Friday, 18 December 2020

English Grammar and Spelling Errors

Some Common English Errors

No one is perfect when it comes to spelling and grammar; we all make mistakes. It is why there are proofreaders in this world! The errors become compounded by modern technology which can cause issues with auto-correct. All too often, especially on the small screen of a mobile phone, it is easy to fail to spot the auto spell has changed a word which you correctly typed. 

There are several increasingly common errors which to be fair to software creators are operator caused. Shall we take a look at some of these? 

The added 'k'.

The word something and nothing is being pronounced, even by people in high positions, as nothink and somethink. What happened to the letter g? Just typing this is making my software get jittery. 

Have and of

Far too often, I now read social media posts and hear in a person's speech the following phrases.

"I should of"
"I could of"
"I would of"

The word 'of' is incorrect and of course, should be the word 'have'. 
I am assuming because we tend to abbreviate (contraction) 'should have' to 'should've'. The ve sound is getting pronounced as 'of' instead of the ending part of the word have. 

The same sound - with different spellings and meanings.

Bored/Board you can be bored in your job. Passenger board a ship. You can chop vegetables on a wooden board.

Brake/Break a car will brake to a stop. You can break a pot.

Loose/Lose not quite the same sound when pronounced, or shouldn't be, but is often miswritten. 
Loose - an item of clothing can be too loose, or a rope can become loose.
Lose - a team can lose the game, you can lose your money.

These are just a few of the many mistakes that I see frequently. Which misspellings or poor English usage upsets you the most? Please leave a comment in the box below.

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Dementia and Sport

Dementia a growing problem
Photo by Matthias Zomer from Pexels

Dementia is often in the news, and there is a growing concern that those engaged in sport are at risk. There are reports concerning footballers who have developed dementia, and in the news today, England and Lions rugby player Steve Thompson has a diagnosis of dementia at the age of 42.

Footballers and rugby players are in danger of head injuries. Footballers often head the ball, which can be moving at quite a speed which increases the forces passing through the head of the player. In football, the most likely cause of long-term damage is due to the number of times the ball is headed.

Footballer Alan Jarvis dies at the age of 76, and at his inquest, the coroner put the cause of death down as from Alzheimer's caused by his occupation. There is a long list of footballers who are now suffering from dementia including one of my favourite players, former Chesterfield FC's record goal-scorer, Ernie Moss.  His daughter, Nikki Trueman is doing great work in both raising funds and awareness about this terrible condition.

Dementia Research

There is research done on the causes of dementia, but the amount of money needs to be more significant to speed up the solutions as more seem to be developing it. The Alzheimers Society on their website gives some comparison with other illnesses. Below is quoted from the Alzheimers Society website. 

"Dementia research should receive a level of investment that matches the economic and human cost of the condition. The total cost of dementia to the UK is estimated at £26 billion a year but only £90 is spent on dementia research per patient per year (Alzheimer's Society, 2014). This is only a fraction of the amount spent on research into some other health conditions. Progress is being made in securing further investment in dementia research. Since 2009/10, annual government and charity spend on dementia research has increased from £43.6 million to almost £74 million in 2013. However, in 2012/13 cancer research still received seven times that spent on dementia (Alzheimer's Society, 2014). The UK needs a national and long-term plan for dementia research that it is funded in proportion to its impact on society and with greater co-ordination between funders of dementia research."

Is it the ball?

In football, some have blamed the old leather footballs of yesteryear for the problem today. However, retired footballer Alan Shearer took part in a TV documentary on this subject of dementia in footballers. He was surprised to learn that the modern ball is heavier although the old one would be heavier if wet. A doctor connected to Shearer to a machine which measured the impact each time he headed the ball in this test. With every header, it was noticeable that the brain is moved around inside the skull. Those brain movements, much like a boxer receiving blows to the head and the cause of concussion, could be adding up to severe problems later in life.

