Words sometimes confused: peak, peek and pique by Angela Caldin

Peak Peak can be a verb or a noun. The verb refers to reaching a maximum, or coming to a highest point, literally or figuratively: The noun refers to the highest point of something, like the peak of a mountain: Peek Peek can also be a verb or a noun and is related to sight; it often refers to looking, especially furtively or quickly or through a small space: It’s the word in peekaboo, a traditional game for amusing babies. Peek is also the word in the phrase sneak peek. It might… Read More

Caring by Angela Caldin

I’m pleased to announce that it’s official and I’ve got it in black and white. I’ve been assessed as a full-time carer for my husband who has Alzheimer’s and I’ve got my carer support claim form to prove it. It’s not a particularly user-friendly form, but I daresay I’ll come to grips with it in the fullness of time. The word carer doesn’t begin to cover the complexities of looking after someone who is slowly declining. Some people prefer the word caregiver and that is probably a more accurate description of what… Read More

To whom it may concern by Angela Caldin

It doesn’t concern many people actually because the pronoun whom has been steadily falling out of use over the last hundred years or so. It’s rarely used in speech nowadays and there is speculation that it will soon become extinct. But you’ll still find it in formal writing and many writers pride themselves on using it correctly. As whom declines, who is used more and more and these two words may seem interchangeable.  But there is a difference. Who functions as a subject in a sentence whereas whom functions as an object…. Read More

Growing old by Angela Caldin

Talented man Headlining at Glastonbury at aged 80 seems an unlikely achievement, but not if you are Paul McCartney. This man has been part of my life since the Beatles burst on the scene when I was a teenager. Last week, he occupied the Pyramid Stage for more than two hours with a gig described by the Guardian as phenomenal. In a dark waistcoat and a simple white shirt, he looked great: no paunch, no stoop, no concessions at all to what is undeniably an advanced age. How does he do it?… Read More

Due to or because of by Angela Caldin

Does anyone else remember being told at school to be very careful when using due to, because in some situations it could be grammatically wrong? I avoid using due to for that very reason, but today I decided to find out what the distinction is between due to and because of. It turns out that due to acts as an adjective, which describes or modifies a noun. It can be replaced by caused by. It follows some form of the verb to be. For example: The car accident was due to poor… Read More