Category Spelling / Rechtschreibung

About Mrs S, Mr X and A J

The English language offers some very interesting ways to shorten names. First, it is common to abbreviate double names (two first names, as opposed to double-barrelled names which correspond to two last names) by their initials. For example, the son of Anthony Soprano in the fantastic TV series The Sopranos is usually called A J

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Journal editors can improve your English

Most high-quality science journals have editors who will proof-read your manuscript before it is printed or published online. While not all journals exclusively employ native speakers as editors, their English is typically very good. Therefore, the proofs you receive should not be regarded as an annoying hurdle on the way to another publication, but can

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Do you care for feedback?

Since a substantial part of the material covered in this blog comes from my encounters with scientific papers and talks, I am wondering how many of you would actually like to get feedback regarding potential shortcomings regarding their English skills. I have never been a fan of public practise talks, simply because I think that

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kindergarten oder kindergarden?

The German word Kindergarten has become part of the English language in the form of kindergarten. Interestingly, many native and non-native speakers instead use kindergarden. However, the dictionaries I consulted only include the word kindergarten. Moreover, there is no official support for pronouncing kindergarten like kindergarden. The Oxford Learner’s Dictionary provides the British and the

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Commas and capitalization in English letters

I have noticed that people with a German-speaking background often mix up conventions when writing letters and emails in English. For example, in German, the text directly after the greeting is considered to be a continuation of the greeting itself. Therefore, the first word starts with a capital letter if it is a noun or

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Be careful with full

I have noticed that words such as careful, beautiful or sinful are often misspelled as carefull, beautifull or sinfull. A spell checker will often flag such mistakes. However, in scientific writing, there are many technical expressions not recognized by the spell checker anyway, so that such mistakes will remain unnoticed. The best example I can

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