Monthly Archives: April 2015


Language Tip 28 (2014-15)

Amount vs. number vs. a lot

“Amount” is normally (especially in formal writing) used to talk about quantities of uncountable things, whereas “number” is used for countable items.

“No amount of money could make me take a cold shower at any time of day.”
“No number of horses could make me take a cold shower at any time of day.”

Two little stylistic notes:
1) “A lot” sounds less formal than “many” or “several.”
2) Slovenians overuse “a number of…”

All tips to date…


Language Tip 27 (2014-15)


Capitalize the titles of wars, and use Roman numerals:

1) World War I or the First World War
2) World War II or the Second World War
3) the Cold War (“cold war” is fine if you use it generically – e.g. “A domestic cold war developed over who would do the dishes.”)

INCORRECT: World War 2
INCORRECT: the first World War

Although some style guides, such as Chicago, call for WW I, especially in less formal writing WW1 is fine (and generally more common than WW I).

Also, avoid writing “2nd World War” or the utterly Slovenglish “1. World War.”


Language Tip 26 (2014-15)

Present vs. represent

The verb “to present” can mean either “give” or “introduce” and is used with an object. When you want to say “to be,” however, the word to use is “represent” (and what follows is a subject complement).

Incorrect: “The sun imagery in the poem presents warmth.”
Correct: “The sun imagery in the poem represents warmth.”

Incorrect: “Allow me to represent John, who’s a good friend of mine.”
Correct: “Allow me to present John, who’s a good friend of mine.”

Also check out slang uses of represent: and…/represent.

All tips to date…