About

I'm Mike Pope. I live in the Seattle area. I've been a technical writer and editor for over 30 years. I'm interested in software, language, music, movies, books, motorcycles, travel, and ... well, lots of stuff.

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The way to avoid needless bad choices in the grammatical structure of your writing is not to learn a short list of things you must always avoid; it's to be sensitive to what's a good idea and what's a bad idea, on a basis of knowing the difference.

Geoffrey Pullum



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Blog Statistics

Dates
First entry - 6/27/2003
Most recent entry - 11/24/2014

Totals
Posts - 2316
Comments - 2506
Hits - 1,692,986

Averages
Entries/day - 0.55
Comments/entry - 1.08
Hits/day - 404

Updated every 30 minutes. Last: 7:00 AM Pacific


  04:40 PM

We seem to be going multi-media around here.

The Monty Hall Game Show Problem. (video) A visual explanation of a probability exercise with a famously counterintuitive solution. I'm with Mr. Explainer -- I think I'd rather have the goat.

National Grammar Day. Nominally interesting -- if only people really were interested in grammar -- but in fact it's just a peevology fest. (Stop harassing people about apostrophe[']s already, for heaven's sake.) Oh, well.[1] [via John McIntinre, copy editing god, who nails this thing exactly right -- read his post]

Cool new feature in Office: The Blue Squiggle. The Microsoft Office spelling checker can now optionally check spelling in context, which will find an error such as "Can I fine a good example?". (That error would pass ordinary non-contextual spell check, of course.) See also the post's comments and counter-comments for a discussion of limits of this feature. [via Language Log]

Why Doesn't Predictive Text Do Swear Words? (video) "I believe predictive text can be a real force for good, turning rude messages into politer versions, such as 'Sips off, you ducking yanker.'"

[1] FWIW, punctuation isn't grammar. Oh, well.

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