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Novembre 2016
The Speak Up blog answers any questions you may haveeither about the English language or our articles. Write to us at: http://blog.speakuponline.it. The most interesting questions will be published on this page. A word of warning, though: our blog is not a translation or homework service!

I noticed in an article in the September issue (“From Little Venice to Camden Lock”, page 20) that Regent’s Canal is written with an apostrophe. And yet there is a photograph of a boat called Geronimo where it’s written Regents Canal, without an apostrophe. Who’s right and who’s wrong? Did you make a mistake or was it the owner of the boat?

We are happy to say that we are right and that the owner of the boat was wrong! It’s called Regent’s Canal and it’s named in honour of the Prince Regent who was head of state when the first section of the Canal opened in 1816. The apostrophe is a problem for many mother-tongue speakers, as David Crystal explains in his excellent book, Making a Point. We interviewed Crystal in our April issue. Seeing as you are clearly interested in punctuation, you might want to listen to (and watch) the interview on our website.

I’ve noticed a mistake in the August issue. This is in the Speak Up Explains notes for the article The Punk Rock Revolution (on page 37). Here it states that the word ‘quid’ is uncountable.
This is wrong: if it was uncountable, then it couldn’t be preceded by “a few,” nor would you be able to talk about “five quid.” What you should have said is that quid is a word that has the same form in both the single and the plural.

And here we are unhappy to say that Pam is right and that we were wrong! Our apologies to both Pam and our readers.

I’m good!
I very much appreciate your new feature Everyday Dialogues, but I have to admit that it contains an expression which I find hard to understand: “I’m good.” I always thought the correct form was “I’m well.” Is “I’m good” a neologism?

You’re right. Traditionally, people say “I’m well,” but in recent years young Americans have started to say “I’m good” and this has been adopted by youngsters in other English-speaking countries. It’s also a way of saying “No thanks” when somebody offers you food or drink. “Would you like another beer?” “No, I’m good, thanks.”

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