Think you have an excellent grasp on the English language? Do you question the grammar of your copywriter? Are you an engineer or programmer who insists that you can write better than your technical writer? Well sir, I challenge thee to a English contest!
You have 1 month to put your money (5 bucks) where your mouth is. Point-to-Point, a publisher/language school/tour company based in Ottawa, is inviting all native English speakers to a Language Contest. The prize is a copy for The Oxford Atlas and bragging rights of course.
At first glance of the text there are a myriad of mistakes that jump off the screen, however I know that they’ve laid a number of hidden landmines for the language police. The results and corrections will be posted on September 30th.
While I’m on the subject of writing better, will people stop using crutch words please? The best of us use them. The Bush speechwriter cannot stop using “embolden”, not that I would consider this speechwriter one of the best writers out there. I’m reading through best-selling author Anne Perry’s Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series right now. She’s stuck on describing gas street lamps and insists on repeatedly calling them moons. I’m guilty of crutch words myself. Whenever you write on one topic/genre long enough you’re bound to have words that you use when you can’t find new ones that would better describe what you’re talking about. It makes your writing go faster, and in all honesty, it is the easy way out.
One more thing about writing better. Would “comedic” screenwriters *please* stop using that stupid ESP/ESPN joke? It was funny the first time I heard it back on the 80’s sitcom Perfect Strangers. It was funny because Balki didn’t have a great command of English, he was new to American culture and didn’t know what ESPN was, and ESPN had recently launched under those initials that don’t mean anything. It’s about 20 years later, we all know what ESPN is, the joke’s not funny anymore. And when it’s comes to making a ditzy blonde look dumb, there are far funnier, contempory jokes to use.