Advanced Dunglish… the blog

  • Click the heading to read the blog post
  • After opening a post, you can:
    • select various categories such as Punctuation or US-UK issues to find related posts
    • select tags to find other items about the same specific topic
    • leave comments (kan ook in het NL, uiteraard)

Chapter and verse

A document really has to be pretty large before you can call its subdivisions “chapters”. We’re talking a small book, not a ten-pager.

A programme of programs

In British English, the spelling “program” is normally used nowadays for IT but “programme” is still the norm for other contexts.

A telling point

The verb “to tell” is quite widely used and versatile in English, but comparatively rarely used by non-natives.


A perfectly good word, but hugely less common than its Dutch equivalent. So Dutch authors overuse it horrendously.


Dutch treats the broad concept of pyrotechnics as a singular noun, “vuurwerk”. English doesn’t: fireworks are in the plural.

“Proud to be a PSV-fan”

A typical Dutch hyphen, except that this one was big (and I mean BIG) – several metres in length, in the backdrop to a Europa League game.

Year before subject

The 2021 report, 2012 Olympics, the 2017 Conference, the 1986 Displaced Persons Act… The year comes first if there’s no other small word in between.

Decimal coinage

Fifty years ago this week, Britain got rid of its notorious system of pounds, shillings and pence: great for dividing fractions in medieval times, but not much use with computers.

Mo-Fr, Sa+Su

You’re probably not going to confuse anybody by using two-letter abbreviations for days. But English doesn’t do that.


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