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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

CONTEXTUALLY YOURS (article first published : 2001-08-24)

Examples of fractured English pop up daily. In the Durban morning newspaper today is this passage about the projected cloning of humans: “The bottom line is practise makes perfect. But is it ethical to practice on humans? I think it isn’t.” So do I, but what is interesting about this piece of prose is that the word is spelt “practice” when it’s a noun, and “practise” when it’s a verb. The writer has deftly got it wrong in both places. Perhaps the distinction is unimportant and should be done away with, but for now it exists, and a professional writer should know about it. In fact the two spellings show that he does know something about it, but he’s forgotten what it is. (Full contribution in Literature)




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