Sadomasochism – What Kind of a Word is that?

We have all heard of the words sadism and masochism, and probably used the terms separately…

Hold the Front Page!

My first problem as a writer has been composing a compelling opening paragraph. The harder I…

The case of the Flying Uterus

Once, as a young undergraduate, I was given a lift by an older student who said…

Stratford Literary festival

In 2019, The Stratford Literary Festival invited local authors – by local I mean indie and…

World English

When it comes to the English language, scholars of linguistics can sound a bit Anglo-centric, though…

A Burning Issue

Burning books is a bad thing. It is censorship of opinions, little better than burning people…

The Power of Three and the Ipse Dixit

Politicians and orators have long followed the rule of three – i.e. keep your argument to…

When Only a Letter Will Do

We have so many ways of communicating these days apart from writing a letter: phone, text,…

Linguistic Roots of a City Under Siege.

Putin is not the only Russian leader who has had expansionist ambitions. In the eighteenth century,…

Putting Obscure Grammar Back in the Box.

I went to a grammar school back in the 1960s and, yes, as the title suggests,…

Voices from the Black Country

The Black Country is the most western part of the West Midlands county in the middle…

Schadenfreude

Schadenfreude. It’s German, of course – from the Germanic schaden (harm) and freude (joy). It means…

Calling all playwrights …

Next year is the four hundredth anniversary of the publication of the first folio of plays…

Don’t read ‘How To Write’ Manuals

The Nobel prize-winning Polish poet, Wislawa Szymborska, wrote How to Start Writing (And When to Stop)…

Don’t write about who you know!

When Hattie Crisell wrote a short story for her creative writing class, the tutor was very…

Smart Talking

There are plenty of English words used in the UK that started life in America, jumped…

Definition of the word Party

This blog does not do politics, so nothing that follows should be construed as party political.…

Ghostwriting Memoirs – a growing market

Books, as we all know, come in many genres and one of the most popular is…

A Christmas Story

Christmas is just around the corner. That time of year when we gather by cosy hearths…

Buy Books for Christmas!!!

Not many shopping days to go before Christmas, and if you’re stumped for a present why…

Have You Had the ‘Film Rights for Your Book’ Dream Yet?

Many writers dream that, maybe one day, one of their books will catch the eye of…

What’s a Cowen?

My attention was caught recently by a question posed on the radio – what did a…

The Decline of the Apostrophe?

The linguist, Dr Vaclav Brezina, said recently “There has been a very noticeable drop in the…

A Date With Gaia.

Cop26 in Glasgow, Scotland, has finally finished with delegates struggling to agree even their watered down…

Are You Mononymous?

Are you mononymous? Go on, admit it, you haven’t a clue what I am talking about.…