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This week's opinion

06 November 2018
Issue: 4671 / Categories: Comment & Analysis

The benefits of good grammar and clarity of thought

I hope readers will allow me the indulgence of using this week’s column for a personal tribute.

John Tyrrell the great scholar of Czech music and biographer of Janácek died recently and I am writing this piece having just returned from his funeral. John was my PhD supervisor and it is no exaggeration to say that he was the biggest single influence on my intellectual development: any skill I have as a writer is entirely down to him. He always encouraged me with positive feedback on my work but at the same time forced me to think about every word that I wrote. A misplaced comma or ever worse a dangling participle would cause him to write a stern note in the margin. I still have pages and pages of his detailed comments on my draft chapters and when I look at them I see...

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