Australian Writers' Centre blog

Word of the week: Dinosaur

Dinosaur (noun) [dī-nə-ˌsȯr] "Where does the word dinosaur come from? It was actually coined by the scientist Sir Richard Owen, who had been studying various fossils found of these creatures and he came to the conclusion that they were from a group of large extinct reptiles. So... read more

How the word “nemesis” inspired a debut novel

If you’re a fan of rom-coms, then have we got the interview for you. Today we’re chatting with Sally Thorne – debut author of new book, The Hating Game. So we’re going to stop talking and let her tell us all about it. Hi Sally. So, how... read more

Q&A: Pleaded or Pled?

Q: Hi there AWC, what grammar topic are we exploring today? A: Wait, first – what’s with the grass clippings? Q: Ah, it’s my new gardening business, Lawn Order. DUN DUN A: What was that? Q: Not sure, so anyway, with Lawn Order I’m--- DUN DUN A: Ah... read more

Q&A: Eat your words

Q: What are we discussing today? A: Well here’s one that’s been sitting in our mail bag for a while. It’s from Ellie D and she has a query about tahini. Q: Oh, I can help there. Beautiful place. Little huts out over the ocean, blue water... read more

Q&A: The mysteries of the orient…

Q: I was speaking to an American buddy of mine recently. And I sort of got out of sorts with her over the word “orientate”. A: Okay. Q: She said there’s no such word – it should be “orient”. Hashtag confused. A: It might be time to jump on the... read more

Q&A: Brace for impact

Q: I’m so angry. A: Why? Q: I just got this marketing report and it uses the word “impactful”. That’s just a made up word. Corporate babble! A: Actually, it’s a word. Q: What? But it’s so, so, meaningless! A: Yes, but being “meaningful” (a similar... read more

Q&A: Literally, explained.

Q: I have a friend who literally dies every time a Taylor Swift song comes on the radio. It’s been happening since 1989. A: Is that so? Lucky you’re on hand to resuscitate them each time. Perhaps a doctor should examine why it keeps happening. Q: What are... read more

Q&A: Super trouper

Q: Hi AWC! A: What are you wearing? Q: It’s my army camouflage. I’m going to a party as one of the members of ABBA. A: Please explain? Q: You know, from the ABBA song Super Trooper. The party is for my friend Fernando who has been going... read more

Word of the week: Venerate

Venerate (verb) [ve-nə-ˌrāt] “I was reading a book the other day and came across a word that isn’t used that much so I thought I’d include it here. Venerate. The book was referring to a ‘venerated member of the police force’. According to the Macquarie... read more

Q&A: Hats off to these adverbs

Q: Hi AWC. I was reading something today that introduced a sentence with “most importantly” Shouldn’t it just be “most important”? A: Depends on the exact context, but we’d probably say no. Others may disagree. Q: How very unhelpful. A: Allow us to explain. The whole “important” vs... read more

Q&A: Hand in the till

Q: Quick question this week. A: Sure. Q: The word until – can it be shortened without ridicule from grammar boffins? I am not sure if ’til or till or til are viable options. A: Good question. Every now and then, using the full until may seem too formal. In these... read more