Saturday, May 20, 2006

World Wide Words: Another Fine Website Spotting

World Wide Words, billed by its author Michael Quinion as a website “about international English from a British viewpoint” offers virtually countless tips on word usage, often with humor and always with intelligence.

The website could be pedantic at times (etaoin shrdlu = A nonsense phrase; an absurd or unintelligible utterance), or downright silly (YAPPIE = Young Affluent Parent, OINK = One Income, No Kids, DINKIE = Dual Income, No Kids, HOPEFUL = Hard-up Older Person Expecting Full Useful Life, DUMP = Destitute Unemployed Mature Professional, SITCOM = Single Income, Two Kids, Outrageous Mortgage, SINBAD = Single Income, No Boyfriend, Absolutely Desperate). However, Quinion’s take on business terms like 360-degree feedback or on pronoun usage and acronyms, for instance, are immediately useful to the serious on-the-job writer.

What’s best about this site is that Quinion's discussion of commonly and uncommonly used words and phrases refrains from registering a righteous this-is-right-and-this-is wrong mindset. He knows that language is driven by context, and all his entries thoroughly deliberate on the topic. Here is the link:

To purchase your copy of The Art of On-the-Job Writing by Philip Vassallo, click here: