Paying one’s dues

Paying one’s dues

A frequent question concerns the correct use of ‘owing to’ and ‘due to’. Both phrases originate in the world of finance and moneylending; and of course the word ‘due’ still has the sense of ‘money owed’ in expressions such as ‘rent...
The ‘-ize’ have it

The ‘-ize’ have it

Many British English speakers disapprove of spellings such as ‘criticize’ or ‘modernize’, as if the letter ‘z’ were some devilish American plot designed to ruin ‘traditional’ English spelling forever. Yet if these same...