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Same work, different climate 
Quotation marks 
The indefinite article before acronyms 
The role of verbs in sentences 
A grammatical take on the future 

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Same work, different climate PDF Print E-mail
News - News
Monday, 09 August 2010

Like most businesses across the globe, Right Words went quiet with the onset of the global financial crisis in 2007. It was deja vu, in that we lived through the Asian crisis in the late 1990s and remember how work suddenly disappeared then. It took several years for business to recover fully and we expect the pattern to be similar now.

In the meantime, though, life has not been quiet. Over the past 18 months, Alison's mother, stepmother, father-in-law and aunt have all passed away, leading Alison and Steve to decide to move north to be near Steve's mother. For the past year, they have focused on selling assets, and renovating and selling the house in Dunedin. In early July, they and cat Alex undertook the four-day journey from Dunedin to Ngunguru, a small town 20 kilometers north of Whangarei. Alison is greatly enjoying her new home in the country and in the warmer climate.

With her, Alison brought the Right Words 'office'. Right Words was born in Dunedin in 1987 and had an established presence there, so it may be a surprise to some readers to discover that it is no longer based there, but at the other end of the country.

But despite the change in physical location, there is no change in Right Words' services. We still write, edit and proofread as before. And while Alison has been following the sun, Robyn has been planning a climate change of her own - a move from Nelson back to, yes, Dunedin, where the weather is chilly but the people are warm.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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Quotation marks PDF Print E-mail
Answers - Answers to questions
Friday, 30 July 2010

When are the half quotation marks used. That is 'when is this' type of mark used.

That's a good (read curly) one. There is one basic rule that we know of: use single quotes for quotes within quotes. "They said that if he didn't pay them back, they'd 'have his guts for garters'," she said. (The punctuation of that is another issue again, depending on whether you're American or British.)

Beyond that, it's a bit messy. Double quotes are still de rigueur for quoted speech but many people prefer single quotes for other uses because single quotes look 'cleaner' on the page. For that and space reasons, many newspapers use single quotes in headlines where they would use double quotes in body text.

Our position at Right Words is to use double quotes for things that people have actually said or written and single quotes for referring to words (what is the difference in meaning between 'enable' and 'allow'?) and for colloquialisms and neologisms (he got 'served' (put in his place, if you're not up with that one)). But that's just our practice. There may be learned treatises on the subject that would recommend other ways of using them.

 
The indefinite article before acronyms PDF Print E-mail
Answers - Answers to questions
Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Hi: I always wonder which is correct:

I want to say: I have a RTCE customer.

Spoken, this is a "vowel" sound: arr...

But it is a consonant: which is correct: A or AN?

Established practice is to go by how you would pronounce the acronym if you were reading it aloud; in this case, you would spell it out, so you would use 'an'. Of course, some acronyms can be pronounced as words, so you would write 'a Nato (or NATO, depending on the style you adopt) exercise' but 'an NGO'.

 
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