There is much to learn about dementia. Can it be cured? Perhaps more importantly can it be prevented, and as we know, prevention is better than cure. Dementia is an all too real problem for not just those with it but for their family who has to watch them suffer. 

Further information about dementia

For more information about dementia and there are many types of it, you can visit the websites below.

Age UK

Alzheimer's Society

Dementia UK


Need help to find care?

For those of you looking for care at home or if you need to place your loved one in a care home, visit Care Home Selection (CHS Healthcare) for help in finding this. 

Saturday, 5 December 2020

Roland's Travels

I am due to retire in September 2022 and the way that time seems to go quickly, it won't be too long.

With this in mind, I have started a YouTube Channel, Roland's Travels. The channel will encompass things I like and enjoy. I love history, old buildings, the countryside and nature. My passion is to share this with others, and I like live streaming and making videos. This combination has led me to create this channel and to film such subjects.

I intend to visit as many places as possible before retiring so that I can already have a good catalogue of videos before I concentrate more time when available. 

Starting locally

With the Covid19 pandemic, this means that I will film close to where I live in Wiltshire. However, although this is geographically restrictive, there is a vast amount of subject matter right on my doorstep.

There are many lovely old towns within easy reach. Bradford on Avon is one such town and is where I have already done some live-streaming. You can watch a couple of my videos from my live streams around Bradford on Avon on the channel.

It is early days for the channel, but I hope you will subscribe and share with others so that I can create videos that many will enjoy watching. If there are any places you would like me to film in Wiltshire, please let me know in the comments below, and if they are not already on my to-do list, I will consider adding them to it.  

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

How To Stop a Pandemic

How to stop the Covid-19 pandemic
Photo Courtesy of

has been a real plague on humankind. It is taking its toll both in loss of life, and the downturn in the economy, the spread of the virus has in most parts of the world been relentless. 

Covid-19 Vaccines

A few countries got to grips with it early and took stringent measures to control its spread. Others did little or nothing, and some have been hit and miss in their approach. A considerable effort has been made to produce a vaccine which would generally take ten years to achieve. The vaccines that seem to work best in the results produced so far are likely to be available soon. Of course,  there is a danger in using a vaccine which has not had the same clinical trials that would be normal to make sure that not only is it effective, but safe.

Prevention Better Than Cure

I have previously written a blog post, Prevention Better Than Cure, and this is a saying that is true in handling this Covid-19 pandemic. Avoiding the spread and catching the virus is key to any disease control. For thousands of years, there have been pandemics or plagues as we used to call them. Well before vaccines were a possibility, people have had to deal with them. 

The best way to deal with plagues has always been to limit the spread by isolation, avoiding close contact, wearing a mask, washing of hands and infected materials such as clothing and bed linen. These are simple measures which work, and those countries that took the most vital steps early have prevented and stopped Covid-19 in its tracks. 

Unfortunately, some people seem to have an aversion to taking such preventative measures and protest that this is taking away their freedom. Some seem to think that this is some form of conspiracy. They believe governments want to inject them with a microchip, thinking this will be to control their minds and administered as a Covid-10 vaccine. How sad but real to them in their minds, and they spread this message using social media.

Others minimise the effects of the virus, calling it little more than a cold, and as they aren't in a high-risk group, it will not harm them. There are numerous reports of such healthy young people who have died of Covid-19.  No one can with any certainty say that they will not be badly affected after catching the virus. Doctors are now telling us that there is something described as Long-Covid, which seems to make people weak and sometimes feeling they have recovered revert to a state of unwellness and extreme tiredness.

The answer to stopping the spread of Covid-19 must start with those fundamental principles of hands, face, mask and distance. If the virus can't find a host, it will die and not be able to return. Viruses can change, and we must not rely on vaccines as the only answer. A new strain escaping into the community may be worse than Covid-19 has been to date. It is up to each one of use to be responsible for not just our safety, but that of others.