This site can help you to communicate better. This means having the willingness to think a second time about how you communicate. This requires:

  • taking a careful look at the words and phrases that you use;
  • becoming conscious about the origins of words;
  • appreciating that so-called experts can be wrong; and,
  • developing an unquenchable desire to challenge at least some of what you learned in school, hear on TV or radio, read in print or on the Web, or see and read at work.

WARNING: This site may cause you to develop a compulsion to correct others’ word choices, spelling, and grammar. This could lead to development of a temporary pain-in-the-butt reputation. If this reputation develops, please continue to revisit this site. Symptoms will abate as you learn that even the smartest people around you struggle to say what they mean.

Better communication is hard work. If you’re seeking only fast solutions, you should look elsewhere. This site will make you question your understanding of the English language. This site will challenge you to look at what other languages can teach you about English. And, this site could even turn you into an amateur linguist.

DISCLAIMER: This site focuses on American English. No apologies. No refunds. But, my punctuation leans toward the British approach. Again, no apologies.

I want to shake up your confidence in your communication skills. I want then to help you to restore that confidence as you better understand how to communicate well. You may get a “two steps forward, one step backward” feeling as you continue to revisit this site. This is the nature of the process — and what a beautiful process it is.

SIDE EFFECTS: This site could create a dependent effect. This effect is normal. Don’t fight it. Rinse and repeat. Other side effects may include better presentations, intolerance of TV news, and solicitations to edit other’s work. Reader discretion is advised.

Here are some of the topics that you’ll see covered:

  • Common English Blunders: See what they are and how to avoid them.
  • Foreign Languages: Learn what they teach us about English.
  • English Slang: Think a second time about popular phrases.
  • Outsider’s Perspective: Develop a non-native speaker’s curiosity about English.
  • Word Play: Enrich your vocabulary by playing with words.
  • Names Mean Things: Marvel at the power of surnames.
  • Devolution toward Simpler: Follow the development of a linguistic hypothesis.

For suggestions about communication-related work by others, go here.

Kirk Mahoney