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Does A-Level English teach you how to write?

I saw a good article recently about the tendency of primary school teachers to insist their pupils use flowery language and long words rather than straightforward ones. However, having just seen my son go through A-Level English Language, I can report that it’s happening at the other end of the school journey. Too often my... Read more

Is the thesaurus your friend?

The thesaurus gets a bad rap. School teachers forbid it and Stephen King is a famous opponent. In his first novel Everything Is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer wrote the bad English of Ukrainian character Alex by using a thesaurus to change small, ordinary words into big, ill-fitting ones. The compounded effect is horrifying and hilarious.... Read more