Spot the typos (there are 10)

October 14, 2015 § Leave a comment

There are 10 typos in this piece of text. Can spot them?

How Names Became Words

Bloomers: Baggy womens undergarement, originally an entire costume with lose trousers gathered at the ankle. Amelia Jenks Bloomer (1818-94) was a New york postmistress who’s championing of women’s rights included there mode of dress. The outfit, designed by Mrs Elizabeth Miller, the daughter of a New York congressman and introduced in 1894, was not a success. The innovation was much derided. Previously, Bloomers was a big draw as a speakers and published a magazine, Lily, to propogate her views on feminism and temparance.


Check your answers here


Are our minds turning to mush?

April 29, 2015 § Leave a comment


Back in the day we knew telephone numbers. Lots of them.

I still remember the number of my childhood home – and next door’s where my parents might be if I had to call to say I was going to be late.

Sitting with friends at the weekend, we all admitted that there’d been times of late when we’d had trouble remembering our OWN numbers and that had nothing to do with age but everything to do with the fact that contacts are all plugged into mobile phones. Rarely are we repeating our numbers and when we phone someone these days we just have to remember their name!

So we’re getting flabbier upstairs as far as phoning is concerned.

And now if we don’t know something or remember it, we don’t try to work it out anymore – we Google it, of course. Google can tell you everything. It’s surprising the sort of information we turn to Google for. I took a random (very random, I thought) question and searched ‘Can you fix a burnt sausage?’ It transpires Aunty Google has the answer and we can ditch common sense or trial and error.

Map-reading skills are being overtaken by Sat Nav and as much as we might moan about the woman’s voice that shows us the way or the ridiculous bell tones that warn us of speed cameras, the Sat Nav gives a much easier life than a map ever did. Map-reading is particularly difficult if you’re driving alone although we managed in the past.

Spelling is something we think we can hand over to a spellcheck – it doesn’t work though. If I write  ‘He complemented me on my blog,’  the spellcheck’s going to like that, but it’s wrong. And calculators are taking the place of mental arithmetic.

I don’t remember any ready-meals in my childhood nor sauces coming out of jars or packets but the art of cooking is also disappearing. A huge ‘convenience’ industry has grown up around us and unless we choose not to let it overtake us, our minds won’t be the bouncy, pliable matter they once were – but heaps of mush!

Spot the Typos

March 17, 2015 § Leave a comment

Here’s a piece of text with 10 typos. See if you can spot them all.

How to complain with class

There are some people who are never satisfied and who kick off at every opportunity. Then there are those who are as silent as a stealth bomber but when they blow, they really loose their rage.

Always try to be the latter. If you cry wolf to often people won’t listen when theres a real emergency. First stop and count to 10. Do you have ground for complaint? Be very friendly, present the problem and ask what they can do to assist you. You don’t want to alienate your target. Get them to empathize.

Complain in a slow, low voice. If you start at a screach you’ll have nothing to work up to. Never get too irate and don’t lose the sight of the fact that your the victim. Always get the name of the person who is not assisting you and ensure them you will be contacting their boss.


When you’ve noted down your answers, you can check them here



People on trains are rude

March 12, 2015 § Leave a comment

A percentage of people who travel on trains seem to have undergone some sort of personality bypass. A perfectly decent person who wouldn’t think twice about apologising if they bumped into you in the street suddenly becomes warrior-like when they commute. But, I think we all know many commuters are in a category of their own – I’m really talking about the rest of the train passenger population. The non-peak traffic lot.

train pic

I was travelling overground to Paddington the other day and a fair few people were standing for a fair few stops. Did they have to? No. But to get a seat they’d have had to have asked seated passengers to move their bags/hats/books/lunch from the adjacent seat.

Unbelievably, rather than risk ‘upsetting’ said seated passengers they remained standing but – much worse, in my books – not one of the seated passengers made any effort to remove their bag/hat/book/lunch to free up a seat.

Then you’ve got the ‘feet-on-the-seat’ people. This annoys me so much I choose to sit in the two-seater arrangements because passengers can’t stretch their feet on it from an opposite seat. I know it sounds grumpy but if you’re wearing anything half-decent you don’t want your bum to look dirty and dusty thanks to the grime that’s been wiped off from the bottom of somebody’s shoe.

I just came home on a busy train from Ealing Broadway where an immaculately-dressed man stank out the carriage chomping though a smelly pasty and then not-so-secretly crumpled up the paper bag it had come in and crushed it underfoot on the floor – not far from the litter bin. Bet they expect more of him in the board room….


Of course, there are even helpful notices to guide you in the direction of being polite: suggesting you offer a seat to someone who’s less able to stand. They don’t work either. Quite a few years ago I was standing and carrying my baby daughter while a carriage-full of seated passengers did what passengers do best – look everywhere but at each other. After a shaky few minutes, tottering, I asked if anyone minded giving us their seat. I’ve never seen everyone in a carriage stand up so quickly!



Proofreading test – spot the typos!

February 9, 2015 § Leave a comment

Fancy having a go at proofreading? Below is a piece of text with some typical typos – see if you can spot them all, make a note and check your answers afterwards by following the link.

Alliance Française de Glasgow

The Alliance Française de Glasgow was established in 1982 and serves as an official french language and cultural centre in Glasgow’s west end with the aim of sharing the love of the French language and culture.

The organisation, who’s teachers are all native French speakers runs regular courses for more than 500 adults and children every week in and around Glasgow as well offering private tuition and tailor made courses for shools and businesses. The group also have courses specifically for primery school teachers and university students.

Teaching activites are complimented by cultural and social events including wine tastings, film screenings and photography exhibitions.

As part of the drive to broaden it’s appeal, the Alliance Française de Glasgow have introduced the Europresse service, allowing learners access to around 1,500 French magazines magazines online. Being part of a worldwide network means students can enrol on a French course in cities such as Paris, Marseile, Bourdeaux, Lyon and Montpellier, all of which enjoy strong links with the group.


When you’ve jotted down your answers, check them here.

I could of screamed…

January 25, 2015 § Leave a comment

…when I realised how many people actually thought ‘of’ was the right word to put before ‘screamed’ in that sentence!


We live in a world where there are so many opportunities (texts/Facebook, for example) for people to prove that they didn’t listen much in their English class – where the teacher would have taught them to write ‘have screamed’. Am I sounding a bit old-school? Can’t help it.

Another howler that drivers me bonkers is the mess that’s made with there, their and they’re. I’m not going to insult anyone by explaining what each of them means because I’m sure everyone knows, they just don’t bother to choose the right one and select any old right-sounding ‘there’ in the belief it will ‘do’ Well, it won’t – for me  or for many others who are particular about the language. Same muddle goes for too and to – two is stretching…

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I think I preferred cold callers

November 24, 2014 § 4 Comments

Cold callers drive me mad but at least I understand why they’re doing what they’re doing. No, I haven’t been involved in a road traffic accident in the last couple of years, whatever your records tell you. No I haven’t been mis-sold PPI – and I have checked before you ask. But I ‘get it.’  I’m not sure of the odds but one in every ‘blah’ number of calls is a winner and the cold caller can take you onto the next stage. There wouldn’t be a business in it if the numbers didn’t stack up. IMG_0801 There’s also a bit of payback for us. If we’re really angry about getting these cold calls we can vent our spleen at the cold caller and demand that our details are removed from records because we’ve signed up to the Telephone Preference Service and nothing of this sort should be happening. And, frankly, we will feel a lot better for getting that off our chests. (Personally, I always like to see/hear how they’re going to manage with my surname because Lefebve is rarely pronounced properly and few cold callers have developed a knack of dealing with surnames they can’t pronounce. I give good listening time to those that have!) But companies have found other ways of contacting us with offers now and they leave no ranting room whatsoever. I absolutely can’t see how these routes can be effective although someone, I expect, is about to prove me wrong. This morning I answered the phone to what initially seemed to be a dead line but just before I hung up it turned into a recorded message about boilers. I can’t tell you much more than that because then I did hang up. Even if you needed a boiler – which I don’t – how are you going to be persuaded by a dull recorded message which answers no questions and doesn’t tailor information to you. Then there are the text messages that companies presumably believe will motivate us into taking up their offer of….whatever it is they’re offering. I’ve always seen text messages as a very passive means of a communication: if my kids really need me they’ll call; if they’re just touching base, they’ll text. So I don’t see text messages as vibrant marketing. The icing on the alternative-to-cold-calling-cake happened just now though when I answered the phone and a voice, very brightly, said ‘Goodbye!’ That’s an automated system gone bonkers.