One letter makes all the difference There is often confusion over the words dependent and dependant. Dependant is a noun: A dependant is a person, often a child or a partner, who is supported by someone else; a person who relies on another, especially a family member, for financial support. Examples: All Palace staff and their dependants must be ready to leave when the revolution comes. He has eight dependants of varying ages from his three marriages. Dependent is an adjective: Dependent means contingent on, relying on, supported by, addicted to, and… Read More
10 minutes to go; so I double-checked the booze and the seating arrangements: Micawber should sit opposite Miss Moneypenny and next to Mary Poppins, while Jeeves would fill the fourth chair. Micawber was the first to arrive clad in a polo shirt and dress jeans; it was tough to see him as the Victorian law clerk. ‘Many thanks for your gracious invitation kind sir!’ he boomed. I decided to wait until the party had all arrived before explaining the nature of the dinner. Next in was Miss Moneypenny; she had scrubbed up… Read More
When a friend mentioned to me something called the walking school bus, I really didn’t know what she was on about. I tend to take things literally, so I wondered how on earth a bus could walk and why you would want it to. But then my granddaughter started school and I came to grips with the reality of this brilliant idea. I don’t know if they have them in the UK, but here in New Zealand they are a major feature of getting to school. The idea is very simple: the… Read More
My co-blogger, Emily, has alerted me to the following story: An English lecturer wrote the words: A woman without her man is nothing on the whiteboard and asked her students to punctuate it correctly. All the males in the class wrote: A woman, without her man, is nothing. All the females in the class wrote: A woman: without her, man is nothing. The choice between a comma and a colon makes a huge difference in meaning. Punctuation is powerful.
As you get older, you tend to reflect on the people who influenced your early life. Looking back, I can honestly say that Jumbo Mercer made a major impact in my formative years, but then if Stephen King had attended the same school he’d have had an impact on him too. Despite the nickname, Jumbo wasn’t fat; he was stocky, confident and showy, whilst I was skinny, nervous and introverted. Bullying in English single sex schools at that time was as much a part of the curriculum as the ‘three Rs’: they… Read More