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English Usage
This site gives a brief introduction to English usage. It starts with a guide to
grammar and ends with some hints on proper speech. Explanations have been
kept brief in order to focus upon necessities but should be adequate for the
purpose of improving English usage.
The guidance is applicable wherever English is spoken but readers should be
aware that it refers to British English (BE) which may differ slightly from
American English (AE) that now dominates business and the media and which
tends to encourage freer expression. AE terminology may also differ from BE.
There are several terms in grammar, often derived from Latin, that may seem
forbidding to new students. There is an unfortunate tendency in teaching this
subject to avoid these terms by adopting some uninformative generality in the
forlorn hope that students will thereby be spared a burden; but one might as
well teach arboriculture without naming trees. Such avoidance merely
compounds the mystery and confounds learning thus leaving students in a state
of bewilderment. Compared with the number of expressions found in other
subjects, grammar expressions are few and should not prove too daunting.