Tinkering Time

Technology and I do not interface well. In fact, it is fair to say that material existence and I need to be supervised so that I do not accidentally come to harm. Much as I grouse about contemporary life, I would not have survived in the wild, or even a century ago, so no-one is…

Writing Strangely Familiar Things

Spoilers for Stranger Things (television series) seasons 1 - 2. On 15th July 2016, Netflix released the Duffer Brothers' Stranger Things (ST), a nostalgic love-letter to the '80s filled with concentrated fun and then ground down into an addictive substance and unleashed on the world, ensnaring an entire generation of unsuspecting viewers. Many fans resorted…

Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe

We live at a time in which not only is language changing around us, but we can look back over the centuries of linguistic change that have informed the present. Despite all our recent achievements, to find the paragons of the written word we must look to the past. Unfortunately, what we find there can…

Passive Activism

Thanks to Thematically Meandering for featuring my article about the passive voice. Follow this link for the original article and TM's own journey of discovery in the wacky world of words, as well as his reflections on the hard life of doctoral study. If, like me, you learnt to type in the 1990s or early…

Writing 40,000 Hammers

Spoilers for Warhammer 40,000, Warhammer Fantasy Battle, and derived media. The biggest fantasy here is that a sword will be of any use against... wait a minute...(Artist: Dan Scott - info for the artist's page greatly appreciated) In the last of the current series of fictional worlds we shall be examining the fantastic oddball that…

Writing Fantasy-hammer

Spoilers (maybe?) for the Warhammer Fantasy Battle franchise. The biggest fantasy here is that a sword will be of any use against a three-foot tall creature from the back of a fifteen-foot tall mount. Nottingham is famous for three things: Robin Hood, knife crime, and the headquarters of a cynical corporation preying upon the pliable…

Style Guides and How to Avoid Them

Today we are going to take a break from the constant stream of dragons and magic to talk about something fun instead: grammar and style guides. Woo. Some of you may remember a little while ago when I compared the cover of Strunk and White's magnum opus to what happens after flushing. The first lesson…

Of Daenerys and Denouements

Spoilers for A Game of Thrones and Battlestar Galactica (2004). This is a slight diversion from the blog's usual focus as a big story comes to a close. I might do this regularly. The final episode of Game of Thrones was actually not bad. There were some clangers and I rolled my eyes at least…