September 2008


Open letter to all magazine editors

I am your loyal reader, yes, the one who’s been reading your publication religiously for [insert period here]. I love nothing better than reading your magazine, whether it is offline or online. To me, a typical Sunday afternoon means reading your magazine (other magazines, too) at Exclusive Books, Vida or Melissa’s. Wif a cigar if it isn’t too windy. It entertains me, and the people around me, too: I have a bad habit of laughing very loudly at something funny so I get many stares from people. From random, ugly people; good looking men with their Gants shopping bags never look at me… Oh, and Esquire, I ❤ you.

Anyway. I still have important work to do… Like to tell you what I don’t like about your magazine.

This section applies to women’s magazines:

Stop sending me lotion and sanitary pad samples that I have to pry from the pages. Please. If you insist on sending me things, be nice and send something that doesn’t tear the pages of my beloved magazine when I rip out the sample. Because I will rip it out. I promise.

That’s all.

I’m a girly girl. This means I love me shoes. The Prada Ruffle Sandals is a fabulous conversation starter. I’d never be able to wear something like this, though – I have thick ankles. 😦  But it’s wonderfully OTT.

One day, I’ll spoil myself with these Gold Platform Slingbacks. I like the simple design.

The Suede Scales Pump is another strangely designed shoe that I can imagine wearing to an art exhibition and receiving many compliments on.

What does this have to do with language? Um, nothing? 😉

(Beware: Gratuitous linking)

Two people inspired me to write this post: John McIntyre’s Strunk-stuck post and Gustav Bertram. Gustav and I had an email discussion on grammar – well, sort of. He wanted to know which books would help him to write better. Never mind that he already does; he knows the difference between everyday and every day.

Anywho. So what do I use? I read, read, read, and read more. Every day. It’s what I do. I read John McIntyre’s blog, I read Grammar Girl, I read Editrix, I read… This list may become boring after one or two ‘I read’ statements, so here’s my list:

Copyblogger – This was my Bible when I became an alleged copywriter.

Daily Writing Tips – I do not agree with everything they say, but they do offer good advice.

Poynter Online – I’ll admit that I do not read this as often as I should.

The Economist Style Guide – It has a horrible introduction; however, the advice is fantastic.

Guide to Grammar and Style –Very American, but excellent.

Common Errors in English –Also very American, but authoritative.

What I read for fun

Conjugate Visits – I read this blog religiously; it’s funny and warm and very real.

Watch Yer Language – Recent discovery.

Apostrophe Abuse – Me likes this blog muchly.

The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks – Hilarious.

But I lead a balanced life – I also read books. My bookshelf is home to The Write Stuff , Troublesome Words, about seven dictionaries in (two in Afrikaans), What not to Write, The Big Book of Sex Quotes, How to Punctuate.

Oops. I wasn’t supposed to include The Big Bad Book of Sex Quotes in my list. But I do recommend it for much laffs.

Well, even I will admit this is a lot of work, all this reading and laughing. Where to start if you just want to improve your report writing? I’m a geek; you, a busy Account Executive (or SEO whizz), aren’t. The Write Stuff and Troublesome Words are some of the best guides I know of. Copyblogger is also excellent, as is Brian’s Common Errors in English. Start with one guide and improve your grammar. Hell, just get a high school grammar guide such as Target English. I paid R28 for it at Exclusives recently and read it in the train on my way to work.

Oh, I need to add a caveat: I am learning every day. This is why I am blogging about language, grammar and stuff. Geeky, but cool. I hope.

Update: I found this website today: Road to Grammar. Have fun!