Blond or blonde? Why do we use two different nouns and adjectives for fair hair color?

The word blond is a noun or adjective that is masculine, and blonde is the feminine form.

It is most unusual to use gender-specific grammar and vocabulary in the English language today.

But the alternative spellings of a blond man and a blonde woman remain in common use.

Why are there two words for fair hair?

The two different spellings are because the word is originally French.

A blond man in French is un homme blond. A blonde woman is une femme blonde.

Many Latin languages have grammatical masculine and feminine forms…


The first question you may be asking is, what is register in English?

Language register in English is the scale of formality we use when we write and speak.

There are five basic levels describing different types of register or formality definition in writing and speaking.

They are, high formal, formal, neutral, informal and vulgar.

These are also sometimes called address registers that work to increase the variety of a language in writing and speaking.

The five English register levels

High formal

It is the level of language that you would use to address the Queen, an archbishop, president or prime minister.

Formal

It is used to when you speak or write to your boss, a client or in a transactional…


Every author should think about their online reputation and personal branding.

When you hear the word branding, you probably associate it with companies such as Apple, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Nike, Toyota and Sony, which are great examples of iconic corporate branding.

Their logos are the pillar of their marketing strategy and consumers instantly recognise them as almost a trademark of quality and popularity.

Large companies spend millions of dollars on brand messaging and long-term brand identity.

Of course, corporations use advertising campaigns to promote their products, but it is the instant brand recognition that makes this short-term publicity expenditure more valuable.

But there are some famous brands that are not corporate in…


Do one-star reviewers need to read “How to write a book review for dummies”?

It’s infuriating. It’s annoying. It’s stupid. It’s unfair. It’s depressing. It’s disheartening.

But it is one of the harsh realities of being a published author today.

If you are a seasoned author, you know exactly what I I am talking about.

If you are a new author who is about to publish your first book, you will come to know soon enough.

I hesitate now when I refer to online book reviews because, in fact, on retail sites, they are not called book reviews.

On Amazon, they are simply called Customer Reviews. …


Whenever I edit or proofread a text or manuscript, one of the most common corrections I make is to turn passive and causative forms into active sentences.

It is almost always better to use the active voice instead of the passive voice because it clarifies who or what is performing the action of the verb on the object.

Using the active voice allows a writer to describe people, places, things and reasons in much more detail. A story or an article resonates better with a reader when they know exactly what, when, where, who, how and why.

By contrast, the…


You want to know how to write a book but you are not sure where to start

If you have ever dreamed of writing a book, there is no better time than now to do it.

All you need to do is write between 40,000 and 80,000 words or more, and you are done.

Easy, huh?

Well, yes and no. It is not the number of words that is important, it is how you put your words together.

“At the end of all this being-determined-to-be-a-jack-of-all-trades, I think I’m better off just sitting down and putting a hundred thousand words in a cunning order.” Douglas Adams

The writing process is about painting a mental picture with words that…


I absolutely believe in being lazy, but I don’t believe in writer’s block

Before I started writing this blog post, I had a blank page. Well, a completely white WordPress editor screen to be precise. But as you can see, it’s not blank, totally white and devoid of words anymore.

How did I start? I read.

My day always begins with reading over breakfast. News, blogs, social media, emails and sometimes even a real newspaper.

Yes, an old-fashioned one made of paper that doesn’t need electricity to read.

This morning, between my coffee and tartine, I stumbled upon this quote on social media on my iPad, with my sticky marmalade tipped finger.

There’s…


If you are new to self-publishing, you might run into a few problems. Here are some easy fixes for you.

When you do something for the first time, it doesn’t always work out exactly as you might have planned. Publishing your first book is a very exciting time, but errors and problems can and often do happen.

But don’t panic. You can usually fix most of the common issues that come up after publishing without too much effort.

Some problems can be a result of rushing into publishing. While others can happen because you didn’t know how things worked.

But the good news is that there are very few things that you can’t fix or resolve after publishing.

1. You have two book sales pages on Amazon

When you…


The printed magazine is being replaced more and more by new digital magazines

Before the Internet, publishing tycoons and newspaper publishers dominated the magazine industry. Now though, the number of print magazines published is in decline.

Times have changed, and today it’s a more level playing field. Anyone can become a publisher and try to launch a successful online magazine.

If you have a dream to run an online magazine, there is nothing to stop you. But before you start, you should think about it as starting a business and do some research and planning before you jump into it.

Where do you start?

What’s the difference between a blog and an online magazine?

What makes a great online magazine?

Lots of pictures…


How much of your valuable writing time are you wasting on social media and your blog?

For a lot of authors, the answer is very often, far, far too much.

Would you prefer to be writing books instead of writing Facebook and Twitter posts every day?

It is good advice to promote your books from your blog but you need a lot of traffic for it to be effective. No matter how many blog posts you write, if no one reads them it’s not going to help in selling your books.

The aim of book promotion for any author is to get a potential reader to go to their books on Amazon, Apple or B&N and…

Derek Haines

Factotum at Just Publishing Advice, serial blogger, teacher and author. I write a lot, which keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. Mostly harmless.

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