Of all the grammatical errors that I encounter on a daily basis, the misuse of the humble apostrophe has to be one of the most common. Whether it be simple mistakes such as confusing “its” with “it’s”, or the more fundamentally incorrect use of the apostrophe to reflect a plural, there seems to be a general misunderstanding of what an apostrophe actually means, and where it should be used. To address some of these issues, I’ve compiled this brief guide. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to post in the comments section below. Continue reading
As a writer I’m fairly easy going when it comes to my working environment. I don’t need much: a computer with an up-to-date version of MSOffice, access to the internet, and a few very minor stationary requirements, and I am well equipped to sit and write all day.
Not too much ask, you may think – there’s not much there that can particularly go wrong, or make my life more difficult than it needs to be. Well, that’s where you’d be wrong. You see my employer has kitted out our office with Apple Macs, the most un-helpful, un-user-friendly devices imaginable. Whereas on a simple low-spec PC I would be able to do most things a writer needs to do, such as rename files and multi-task between a few Word documents, on a Mac even these simple tasks become a chore.
Now, before I get accused of being a PC fan-boy, this blog is in no way a rant without substance. I work on Macs 5 days a week, and require little more from my workplace Mac than it let me do my job. But even such relatively trivial tasks as taking a screenshot require the average user to dedicate far… Continue reading
For many years, the question, ‘Should you capitalise the “i” in “internet”?’ has been a contentious one. Is the internet a singular ‘thing’, or is it more an abstract concept? Is the internet new and unfamiliar, or has it now become ubiquitous?
Certainly in the mid-1990s I would agree that there was a case to be made for capitalising the ‘i’ in internet, but now in 2013, it’s fair to say the argument has moved on. The internet is no longer solely the domain of the IT community – it is something we all have a part in, and something we can all (in the developed world at least) access as easily from our smart phones as we can from our laptops and desktop computers. Even the very young are now as familiar with the world of ‘online’ as they are with other technological wonders such as DVDs and Sky TV. Like it or loathe it, technology has become a fundamental part of our 21st century culture, and the way we interact with this technology, both in the way we use it and the way we talk about it has changed drastically from 10, 20, 30+ years ago when… Continue reading
With just 77 days before a deadly asteroid collides with earth, detective Hank Palace just can’t seem to leave police work alone. Though he may have been technically out of a job, when a woman from his past begs for help finding her missing husband he just can’t say no.
Continuing directly from the Edgar® award-winning novel The Last Policeman, Countdown City presents another fascinating mystery set on the brink of apocalypse as Hank Palace seeks desperately to find out ‘whodunit’ while at the same time coming to terms with a world that’s literally coming apart around him. His journey takes him from an anarchistic college campus to a crumbling coastal landscape where anti-immigrant militia shoot down refugee boats descending upon the American coast. At each and every turn he makes Hank Palace must confront some strange new facet of human society that has risen up from the knowledge that very soon the world is going to end.
While on the one hand Countdown City is an assured and highly engaging crime mystery novel, just like its predecessor The Last Policeman, the novel works on so many more levels than your regular ‘whodunit’. Through Hank Palace’s eyes… Continue reading
After a remarkable win in Texas, Marc Marquez was again the centre of attention in Jerez as he made a controversial move on Jorge Lorenzo to steal second, and push the two-times world champion into third.
While Dani Pedrosa rode an excellent race to finish with a win, again it was the young Marquez who stole the limelight, though this time for all the wrong reasons. Lorenzo had been riding solidly throughout the race, barely putting a foot wrong, squeezing the best out of his M1 Yamaha on a track where the Hondas were once again dominant. For a long while it looked as if Lorenzo had seen off the challenge of rookie rider Marquez, but as the final lap approached, the young Spaniard (Marquez) made a dramatic charge for second place. Riding on the ragged edge he closed the gap to Lorenzo with only a few corners remaining before making a move from deep to take Lorenzo on the inside.
Though you have to give the rookie rider credit for his nerve, and the audacity of sticking his bike on the inside of Lorenzo on the final lap, young Marquez’ actions fall very much into the ‘grey’ area of… Continue reading