Top Stories mind your language
‘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’.
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.
You hear something, you misunderstand it, you use a homonym when you write it down, and so we end up here: with another Mind Your Language rebuke. Yes, this week we’re talking about the much-abused ‘hear, hear’.
I am writing this post with an odd constraint attached. No word is allowed to have more than two sound units. I borrowed the idea from writer Ruth Rendell, who is using it for a novel aimed at adults who have just learned to read. But it is also a solid tactic for making sure any kind of writing you perform conveys the meaning you intend.