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I also offer personally-tailored, individualized English conversation practice (including etiquette) and coaching in writing techniques. Finally, I edit texts such as magazines, business proposals, memorandums, emails so they are presented in English which does not embarrass you or your organization. For further details, please mail me at: language.etiquette@gmail.com

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27 February 2012

Connoisseur's Choice #1: the car maybe German, but the language is English

It may be a fifty year-old Porsche but it is still a gentleman (see 24 February, Confusing Words #3). Its design is as elegantly understated as a well-crafted English sentence. It is short, neat, well-organised and has the verb (i.e. the engine) in the middle. It has no environmental value. It is simply beautiful and would, I am sure, have been fun to drive, just as elegant English prose is fun to read aloud.
     Written English, unlike Russian, works best when it is simply the spoken word tidied up. Too much formality changes it from чопорный to пафосный (see same post). Then it is no longer a gentleman.
     I mention this since it reminds me of one of the best books ever written from the point of view of the proper but still exciting and evocative use of the language. It is The Chequered Flag by Douglas Rutherford, and is available at this link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/chequered-flag-Douglas-Rutherford/dp/ In its own field, this book is the connoisseur's choice.

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