i newspaper, July 3, 2017 – Page One

‘Anyone for tennis?’ is one of the corniest cliches there is, and I guess I have seen it several hundred times. You have got to do better than this lazy and boring offering. I would simply have put:

Murray fit for

Reports: p12, 50-51



Sunday Times, July 2, 2017

Regular readers will know that this should be ‘sank’, the past tense of ‘sink’. ‘Sunk’ is the past participle, which goes with forms of ‘have’, such as ‘he had sunk his teeth into the sandwich’ or ‘he has sunk his teeth into the sandwich’. ‘Sunk’ is also the passive voice, as in ‘the ship was sunk by a torpedo’. (The passive voice is when something is done to an object, as opposed to the active voice, when a subject does something.)

Since English refuses to stick to rules, I have drawn up a chart of some verbs which seem to cause confusion. I will add more if I think of them. Obviously some verbs, such as ‘swim’, do not have a passive voice, or at least I can’t think of such a sentence.

Present tense Past tense Past participle /
pluperfect /
sink sank sunk
swim swam swum
shrink shrank shrunk
spin spun spun
swing swung swung
ring rang rung
sing sang sung
fling flung flung
string strung strung
sting stung stung
run ran run
drink drank drunk
wring wrung wrung
cling clung clung
stink stank stunk
bring brought brought
hang hung
(execution: hanged)
slink slunk slunk


The Times, July 1, 2017

If, as a London-based writer, you feel the need to be mildly patronising about the North, at least get the spelling right. This should be ‘gradely’, to rhyme with ‘Madeley’, not ‘gradley’, which would rhyme with ‘badly’.


i newspaper, July 1, 2017

I assume the writer of this letter to the editor knows how to spell his home town, so someone must have changed it from the correct Northwich to the incorrect Northwitch. This is unforgivable.