I think it’s about time we did another post on English. We at Team Busy Bee have neglected our English Language advice course; mainly due to Covid. Amazingly, our business has grown substantially during the lockdown; probably because many people were forced to work from home so social media and online communication have come to the fore.

The English language, like most other languages is changing all the time, so Busy Bee Editing has to try and keep abreast of changes. Nevertheless, there are quite a number of general rules and customs that we come across every day. By the way, Google is our friend! We use it extensively in our work to check up on current usage trends.

Here are a few bits and pieces to remind our followers of some general usage rules in Standard English:

Firstly – Try and keep your English as uncluttered as possible. It is frustrating for readers to find true meaning from sentences or phrases that are full of repetition, unnecessary words, inaccurate word choices and so on …

Here are some unnecessary “padding” words that are definitely over-used, as in most cases, they contribute nothing to the meaning: BASICALLY, PARTICULARLY, YOU KNOW, ACTUALLY.

Turning a phrase around for no apparent reason just makes the sentence longer.

e.g. saying “the husband of Anna.” Rather just write – “Anna’s husband.”

Inaccurate word choices:

The word “titled” just means having a title such as “lord, prince or admiral”.

The word “entitled” means that you have a right to be given something e.g. In south Africa we are entitled by law to have clean, fresh water.

Never use:

comprises of – just use comprises. It is a verb, so it doesn’t need to be followed by “by”.

very much concerned or very much happy.

We eat very much of sugar; just write or say a lot of sugar.

Practice or practise

Practice is a noun, so it is used as follows: e.g. “I have just opened my new medical practice.”

Practise is a verb. so, you can use it as follows: “I am going to the field to practise my kicking.

That’s all for now; but I will be doing further updates as I come across issues that need to be addressed regarding current English usage.

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