That’s me for this particular blog.

I swear to God I’m writing this with just my brain, my body and a laptop that is offline.  I know: I’m a radical.

I don’t know how to prove that I haven’t looked anything up  during the production of this piece of writing.

Other than you warping the fabric of space and time, coming over here and watching over my shoulder. Which would put me off no end.  I just ‘looked it up’ in my noggin’.

I love words and I love writing. I also love craft and craftspeople. But writing – any writing – takes skill and, crucially, knowledge. Even a bit of academic knowledge.


So here’s one for you copy warriors:


1.  Do you know three words that end in ‘eity’? What are they?

2.  What’s the definition of the ‘subjunctive’? And one example of its use?

3. Is ‘an hotel’ right or wrong? If you think it’s right, please explain why.

4. Should there be an apostrophe in ‘Mothers Day’ (sic)? If so, where?

5. ‘It’s just semantics’. Is this ever true?

6. Is there a difference between a hobo and a panhandler? No cheating please.

7. Deixis. Explain what this is in a few words. Like I say: no cheating.

8. Apostrophe use. Is it grammar or punctuation?

9. What’s a gerund?

10. In terms of grammar, please give an example of the imperative.

11. What is bathos? Clue: no need for soap or a loofah.

12. Internet. Uppercase ‘i’? Yes or no? If yes, can you explain why you think so?

13. How many trick questions are there in this quiz?

14. How do you define a trick question?

15. Do you need to know any of this stuff to write good copy for marketing, advertising or PR?

16. “Brevity is always best.” True or false?

17.  Have you used Google, Wikipedia or any website or book yet?

18. “Pedantry is not the same thing as a love of language”. True or false?

If you got the correct score (I’ve no idea what that is), then you got full marks or an A or whatever. Well done.

Are you sure you didn’t look at that new internet thingy on computers?

Either way, please see me.

In the pub.

We can have a word-off.

Or just a drink and half an hour’s silence…

I could do with a rest.

If you really would like the answers to these questions, tweet me @jonstart or email me:

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