Thursday, 27 December 2012

Use twitter to improve your English

Are you on Twitter? If yes, here is a list of accounts that you might like to follow:

And why not visit this page to see how good your spellings are: Oxford dictionaries spelling challenge

Friday, 21 December 2012

Be rest assured

The expression rest assured should not be preceded by be like in the following examples:

  • The investor community can be rest assured that the new government would not pursue any policy that will create fundamental difficulties for growth in savings and investment. (Indian Express)
  • Twi-hard fans can be rest assured all is well in their world again. (
  • Just like all Little Green Sheep mattresses they are 100% chemical free so parents can be rest assured their child is sleeping on a bed of the highest quality despite being away from home. (
  • If you are unsure or not net savvy, please be rest assured, our technical team can do all that for you. (

Rest assured, I checked it online. 

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Mock drill defines tautology as the unnecessary repetition of an idea, especially in different words; for example, a good-looking beautiful woman. 

A few days ago I came across an example of it in The Times of India:
A mock drill was conducted at New Delhi railway station on Wednesday to check the preparedness of various agencies in responding to emergency situations.

A drill is an exercise, not a real emergency; mock means the same thing, so there is no need to add it.  

Here are some more instances:
  • past experience
  • major disaster
  • repeat again
  • free gift
There are many more which are equally common and have almost become fixed expressions which we use without thinking.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

"Post" as a preposition

The rampant misuse of post as a preposition is my pet hate these days. I wonder why it has spread so fast among people who should have known better: the press. What happened to after? If you don't know what I am talking about, take a look at the following sentences:
  • Post the match, the crowds were thrilled when SRK did a victory dance on the ground! (The Times of India)
  • Post the war, the country witnessed escalated levels of unemployment... (Hindustan Times)
  • Director Imtiaz Ali says he is yet to decide on his next film post the success of 'Rockstar'. (Indian Express)
  • The ICPA pilots, numbering about 650, have been demanding for long parity in service conditions post the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines... (Asian Age)
In each of these sentences post has been used incorrectly; a preposition like after should have been used instead. But what on earth is a preposition? Macmillan Dictionary describes it as:
A word that usually comes before a noun or a pronoun and shows its relation to another part of the sentence. In the sentences 'I left it on the table' and 'she came out of the house', the words 'on' and 'out of' are prepositions.
 After can be used as a preposition; post cannot. 

 The reason for the confusion is that post does indeed mean after, but only when it is used as a prefix like in the following examples:
  • a post-match celebration (not celebration post the match)
  • the post-war economy (not the economy post the war)
  • a post-dated cheque
  • a post-impressionist painting
  • post-partum depression
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • post-exercise recovery
So if you too are a victim of this misunderstanding, I hope that post reading this ... er ... after reading this you know how to use post.