Reform school?

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Declining standards of English are still a big concern, judging by the anticipated content of a government white paper due out today. The reforms are expected to reverse much of what the Labour government brought in; such as the modular approach to examining, where pupils take a series of shorter exams spread out over two […]

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Pause for commas

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Compared with pondering the placement of the much less familiar semi-colon or the enigmatic apostrophe, the ubiquitous comma might seem hardly worth worrying about. They’re ten a penny, aren’t they? Why not just sprinkle them at will or leave them out entirely? Unsurprisingly, we don’t recommend doing either. They may seem a common or garden […]

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Ten tips for perfect punctuation

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More people are unsure of their punctuation than would ever care to admit it. Use our quick guide to make sure you’re not one of them. Never use ‘its’ with an apostrophe unless it means ‘it is’ or ‘it has’ – it’s amazing how many people use it wrongly. Beware also the greengrocer’s apostrophe (pea’s, […]

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Brackets (and how to use them)

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So, those emoticon smiles: what else can they be used for? Round brackets Imagine the contents of round brackets (or parentheses) as an aside that might be said behind your hand (an actor on a stage might anyway). These punctuation marks come in handy to: include optional information You don’t have much time left to […]

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Tune in to business-writing radio

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Now, we know it’s not considered good form to blow one’s own trumpet, but – just this once – we hope you’ll forgive us a little toot. We’ve produced something we think you’ll want to hear. We’ve produced a podcast. And by gum, we’re really rather proud of it. Firstly (unlike some podcasts) it doesn’t […]

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