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25th April 2016

Welcome back to the ETC blog after a super-sunny weekend on the South Coast. Last week we were considering ‘will, shall and ‘ll’ and what leads people to choose one over another. What led me to consider this was the general misapprehension that ‘will’ is the future tense in English, a theory often promoted in British schools. I […]

By |September 16th, 2019|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments

ll

Good morning and welcome to September. There’s certainly a chill in the air today! Ha, I hear you say, last week he used ‘will’ when he signed off and he was talking about the future. Well, kind of…but  not exactly, I used ‘ll and, like other people in the business, consider the possibility of ’ll […]

By |September 2nd, 2019|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments

I’m back!

Well, here I am, back from holiday, all refreshed and ready for action. Hope you enjoyed yesterday’s bank holiday and missed me as much as I missed you! A couple of weeks ago I mused on Douglas Adams and his use of the Future Semiconditionally Modified Subinverted Plagal Past Subjunctive Intentional. I hope you enjoyed […]

By |August 27th, 2019|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments

It’s like, wet!

Last week I left you saying we’d consider language terminology more closely and the problem of learning a language too prescriptively. It may suit some people, but quite often puts more people off. (Here at ETC we are very ‘Descriptive Grammar’ oriented by the way.)  Having last week considered the “first-person inclusive let-imperative.”!!! I’d like […]

By |August 1st, 2019|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments

We looooove language!

Of course I had lots of people trying to help me out with last week’s teaser and I can now reveal that those super people at the Cambridge Grammar of English Language have a name for this! The ‘let us go’ example is referred to as ‘an ordinary imperative’, whereas the ‘let’s go’ example is […]

By |July 22nd, 2019|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments

Let’s

Last week I left you by saying, “let’s see what we can focus on next week”. Well, it’s now ‘next week’ and the answer was staring me in the face; it was ‘let’s’.

If you ask a lot of people what the apostrophe stands for in ‘let’s’, they usually say ‘us’. I bought this, because having […]

By |July 16th, 2019|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments

It’s getting hot in here…

“It’s hot in here.” Hi everyone! At the end of last week’s blog I asked you to think about what ‘it’s hot in here’ could mean. Well… It could mean, ‘please open the window’, or ‘turn down the heating’, or ‘this place is really rocking!’, or ‘Thank goodness!’ You probably thought of a few others. […]

By |July 1st, 2019|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments

Good, eh?

“Are you the fish?”

“No. I’m the chicken.”

Good, eh? People have suggested various contexts for this, the most obvious being in a restaurant where the waiter comes to the table carrying a tray of dinners and wants to know who to despatch them to. Other suggestions have been characters at a fancy dress party or spies […]

By |June 18th, 2019|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments

When is now?

Last week we mentioned the possible ambiguity of the question: “Are you doing anything tonight?” This can, of course, mean different things depending on the context. This is tricky enough, but if you don’t have an –ing form in your first language, like for example German, French, Arabic, Russian, Turkish and Japanese to name just […]

By |June 10th, 2019|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments

Blogless

Welcome back to the ETC Blog. Many followers of the blog noted that last week we were particularly ‘blogless’. Was it because of the bank holiday? they asked. Well actually, it was due to/because of/as a result of a slight technical hitch, which has now been sorted. (Sorted is an anagram for Dorset, by the […]

By |June 3rd, 2019|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments