Improve Your Reading Comprehension

What to Look for When Buying a Tent

posted 3 Jul 2013, 04:04 by Lara Whybrow   [ updated 3 Jul 2013, 04:04 ]

Buying a tent is not as simple as going to the store and picking out one in your favorite color. There are a few more details you need to take into consideration when purchasing a tent. For example, what type of weather will you be camping in? How many people is it for? And last but not least, will you be out in the wilderness or close to a main city?

Tent Size

When purchasing your first tent, it is important to take into consideration the size of the tent you think you need. Many times, you will purchase an expensive tent that only barely fits two people. As the years go by, your family may expand or a friend or neighbor may want to buddy up and go camping to see if he or she likes it or not.

Think into the future a bit in regard to size when buying your first tent.

Where Will You Be Camping?

If you are going to be out in the middle of nowhere, then consider purchasing a tent that can withstand longer periods of wind and rain out in the open.

If you are going to be in a crowded, heavily populated tent area, then a tent that is not as sturdy or expensive should suffice.

What Type of Weather Will You Be Camping In?

If you are going in the heat of the summer then you will have to look for a tent that has netting with overlay flaps. If you are going camping in colder, snowier regions, than a heavy-duty tent that will keep you warm will be necessary.

Is This a One-Time Expenditure?

If this is a one-time expenditure and you know for a fact that you will never go camping again, then go as minimal as you can on the price. However, if you are trying camping for the first time, it is important to spend just enough money that you are comfortable with, without going over budget.

In this way, you will be able to tell whether you like camping and if so, you can get to do it all over again without having to go out and buy a better tent because you went too cheaply on the first one.


Consider cost for your needs, as well. There are many levels of tents and only you know how much is in your budget. However, it is very important to set that budget and do some research before going out to buy your tent. At least this way you will be prepared and know what to expect.

With a little research and a lot of information, buying your first tent will be an easier process.

How to Make a Really Good Cup of Coffee

posted 2 Jul 2013, 02:07 by Lara Whybrow   [ updated 2 Jul 2013, 02:07 ]

How to Make a Really Good Cup of Coffee

Are you pretty sure you don't like coffee? Are you finding that you like coffee that you buy, but you just can't get as good a tasting brew at home? Is that daily cup of coffee you purchase starting to make a dent in your finances?

Whatever your reasons, learning to make a really good cup of coffee at home is an art. Many people who swear they dislike coffee actually find they like it when it's made well. And you can save yourself some money by making your own coffee and toting it to work.

So here are some tips on making a really good cup of coffee at home.

1. Clean Machine

The number one killer of good coffee is a dirty coffee maker. Make sure your coffee maker is clean before you start! Clean your coffee maker with 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water; run it through the coffee maker and then follow with 2 pots of fresh, clear water. Disassemble it, and allow it to dry overnight before putting it all back together.

2. Which Machine Is Best?

Have you ever wondered why some coffee makers are less than $25 and others are over $250? It's because the really expensive ones really do make better-tasting coffee, so buy the best one you can afford. The higher-priced models are made with stainless steel and materials other than plastic, which preserves the taste of the coffee over time. The more expensive machines also get the water hotter, which, as we will see below, makes a difference in taste.

By the way, yard sales and garage sales are a great place to look for second-hand but high-quality coffee makers for little money.

You can also forego a machine altogether and use a French press. Some maintain that the French press is the ideal way to make the perfect cup of coffee.

3. Water

If you are using tap water, it's likely that your coffee won't taste as good. It's also going to speed up the calcification of the inside of your machine, especially if you have hard tap water. Use filtered water for best results, and make sure it is fresh and cold. 

4. The Beans

Now that your machine is clean and your water is fresh, cold, and filtered, it's on to the actual coffee beans. 

Coffee beans grow stale quickly. If you get pre-ground coffee, buy small quantities so you use it up quickly. Its freshness only lasts about a week. If you really want a good cup of coffee, though, get whole coffee beans and invest in a grinder. Go for high-quality beans, not the typical mass-produced stuff. If you have a local coffee shop, get your beans there instead of at the grocery store. 

5. How Much?

The general rule of thumb is, 2 tablespoons of freshly-ground coffee per 6-ounce cup of water. Some people like to add one extra tablespoon at the end just for extra strength. 

6. Drink It Soon

Drink your coffee as soon as possible after it's brewed. It starts to lose flavor after a while, so brew in small batches. 

There you have it! With a little trial and error, you should be well on your way to making a really good cup of coffee.

Speed Reading Techniques by By Noah Samwel Omondi

posted 10 Apr 2013, 13:33 by Lara Whybrow   [ updated 10 Apr 2013, 13:33 ]

Speed reading techniques basically refer to the ability and skill that allows an individual to read at a fast or accelerated pace without considerably reducing comprehension and retention levels. Questions abound as to whether speed reading techniques are of paramount importance in our day to day lives. The truth of the matter is that learning the techniques is quite instrumental in helping us to easily comprehend and understand whatever it is we are reading in a short period of time.

It's surprising to note that a majority of us aspire to learn other skills such as communication, analytical and completely give a wide berth speed reading skills. If you are a student or a researcher who is required to digest a huge chunk of materials on a daily basis, then you need to learn of effective speed reading techniques.

There are many reasons as to why a person needs to learn speed reading skills or techniques. Such skills will help you to effectively comprehend newspapers, technical reports, emails and correspondences effectively and within the shortest time. In order to effectively master the techniques, one must be a good reader and be able to comprehend and digest information fast. Below are some of the speed reading techniques:

• Desist from reading word by word

Reading word by word has been found to be a poor reading habit and hampers an individual from reading fast. As such, if you want to read and comprehend information fast, then you need to quit or avoid the habit of reading word by word. Reading word by word has the disadvantage of a person not being able to fully comprehend the concept being communicated. This is a major detriment to efforts to read huge chunks of materials and grasp and comprehend the information fast.

• Avoid distractions or disturbances

Concentration is of vital importance especially if you are looking forward to improving your speed reading techniques. You need to avoid any disturbances that could slow down your reading or affect how you comprehend the material you are reading.

• Avoid loud pronunciation

Sub vocalization has been found to be quite effective in slowing down a person's speed while reading. It's therefore important that you practice reading without actually uttering the words aloud. The effect of this is that it slows down the comprehension process as you tend to listen to the sound of the word you have uttered or read. The end result is that you end up slowing down the reading process.

• Focus on main ideas or content

When reading, it's important that you avoid inconsequential things and go direct to the area of importance. You should scan the content or text that you are reading and focus on vital areas. This serves to improve the speed at which you read and also improve the speed at which you grasp and comprehend ideas.

In a nutshell, learning speed reading techniques is of essence if you want to digest huge chunks of information. You need to carefully understand the aforementioned techniques and start your journey towards speed reading!

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Zombies of the Wild By Adam D Moon

posted 10 Apr 2013, 13:25 by Lara Whybrow   [ updated 10 Apr 2013, 13:25 ]

Everyone knows about fictitious zombies from the movies but there are real life zombies lurking everywhere in the animal kingdom and some of them are far more gruesome than anything film makers could ever imagine.

But don't worry just yet about the zombie apocalypse unless you're a:

Zombie ant:

Let's just say you're a regular old ant, out doing whatever it is you do. You unknowingly inhale a tiny spore, barely notice it, and go about your antly duties. What you don't know is that it is already too late for you. That spore will develop into a fungus that will take over your mind. Now you're just a host and the parasite that controls you wants you dead.

The fungus quite literally spreads into the ant's brain and manipulates it in very specific ways. The ant will soon begin to wander around aimlessly, and eventually it'll fall from the tree canopy where its fellow ants are working. The zombified ant will find a low hanging leaf, climb to its underside, latch its jaws tight to that leaf, and abruptly die. The ant didn't want to do any of this, the fungus made it. Soon after the ant is dead the fungus will sprout a stalk right out of its poor dead head.

We'll come back to ants in a minute. It appears mother nature hates the little guys.

Zombie fish:

The Killifish (with a name like that you're just asking to be turned into a zombie) is another victim of a parasite that specifically wants it dead. The Killifish doesn't stand a chance. This parasite works in such a convoluted fashion it makes you wonder if it's some kind of genius.

The parasite is a type of flatworm. This little monster has an unusual and highly calculated life-cycle. The eggs are released in bird poop. Horn snails eat the poop and become instantly sterile. But it doesn't end there. Oh no, this parasite has loftier goals. It swims out of the snail as larvae and finds a Killifish to take over. It travels in through the gills and follows a nerve right into the brain. It forms a layer on the brain that immediately causes the fish to make its way to the surface of the water and flop around so that birds can more easily spot it. The birds eat the fish, thereby starting the parasitic cycle all over again.

Zombie grasshopper:

Poor little grasshopper. All you wanted was a nice refreshing drink of water. What you got instead was involuntary suicide. You gulped up a baby hairworm which then grew inside of you. It grew so large that only your head and legs weren't filled with it. By the time it reached maturity (by filling nearly your entire cavity) it needed to mate. But hairworms only mate in water. How was the hairworm going to get to that water? The cunning hairworm has a plan. It'll hijack your central nervous system and force you to commit suicide by drowning yourself.

And that's what happens. Grasshoppers will jump into pools of water and promptly die, allowing the hairworms within them a chance to escape and multiply.

Zombie spider:

This poor guy never stood a chance. A type of wasp uses a spider in a very sinister way. It will paralyze it, lay an egg on its abdomen, and then just fly on out of there. The spider wakes up from its paralysis, shrugs it off, and goes about his business. But right before the wasp larva is ready to pupate, it begins to control the spider by injecting a chemical into its blood stream. This causes the spider to start weaving odd-shaped webs that it normally wouldn't weave. When it's done it moves to the center of the web and waits. The larvae then molts, kills and sucks the spider dry, gets rid of the body, and promptly builds a cocoon that hangs from the newly reinforced web. It then emerges from the cocoon as a wasp, ready to lay eggs of its own.

Zombie cockroach:

A wasp is the culprit again. This wasp will sting the cockroach first to paralyze its front legs. When that's done, it stings it in its brain. It does this to inhibit the escape response within the cockroach. Then it gnaws off half of the roach's antennae, possibly to let some of the venom escape so that the roach doesn't die right away. You see, the wasp needs the roach to live, for the time being anyway. The wasp then leads the larger cockroach to its burrow by pulling it by an antenna like a dog on a leash. When the sleepy cockroach is tucked away safe and sound, the wasp lays an egg on its abdomen. You know where this is going, don't you. The wasp leaves, but the cockroach just hangs out in the burrow. Over the course of the following week, the larva grows, eats, then when the roach is dead, builds a cocoon right inside its empty husk of a body.

Zombie snail:

A flatworm that lives in the intestinal tracts of birds has a weird way of getting out to see the sights. It's excreted in bird droppings where it is then gobbled up by disgusting snails (note to self - never eat escargot). The snails then begin to exhibit odd behavior. Rather than hiding in the shade, they'll make their way out into the sunlight because they no longer have the ability to sense light.

The worst part is this: the flatworms invade the snails tentacles and enlarge them to the extreme. And guess what a passing bird sees as it flies overhead? It sees two fat juicy worms sticking up so it does what it was born to do; it eats them. Thus enabling the flatworm to joyride from one species to the next, ignorant of the consequences.

Zombie ant (again):

Those poor ants. This time it's not a fungus that does it, but rather, a fluke worm. This fluke starts out life in cow manure. A snail eats this manure (and the eggs hidden therein) and then wanders off to do snail-like things. The eggs hatch, gather around the snails lungs, and wait for the snail to cough them up. Once the snail hacks up the eggs, passing ants notice these delicious morsels and gobble them up. Well, you dumb ants, maybe you shouldn't be eating snail phlegm. The fluke worms make their way to the ants nervous system and that's where the story ends for Mr. Ant. The ant will wander off from the other ants and find a nice long blade of grass to climb. Once it's climbed to the top, it clamps its jaws on the grass and waits. If nothing happens, it'll go back home and try again tomorrow. The next day it wanders off from the group, and does the same thing. This time, a passing cow eats the ant accidentally as it's grazing. The fluke worm is now home.

Isn't nature beautiful!!!

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Surviving the First Date By Kevin McKissick

posted 10 Apr 2013, 13:23 by Lara Whybrow   [ updated 10 Apr 2013, 13:23 ]

If you're a bachelor or bachelorette looking to get back on the dating scene, then you will be no stranger to first dates. You may have had a few that moved past that and a few that ended abruptly, leaving you in awe thinking things were going well. Either way here is a short guide to surviving several different types of first dates with your future mate.

The Dinner Date: Somewhere casual, but fancy is the perfect dinner date. Nothing too elegant unless you're both spawn of successful billionaires, then my guess would be you don't need a first date because you can just buy love. Make sure you know which fork to use for your salad, entree and dessert. This crucial mistake could cost you a lifetime of loneliness if you never get it right.

The Lunch Date: If you're meeting for lunch, chances are you work together and make $26,000 per year. This date is over before it begins and you'll forever be known as "lunch buddies" or be in the "friend zone.

The Movie Date: I would recommend dinner and a movie if considering the movie route. Sitting in a theatre of darkness watching an UltraScreen doesn't exactly give you the chance to get to know each other. Take a look above at our dinner date tip and apply it to dinner and a movie. Nevertheless, if you decide on just a movie, I recommend seeing something that would pique your date's interest. Discuss beforehand what they enjoy; or ask if there's a particular movie out that they wouldn't mind seeing. If your date is enjoying herself, don't hesitate to go for an arm over the shoulder or perhaps a sensual kiss. Guys, I pray you never try the penis in the popcorn bucket trick.

The Picnic Date: Make sure your date isn't vegetarian or vegan first, as bringing lots of sandwich meats could have them running for the hills. Pack a blanket, light entree, fruit and a bottle of wine. Don't pack anything too extravagant; it's just a fine afternoon sipping wine and getting to know one another.

The Walk-and-Talk Date: Find a nice park or garden in your area. Have an open mind with no clear agenda, just to get to know each other. Bring comfortable walking shoes, but still remain stylish. No heels or cowboy boots as they give a bad first impression and a mountain of blisters the next day.

The Bookstore Date: Assuming you both enjoy reading, this date is a wonderful idea that keeps you active and shows a little more about the other person. Try to find common ground with reading. If your date points out a book that really captivates them and you think the date is going well, purchase it for them. If there's a coffee shop within the bookstore, sit down for a cup of joe. Small gestures like that can have you soaring toward romance in no time.

The Meet-For-A-Drink Date: This is the most overused first date and chances are if this is your most creative source of meeting someone, to have a few beverages and hope for a night in the sack, then you don't want to be with this person beyond that night anyways. If you do want to pursue something beyond the length of the date, than I suggest combining the meet-for-a-drink date with another date listed above. Perhaps you just bought them something at the bookstore and they want to return the favor by buying you a drink. This is a strong indicator that they are interested in you and could see a long relationship in the future. Just don't wear camouflage or even you won't be able to see yourself getting stood up.

These are only some of the many, many first date options out there. Get creative. Get inventive. Combine a couple of these or create your own. Have your own ideas? Share them in the comments section or send them over to

For more articles, and funny and helpful reviews, facts, and polls visit! Be sure to like and follow at the top of the page!

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Download Free English E-book about Health

posted 19 Mar 2013, 12:31 by Lara Whybrow   [ updated 19 Mar 2013, 12:31 ]

Extract from Free English E-book about Health

"... I cured my sickly body that suffered for over a decade from Amoebiasis, Colitis, Dysentery, Constipation, Indigestion, Acidity, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Allergies, Skin Disorders, Internal Heat, Internal Toxicity, Systemic Candidiasis and a gut system that was so inflamed, that it caused 3rd degree Piles that had to be removed by surgery, and I have brought my body to a state where I have not been sick for even a single day in the last 7 years!
I did have one side effect from using this system though – It reversed my biological age by about 20 years! If you find this outcome truly amazing and wish to have similar results in your life, then this is the book for you. If you happen to find me online, take a look at my photo album ‘Reverse Aging’ that shows me aging over 15 years and then reversing all of it in the next 7 years.

If you have never really suffered from prolonged illness, your immune system will be in good condition and it will definitely be easier for you to maintain good health and fitness as well as slow down your aging process. But it is quite another thing to achieve the vibrant state of health that I have, especially from the state that I started off 7 years ago, which is what most people, who know my journey, have called impossible! That is why I am so confident that what I am teaching in this book will do wonders for you as well.

You may find some of my teachings in this book simply out of this world, which is a right metaphor to use, since those teachings are being presented for the first time. They come from metaphysical experiences that I had in 2004, when I turned my back on death and walked towards life and wellness once again.

Even if you are absolutely healthy and think that you do not have any need to read this book, do pass it on to someone else who wants to be healthy. This e-book is free, because there is no price that you can pay for what you will gain from reading it.
As a healthy precaution for your eyes, I advise you to print out this book for diligent reading. It may turn out be a book that you will want to reference quite often and share with others too. This is why I have kept this version a convenient A4 size meant for home printing. You have my permission to print this e-book for yourself, or others, or even distribute it or advertise it wherever you like.

This free e-book is downloadable at
Darryl D’Souza"

Is it good to have a fixed home loan rate?

posted 24 Feb 2013, 12:49 by Lara Whybrow   [ updated 24 Feb 2013, 12:51 ]

Written by 

James Robert is a reputed financial analyst who is associated with North Coast financial services and loves to share his knowledge on different topics related to budget and finance.

When you are borrowing a home loan, the first question that comes up in your mind is whether you should opt for a fixed or a variable rate. As a borrower, your target will always be to save money when you are taking a loan. You might think it is better to have a fixed home loan rate as you need to pay the same amount throughout your repayment period. But in the long run, you might end up paying more than you would have to with a variable rate. To get the best advice you can hire North Coast financial services. So let us have a comparative look at fixed and variable home loan rate.

Risk associated with Variable Rates

A few years back, the state of the economy would determine the interest rates on the variable rate. This meant that with rise in the economy, the interest rate would rise. This was because, with the rise in economy, the wages would rise, which in turn would boost up the jobs thereby increasing the rates. This would mean that the risk of borrowing with a flexible rate was low. 

But times have changed since October 2007. During this time Bank West which is now owned by Commonwealth Bank broke the norm. They did not keep their rate of interest in tandem with the Reserve Bank of Australia and increased them. Soon after, many lenders started taking the same approach. So now, just the economic condition cannot only determine the variable charge. It is now really risky to go for variable rates. However, if you are able handle the risk of high interest rates, you can benefit from variable home loan chargesNorth Coast financial services can assist you in handling these risks.   

Fixed home Loan Rates have their own Costs 

If you think going fixed will help you to avoid all the hassles, you are mistaken. It is true that fixed rates do not bring with them the risks of losing your property or having any arguments with your lenders regarding the payment. However, in the long run you might see that fixed rates will cost you more than what you would have to pay with flexible charges. You might assume the rate of interest will rise in the future but in reality the opposite can happen. This will cause you to pay more with the variable loan rate.  

When to fix your loan?

Since borrowing home loans is one of the most important decisions of your life, you need to take many things in consideration. You have to review the loans regularly and see whether the structure is effective for you and whether you have attained you fiscal goals and how you can keep on developing those goals. If you have started out with flexible loans, you can review every three months and in case of fixed loans, you can do so before it gets expired. 

The choice of loans depends on your need and budget. If you want to maintain a fixed budget, it is better to go for fixed loans. The main aim should be to get the best price possible. To guide you in the right path, you can take the help of North Coast financial services. 

The World's Five Best Burger Recipes

posted 24 Feb 2013, 12:22 by Lara Whybrow   [ updated 24 Feb 2013, 12:23 ]

Written by: 

Find gourmet food and more useful information about drink and food at this restaurant directory.

Here's what you will need:

one and a half lb lean ground beef two tablespoons finely chopped onion two tablespoons drained Old El Paso chopped green chiles eight slices pepper Jack cheese, 2x1x1/4 inch (about four oz) four kaiser rolls, split a quarter cup Old El Paso taco sauce or Old El Paso Thick 'n Chunky salsa

Prepare as follows:

1. Heat gas or charcoal grill. In medium bowl, mix beef, onion and chiles. Shape mixture into 8 thin patties. Top each of 4 patties with 2 slices cheese. Place remaining beef patties on top; pinch edges to seal securely. 2. Place patties on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook 14 to 16 minutes, turning once, until burgers are slightly firm when pressed in center. Add rolls, cut sides down, for last 4 minutes of grilling or until toasted. Serve patties on rolls with taco sauce.

Zesty Burgers- 4 Servings

Thanks to for this delicious recipe.

The ingredients you'll need are:

1 to 1 1/4 pounds of lean ground beef 1/4 cup of chopped onion 2 tablespoons of green pepper, finely chopped 3 tablespoons ketchup 1 tablespoon of prepared horseradish 1 teaspoon of salt 2 teaspoons of prepared mustard 1 dash of pepper your favorite burger toppings 4 split buns, toasted


Combine lean ground beef with onion, green pepper, ketchup, horseradish, salt, mustard, and pepper; mix lightly. Shape into 4 patties about 1/2 inch thick. Grill or broil to desired doneness, about 5 to 7 minutes on each side. Serve with a variety of toppings and split toasted buns.

Texas Stuffed Grilled Burgers- Serves 5

Thanks to for this terrific, original recipe.

Ingredients you'll need:

5 pounds lean ground beef 6 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 2 teaspoons hickory seasoning (optional)salt and pepper to taste 2 cups chopped onion 2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms 2 cups chopped cooked ham 3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

To prepare:

Preheat your grill for high heat. When hot, oil the grate lightly. In an appropriately sized bowl, mix theground beef, Worcestershire sauce, hickory seasoning, salt and pepper until everything well blended together. Hand shape between 8 and 10 balls, and then flatten them into patties for grilling. On half of the patties (4-5), distribute the onions, the mushrooms, the chopped ham and the cheddar cheese. Cover the piles with the remaining patties, making certain to enclose the filling and to tightly seal the patties together. Grill the 4-5 patties for somewhere between 8 and 10 minutes on each side, or until the cheese in the middle has melted and the burger is well done. 

Marinated Hamburgers

Thank you for this culinary delight.

The ingredients you'll need:

3 T. Lemon Juice 1 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt 1 T. Worcestershire sauce 1 T. soy sauce 1 T. A-1 sauce 1 T. oil 1/2 C. beef broth 1 tsp. Heinz 57 sauce 1/4 tsp. garlic salt 1 tsp. vinegar

To prepare:

Combine the ingredients.

Use a pound and a half of ground beef to make patties.

Put the burgers in a covered container and pour the marinade over them. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from marinade and sear over high heat to seal in the juices.

Mushroom Stuffed Burgers- serves 6

This too is from If you're smart, you'll visit often.

Required ingredients are:

1 1/2 pounds hamburger 1/4 cup finely diced onion 2 eggs, lightly beaten 3/4 cup soft bread crumbs 1/4 cup ketchup 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper 2 tablespoons butter 1/2 pound sliced mushrooms 6 slices Swiss cheese

Proceed as follows:

Mix together the first 7 ingredients. Create a dozen patties, each about a quarter of an inch in thickness. Lightly saute the mushrooms in the butter. Put the sauteed mushrooms on 6 of the patties. Then top with the remaining 6 patties, sealing the edges tightly.

Broil or grill to desired doneness. Top with cheese. Serve on toasted buns.

I hope you will enjoy all five burgers as much as I do. And, if you want even more variety in your backyard cooking, you can find many more good burger recipes on the net.

Patrick Bill on Grammar Girl - when is a word a word and other rants

posted 17 Feb 2013, 15:03 by Lara Whybrow   [ updated 17 Feb 2013, 15:03 ]

Patrick Bill

1/12/2013 3:37:25 AM

What began as a wonderful, welcome, and learned essay by Grammar Girl on common misapprehensions of grammatical "rules" has, in some cases, devolved into pejorative name calling and self-ego boosting by a few of the correspondents. So far, the name calling has always been applied to some nameless other people. Except for Renee who directly attacked and insulted Grammar Girl.

I've seen that some on this list have been talking about "ignorant people", "grammar morons", and the like. Those terms could be equally applied to the people who used them in the first place. Let's find out, in a few cases, why.

If you understand the meaning of "irregardless", irregardless of whether you like the word or not, it is a word. Bill C., you may have a linguistic objection to it but that does not make it "ungrammatical". You need to learn how to apply the word "grammatical". Phsx is not a word ONLY because you don't know what it means AND neither does anyone else. But if we DID know what it meant, then it would be a meaningful word. Irregardless of whether or not it appears in a dictionary - ever! But it certainly wouldn't be "ungrammatical" even if it were composed of elements which when combined, produced a meaning antithetical to their roots. So, no, BIll C., no "slam dunk" involved. Your basketball skills need work. Mutual comprehension is the ONLY standard which languages can use in their definitions of word meanings. Without that, words would never change in meaning, and we would probably have fewer metaphors. In fact, many of the phrases and words we use in everyday speech are originally metaphors - words and phrases which changed in meaning due to MUTUAL comprehension. And we wouldn't have any new coinages or "borrowings", either. If we followed proscriptions like yours, English would be a dull language, never evolving. Now, Bill, if you intend to start changing the meaning of the word "grammatical" that's fine, but you need to let us know, somehow, that that's what's going on. Otherwise, it ain't gonna work.

But it was your final comment that really touched me off. That crack about "slouching towards Grammorah" which I'm sure you thought was both cute and convincing was the thing that pushed you over the edge. Anyone who attempts to use grammar to proscribe someone else's usage is merely trying to ram their personal opinions down that other person's throat. The grammatical purist, the grammatical proscriber, is nothing more than the self-serving, pompous south end of a north facing horse.

You have your opinions, fine. You have your personal pet preferences and your personal pet grammorahs, fine. And you can share them with us all you want. But don't you dare try to tell us or anyone else that your preferences are better. They're not. They never have been.

Only the ignorant proscribe a word like "irregardless", ignorant, that is, of what a language is all about.

OK. Enough about Bill C. There are some others that need a little comeupance.

Appearing in a dictionary is not evidence of anything other than the editor's opinion. Appeals to such "authority" are never conclusive or definitive.

