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Style

Why wouldn’t you want to be clear?

The obvious answer is – if you want to mislead. A fascinating study published in the US Journal of Language and Social Psychology suggests that when scientists’ research turns out to be fraudulent, the language is often a giveaway. Two researchers at Stanford University, California, studied more than 250 scientific papers that had been found […]

Websites need style

Having a style guide is essential for a professional-looking website or publication. I’ve contributed to bespoke style guides, mostly for big clients, but having one specially written is probably beyond the means of small and medium-sized businesses. For the rest of us, the best thing to do is to borrow someone else’s. I recently came […]

Lessons from the poets

On National Poetry Day, a poet appeared on BBC Radio 4 this morning to criticise what he called the daily abuse of language by politicians. Michael Horovitz said every politician should learn a poem and say it back before making any public pronouncement. That should keep quite a lot of people quiet, but we might […]