics. One context where you definitely shouldn’t use it? When you actually mean breach.


No, Australians Don't Spell Jail With A 'G' Any More

Language changes over time, and current usage needs to reflect that to be accurate. There was a time when “gaol” was the accepted spelling in Australia. But that time was 1954, not 2014. Jail is the correct spelling these days.