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English Afloat

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Postyacht - view towards Replot

The world of boating probably contains more strange and unfamiliar words than almost any other activity. One reason for this is a very long history going back thousands of years, plus the fact that sailing has caused us to travel and come into contact with all the coastal-living cultures in the world.

If you are a landlubber, the moment you step onto a boat you are going to say something wrong. Boats have no front, no back, no walls, no ceilings, no floors, no kitchens, no bedrooms, no beds, no living rooms, indeed no rooms at all, and here’s a surprise – no ropes! Every ‘rope’ has a job and this gives it its name. Rope is just raw material down below, waiting to be given a purpose. Virtually every word is different and many a book has been written on the subject.

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Railway Locomotive Engine Parts

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Locomotive or engine? They are both shortened versions of the original ‘locomotive engine’, which distinguished them from static steam engines (as found in factories etc). It’s all to do with American versus British English. As a Brit, I prefer ‘engine’.

I love railway trains of all types, but steam still keeps a romance all of its own. I took the video above on a chance visit to the South Devon Railway and had only a small hand-held camcorder at hand, but I did my best. However, much as I love steam, I realised that I didn’t know what all the component parts of an engine were called. So, please click HERE to go to a fine diagram and some basic terminology with explanations. I welcome any comments from steam enthusiasts, especially if you find any errors.

Get your English web pages checked!

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proofreading

Click on the pic for more details

Low prices continue for 2017!

Get your English language web-pages and documents checked – and look good out there!

Proofreading for English is still only £25 (€30) per thousand words of original text!

Money talk – invoice or bill – what’s the difference?

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500 euro notes

This is actually a really easy one, as bills and invoices are the same thing. The difference only lies in usage. My Internet service provider sends me a ‘monthly telephony invoice’ (that’s what they call it). However, I would naturally call it a ‘phone bill’. If companies really want to sound friendly and on the same level as their customers, they should use their customers’ language. I mentioned in an earlier post that my bank has this kind of philosophy and, instead of having ‘debit’ and ‘credit’ columns in their statements, they have ‘money out’ and ‘money in’ columns. So, if you want to get close to your customers, speak their language!

Panglish?

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Photo courtesy of Wikipedia and NASA: http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=57723

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia and NASA:
http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=57723

“English as it is spoken today will have disappeared in 100 years and could be replaced by a global language called Panglish, researchers claim.

“New words will form and meanings will change with the most dramatic changes being made by people learning English as a second language, says Dr Edwin Duncan, a historian of English at Towson University in Maryland, in the US.”

Read the full article from the Daily Telegraph

25,000 hits! Thank you!

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Photo credit - Dreamstime

Photo credit – Dreamstime

Some time last night Malcolm’s English Pages received the hits that tipped the counter over 25,000. Here’s a big free-gift “thank you” to all my readers who have made it all seem so worthwhile.

For one week only (until 15th September) you can get my three eBooks absolutely free!
“How to Create and Deliver a Great Presentation”
“How to Write Great Emails”
“How to Write Great Instructions”

Just add your email address to the form below and I’ll send them to you. NOTE: I guarantee that your email address will be used for no other purpose, and shared with no other persons.

Finland returns to work

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Autumn
Well, the summer break in Finland is pretty much over and autumn is just around the corner. The kids have gone back to school and everybody has had the chance to catch up with their emails. Now is the time to get your English language web pages and other assorted documentation checked for perfect spelling, grammar and style. It’s so important to look good out there in the international market.

We offer extremely cost-effective and professional copy-editing and proofreading services at a budget €30 per thousand words of original text. You know it makes sense.

Click HERE for more details.

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