Mathew, any one who attempts to proscribe double negatives by referring to a mathematical construct comprehends neither mathematics nor grammar and, in fact, misuses both. Grammar is a set of observations as to the forms and constructs of a particular language as used by a restricted group of people - not necessarily a "better" group, just some group that some grammarian encountered. That's all. Any grammar must allow for exceptions, variant forms, etc. Mathematics does not. Mathematics can be boiled to one basic rule: NO EXCEPTIONS. There is no procedure in mathematics that reads anything like: "2+3=5 except in the 2nd person plural present subjunctive". It's always 2+3=5. Always. To apply mathematical reasoning to grammar implies, first of all, that there IS reason and universality to grammar. There ain't. Second of all, if this double negative concoction were really true, then it would be, like mathematics, universally applicable, used in all languages. That it's not should set warning bells off in your brain. Why didn't it? It's like saying that a field goal was scored because the infield fly rule was in effect. Bringing over a fact from one discipline into another discipline (if we can call grammar that) must be done with more care and understanding than those who try to enforce a mathematical rule in a case where it is inappropriate. Again, the only meaningful and legitimate usage is one which is mutually understood - and used.

Renee, I know that "correct" grammar has a snob effect. I know that that snob effect, was inculcated in us all at an early age. And you're passing it on in your classes. It's baloney, of course, because it serves to inflate the egos of those of us who actually learned the often arcane and frequently inappropriate jargon of grammar and passed the tests, and it teaches us that it's OK to look down and sneer on people who don't talk like us - or more correctly like we were taught that the "better people" talk.. But it's being used to stifle people's expressivity by stifling their job applications and by calling them ignorant and by pretending that the world is slipping into some sort of grammorah. And that's baloney. So no, Valerie, I won't be following "prescribed style guides". Grammar, and style, too, is only a set of observations about forms and constructions. To prescribe it is to pretentiously and arbitrarily stifle it. I'll let the language, and myself, live. I hope this impacts on you.

And, Horace, I'll be avoiding your book, but thanks for the self-plug. Renee, you're no more of an authority than I am, or Grammar Girl is. 'Cause there ain't no such thing in grammar (and you know perfectly what I mean when I say that). Which means that Grammar Girl at the very least your equal, even though your ego won't like that.



posted 17 Feb 2013, 15:01 by Lara Whybrow   [ updated 17 Feb 2013, 15:01 ]

*note: this material  also gets taught in my Business Writing  Course  series.

Source: HSW Lurzen, writing_prhases ELR, mkd

Beginnings and Endings Style





You don’t know their name


Dear Sir/Dear Madam

Dear Sir or Madam

Dear Sales Manager

(job title)


Yours Faithfully

(very formal!)

Sincerely (Yours)

Yours truly

You know their name

Dear Mr Smith

Dear Dr Smith

Dear Ms Smith

Dear Mrs Smith (married)


Sincerely (Yours)


You know someone well

Dear John

Hi John



(Best/Kind) Regards

Best Wishes

Take Care





• With reference to your e-mail of 12 January…

• Further to our discussion last week…

• Thank you for…

• How are you?


Offering help

• If you require more information, we would be happy to…

• Would you like me to…/ Shall I….

• Do you want me to…

• We would be delighted to…

• If you don’t mind…





Reason for writing

• We are writing to…

• I’m just writing to…

• Just a short e-mail to request / confirm / inform you that / ask if / clarify…


Saying sorry

• We must apologize for (not)… / We deeply regret…

• I do apologize for…(any inconvenience caused)

• I’m really sorry for/about…







Good News

• We are delighted to confirm that…

• You will be pleased to hear that…

• We are pleased to inform you that…

• I’m happy to…


Attaching files

• We are attaching… / We attach…

• Please find attached / enclosed…

• I’m attaching…/I’ve attached…




Declining an offer / bad news

• We regret to inform you that…

• I’m afraid that / Unfortunately,…

• I’m sorry, but…

• It is not possible for me / us to…

• Unfortunately, we are unable to…



• Do not hesitate to contact us again at (079) 221 4576 if you require further assistance.

• If you have any further questions, please contact me by e-mail.

• Let me know if you need any more help.





• You are requested to…

• We would appreciate it if you could…

• I’d be grateful if you could…



• Monday at 10h00 would suit me perfectly.

• Tuesday is fine by me.

• Please reply without delay.



Source: HSW Lurzen, writing_prhases ELR, mkd


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