Watch What You Write: This page is devoted to defending the English language and encouraging disciplined writing. Our regular contributor will be Adrianne LeMan who will seize on sloppy writing and firmly remind us of the need to write correctly. However, we welcome other contributors. Just send your piece or any comments on what we have published to email@example.com
It’s becoming very common – even on the BBC – to hear someone say that one thing is “different to” (US English tends to use “different than”) another or is being “compared to” something. No, one thing may be “similar to” another, but it is “different from”, and is compared with another. So:
“Compare this house with the one across the street”;
“This house is similar to mine”;
“The house across the street is different from mine”.
Adrianne LeMan ran a UK company for many years with a team that wrote and edited annual reports, websites, brochures, etc, for a wide range of major companies. She now works as a freelance writer/editor – again assisting major companies. She is interested in words: their use, and misuse, the way they are spelled and the way they look. Adrianne also keeps a close eye on the use, and misuse, of language, which she feels should be clear and to the point.