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Judging language correctness: a visual framework

Only last year, debates over the correctness or incorrectness of written language use made front page news.

Jacob Rees-Mogg’s style guide for his staff prompted more column inches than most linguists, grammarians or copy editors would have thought possible on such a dry topic. Including some from this commentator. Not all the opinions were complimentary.

And I don’t really like adding to the tally of column inches on JRM.

But the debate prompted me to revisit a visual tool I use in my shortcourse classes at City, University of London to try to help students conceptualise the idea of correctness.

When is it legitimate to challenge something on grounds that it’s incorrect? And when is it not?

Storytelling: Archaeology, Performance and Editing

I am delighted to use this blog post to introduce myself as a follow-up to our Prism-Clarity autumn newsletter. [If you haven’t signed up for our newsletter click the link here to find out more: you can subscribe at the bottom of the page.] Now feels like as good a time as any to write this blog. I have completed my three-month probation with Prism-Clarity and am looking to the future.

BOEPrism

Risk & Regulation Round-up: August 2018 to July 2019

Welcome to the latest Prism-Clarity round-up of key announcements and developments in UK financial risk and regulation.

It won’t have escaped your attention that, far from being a quarterly update, it’s been over a year since my last one. The demands of a corporate contracting role since last November have affected my ability to provide more timely updates. Still, here we are, and will aim to resume doing this update on a more regular basis in future.

As a result of the long gap, my reporting in this note is even more selective and summarised than usual. So I include the usual curated links to underlying source stories or documents for the reader who wants more detail.

And to help readers pick up any stories I don’t cover in detail, I also include selected links to publications and announcements from individual regulators’ websites.

*** Note: The articles in this blog do not constitute advice, but please contact me here for further information, including where to get the best advice. ***

In business or in employment pt 2: updated thoughts on IR35

Two years ago I went off the beaten track and wrote a blog on what is a vexed topic for many freelancers – IR35 – sometimes known as the ‘off-payroll working rules’.

These HMRC rules were introduced in 2000. They’re designed to ensure that contractors are not disguising what in reality amounts to an ’employment’ relationship with their client, to benefit from the tax advantages of operating through a limited company.

Some of my colleagues found the blog useful, thankfully. But as much as anything it was an internal thinkpiece. A way of proving to myself (or even HMRC if they ever came knocking) that I know about the criteria and can argue credibly that I am legitimately outside IR35.

This blog updates that thinking in the light of things that have happened internally in my business, and in the IR35 world itself, since I wrote the original piece.

[As before, please note: this blog does not represent advice. This is a contentious topic. If in any doubt, consult your accountant or a professional HR adviser.]