Your 10-minute writing brush-up                                   JUNE  2017

About UpWORDly Mobile EXPRESS

EXPRESS pops up in email inboxes once a month to prod busy people to sharpen their language skills. It's produced by
a sweeping but unpretentious grammar, usage and plain language resource. Its creator is George Pearson, a writer and editor based in Stratford, Ontario.

Altered words 

Some reader contributions from the Washington Post's Style Invitational, passed along by Judy Maddren in her CBC language memo:

cashtration: The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to begin with.

sarchasm: the gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

Tips from a certified news hound

Judy Maddren is an UpWORDly Mobile subscriber. She hosted or co-hosted CBC Radio's national morning newscast, World Report, from 1993 until her retirement in 2009.
Judy now lives in Stratford, Ontario, with her husband, Tim Elliott. She is co-owner of Soundportraits, an audio production enterprise ( A Soundportrait, says the website, "honours a life well-lived or a life event that is worth celebrating."
For several years Judy was Broadcast Language Adviser for CBC National Radio News. During this time she served as clearing house and authority-in-residence on word pronunciation and spelling, as well as preferred word usage (example: "gone missing" to be avoided; use "disappeared" or "was lost").
Her regular memos to staff reflected a profound respect for language and a not-so-serious view of her self-importance. She referred to herself as Duchess of Dogma, The Happy Language Handler, The Pronunciation Proclaimer, Word Woman, Grammar Guru, Judge Judy, The Bon Mot Babe and many more light-hearted handles.
She shared her collected memos with me, and I'd like to share some of the items therein with you. You'll likely find some of your pet peeves among them.
If you really listen, can you hear an apostrophe? In its or it's, for example? Well, not being precise in differentiating between them, even in an audio-only context, was a Pet Peeve in one of Judy's memos. "This may look like a small problem," she wrote, "but as someone who reads a lot of scripts, it can throw me off."
Another Pet Peeve: "The pesky extra 'i' that sneaks into mischievous. There are already two i's in the word . . . don't add one after the v. MISS-chev-us."
Redundancies: NDP party / old adages / young babies / strangled to death / PIN number / human tragedy / young babies / severe famine / HIV virus
Translator or interpreter? "A TRANSLATOR is someone who changes documents from one language to another. An INTERPRETER is someone who renders a person's speech into another language while that person is talking."
"Also a reminder to say 'different from' NOT 'different than.'"
More from Judy's collection in the next EXPRESS. Thanks, Judy.

Please write to me if you have comments about anything covered in this edition of UpWORDly Mobile EXPRESS or comments about language use you'd like to share with EXPRESS readers.
George Pearson