Monthly Archives: February 2015


Language Tip 21 (2014-15)


“Research” is normally a non-countable noun and you can live a full and happy life without ever writing “researches.”

Some use it in the plural to mean “separate scientific investigations” but others (including the writers of these weekly tips) find “researches” very strange. If possible, it is therefore better to use just research, especially when you mean it in a very general way – e.g. “Research has shown…”

As you know, “study” is a regular ol’ count noun:

“A study has shown…”

“Studies have shown…”

Jason Blake and Monika Kavalir

An ad hoc list of all tips from this academic year is available at:


Language Tip 20 (2014-15)

Spot the mistake in this sentence: “That is a belief in which we do not believe in.”

The mistake? A prepositional doubling-up (“That is a belief IN which we do not believe IN.”).

Other frequent examples:

“The theory of which we have been informed of.”
“The cousin with whom I went to the beach with.”

No great solutions here – just be vigilant!

Here are two links on the matter:…/plenary-session-david-cr……/on-world-in-which-we-li…

Jason Blake and Monika Kavalir


Language Tip 19 (2014-15)


The verb to age has to do with growing older, but the implication is generally that the person should be relatively close to old age (i.e. children don’t normally “age”) and that it is showing in their looks.

Both “aging” and “ageing” are acceptable spellings.

“Aging” is the more usual spelling in the US, while “ageing” appears to be more frequent in the UK.

In the past, Yorkshire children were taught to write “ageing,” while New Yorkers were taught to write “aging.”

From The New York Times: “An Aging Europe in Decline”

From The Guardian: “We know the population is ageing – now we must embrace the challenge”

Jason Blake and Monika Kavalir


Language Tip 18 (2014-15)

Visit vs. attend.

Here’s an easy way to remember the difference between “to visit” and “to attend”:

To visit means to go to some place or person to spend some time there, usually in your free time.
e.g. “Why don’t you come for a visit?”

When you go somewhere on a regular basis or for a more or less official purpose, we use the verb to attend (school, a funeral, a meeting).

e.g. “I was unable to attend the funeral because I was attending school.”

Jason Blake and Monika Kavalir