Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hello out there!

Hi everyone,
It's me and I'm back in the world of blogging. I'm feeling fresh and ready to write about ways to improve your writing and how proofreading and editing from a professional is critical. Remember that is the place to come to receive the help you need to make your writing perfect.
I'll be back soon!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Blumin Annoying!

I have just learnt that knowing how to spell can actually be detrimental rather than advantageous. Let me explain...

I have been trying to track down a dress to match a jacket I bought a while ago. Yesterday afternoon, I rang the distributer and she gave me the names of a number of stores to ring around to see if they had the dress in stock. One of the store names she gave me was 'Blooming Gorgeous' (at least that's what it sounded like!). She also told me that it was located in the Niecon Plaza at Broadbeach.

When I finished the phone call, I thought I'd do a google search for the phone numbers of the stores to try to source the much-desired dress. Well, this was where I hit a fairly large stumbling block. I typed 'Blooming Gorgeous' into google and was presented with 'about' 988 000 hits, all to flower related sites (although I must admit to not going further than the first page). Then, I thought I'd get clever and google 'Blooming Gorgeous Broadbeach' and clicked 'pages from Australia' before I hit the 'Search' button. Hey presto! The search narrowed to 809 hits, although was still mostly florists and some maternity sites. I noticed the search was also throwing up results with 'bloomin', so next I did a search for 'Bloomin Gorgeous Broadbeach'. Even though I got 375 hits, lower than both previous searches, the early indications from the first few pages were that I was on a wild goose chase. I was at my wits' end - surely it wasn't meant to be this difficult. A yellow pages search was equally frustrating - all I got were numbers for a florist and an escort.

Finally, after I recollected the phone call with the supplier, I remembered she mentioned that the store was in the Niecon Plaza, so, in desperation, I googled 'Niecon Plaza Broadbeach', which yielded the Niecon Plaza as top hit. With shaking hands (okay, not quite shaking), I clicked on the link and went to the Niecon Plaza home page. From there, I clicked on 'Shopping Directory', went to 'Fashion and Beauty', and there it was, third from the top, 'Blumingorgus'. I laughed out loud when I saw its spelling. It would have taken me years (actually, no it would not have, as I would not have persevered!) to have found the shop with a google search using this mispelling. I have to wonder what possessed someone to choose such an obscure spelling for a business name.

All I can say is that I hope they rely on passing trade, rather than on people guessing at the spelling. Spelling matters! By the way, when I phoned the store, they didn't even have the dress I was looking for. Can you believe it? I'm too exhausted now to even try finding the phone numbers for the other store names I was given!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Use of the Possessive Apostrophe

Apostrophes are a very useful punctuation mark, when used CORRECTLY! When used incorrectly, however, they are plain annoying. I say, if you don't know where an apostrophe is required, it's worse to guess and place it incorrectly than it is to leave it out altogether.

The biggest error I see 'guessers' making is placing the apostrophe before the 's' rather than after the 's' when a plural occurs.

Here are some examples of incorrect usage of the possessive apostrophe:

1. When we checked the coop, all of our chickens eggs were ready for collecting.
1. When we checked the coop, all of our chicken's eggs were ready for collecting.

2. My brothers wives are both bringing a dish to lunch. (NB: Assume polygamy is not practised.)
2. My brother's wives are both bringing a dish to lunch.

3. The witches broomsticks were lined up against the hut's wall.
3. The witch's broomsticks were lined up against the hut's wall.

CORRECTED, they should read:

1. When we checked the coop, all of our chickens' eggs were ready for collecting.

2. My brothers' wives are both bringing a dish to lunch.

3. The witches' broomsticks were lined up against the hut's wall.

The tricky part is understanding that if the word is already in a plural which doesn't end in 's', adding an apostrophe before the 's' may be required.

eg. the children's hats, the people's wishes

For any clarification, just contact

Monday, August 3, 2009

What is the difference between a bibliography and a reference list?

Often, students confuse a bibliography as being the same as a reference list. However, there is a key difference between the two and it is easy (once you've heard it) to know how they are different.

Reference List:

A reference list is attached at the end of a document, providing specific details of all works from which in-text references within the document have been made.


A bibliography also appears at the end of the document, after the reference list, and it lists specific details of all works consulted in the process of the compilation of a document, whether or not the work has been quoted from or referred to specifically within the document. It follows that all works which appeared in the reference list would also appear in the bibliography, but it is very likely that there would also be additional works listed in the bibliography, which may have been consulted in the research process without having been used for specific reference within the document.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Bookclub 20th Year Celebrations

I know there are many, many bookclubs in existence these days, but I am going to go out on a limb and say that there are not too many bookclubs in the elite category which mine achieved yesterday. We celebrated 20 years of the "BBOTC - (Mothers are the) Backbone of the Community- Bookclub" yesterday with a beautiful day on Tamborine Mountain.

Of the current 12 members, 7 have been members since the bookclub's inaugural meeting 20 years ago. I think this is a pretty amazing effort. It shows a commitment to and passion for books, of course, but it goes far beyond this with the friendship, trust and support shared by members. We reflected a lot yesterday - on our favourite books, our memorable moments and the uniqueness of each member and what she brings to our bookclub. One of our members, Margaret, had gone to the trouble of compiling a folio for each of us which contained a listing of all books which have been read over the 20 years along with who had been discussion leader - a mammoth undertaking! My mother, Judy, gave a lovely report of the 20 years, just as she had done at the 5 and 10 year anniversaries. A tear or two were shed by most at various points of the report as she charted events in our lives which have impacted upon bookclub discussions, as well as remembering one special founding member in particular who passed away just before the 10 year anniversary.

We had a beautiful high tea at 'Tea and Niceties' at Tamborine Mountain, then moved onto Witches' Chase Cheese Factory for some tastings and purchases, followed by a leisurely stroll along Gallery Walk. It was a gorgeous day and one that we will all remember I'm sure. How lucky are we to be part of something so precious and how wonderful it is that books have played such a special role in our lives.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Scooter Boy

My son is currently obsessed by all things scooter-related. He has my husband trawling the Gold Coast each weekend checking out skateparks and giving them a road-test. The result is that the whole family is becoming familiarised with a whole new world of terminology - half pipes, quarter pipes, sketchy drops, yak wheels and trolley bars - to name a few.

The latest angle to his obsession came in the form of a question he asked me earlier this evening. I was telling the kids about the family pet dog we had growing up. Her name was 'Half-pint' (because she was smaller than a pint of milk). Anyway, my son had to double-check with me that my memory wasn't 'sketchy' and that her name might have been 'Half Pipe' instead!
I think he secretly hoped that the family scooter fascination had kicked in a generation or two ago!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Adverbs - what are they and how (and why) to use them

Adverbs are best described as a word which provides the reader with more information about the verb or adjective in a sentence. If we agree that a verb is the word in a sentence which describes what action is taking place, then the adverb is the word which can describes how, when, where and why the action is taking place.

Consider the following:

1. Jack talked about his day at school. (verb = talked)

2. Jack talked excitedly about his day at school.

3. Jack talked reluctantly about his day at school.

Sentence 1 provides some information, but it is a straight description of the what, whereas sentences 2 and 3 are much more useful in conveying meaning, all through the addition of an adverb.

Similarly, an adjective will provide a degree of description, but this can be enhanced by the insertion of an adverb.

Consider the following:

1. Grace is a slow runner. (slow = adjective)

2. Grace is a very slow runner.

The second sentence provides further information about Grace's speed as a runner.

Lastly, an adverb can be used in a sentence to add meaning to an existing adverb.

Consider this:

1. She ran too quickly for me to be able to keep up.