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The comma confusion

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Feb, 14


I read an article recently in The Times of India on why the comma is a dying punctuation. Columbia University Professor, John McWhorter suggests that the comma is ‘way past its expiry date’. Others have joined McWhorter in condemning the comma. For most of us this is good news. I remember my teachers telling me that I should use the comma to indicate a pause, but was always ticked off because it was not placed at ‘the correct pause’. So I gave up on the […]

I, Me, Myself

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Feb, 14


A common confusion with using these three pronouns correctly can be done away with if you follow the tip that I am about to give. When I ask participants to introduce themselves, they usually start by saying, ‘Myself Vijay or Ajay or Ronald’ as the case may be. Or sometimes they may say, ‘This is Vijay, Ajay or Ronald’ like they are introducing someone else. Why not keep it simple and just say, ‘I am Vijay’ or ‘My name is Vijay’? Here is another confusion. […]

‘The’ Problem

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Jan, 14


Today’s ‘The Times of India’ has an interesting article on overusing ‘the’. In all my years of training, I have noticed that participants use ‘the’ where it is not required and omit it where it is required. Most of the time, ‘the’ is placed before each and every noun making the sentence meaningless and long. The rule is pretty simple. Use ‘the’ when you are being specific about the noun. For example, ‘The proposal you sent me did not have the sales figures.’ In this […]

How to write effective subject lines

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Jan, 14


What do you read first when you pick up the newspaper in the morning? News articles? Advertisements? Headlines? Headlines get your attention first because they are compelling and give you a gist of the news – prompting you to read on or move on to other more interesting headlines. Let’s see what is in a headline that makes us read them first. 1. Headlines don’t really bother about long sentences and grammar. They omit unnecessary details and focus on the outcome. A subject line should […]


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Oct, 13


My aunt is a social butterfly. She mingles with ‘high society’ and usually shares some funny anecdotes that give us a tummy ache because of laughing so much. Once she came back from a kitty party with this story. Her friend had served some yummy salad and when my aunt asked her from where she had picked up the fresh lettuce, her friend answered, ‘it grows in my backside!’ My aunt lost her appetite! ‘Backside’, in India, is a versatile word. It is used to […]

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