The Knowledge

It’s not just for taxis – it’s also needed for good grammar

Originally published over at Taxi Leaks, this provided a chuckle this morning and happens to sit at the intersection of two topics dear to my heart. Uber and Accurate Language. (Slightly edited for better flow and consistency with this blog’s style.)

“licence” is a noun

“license” is a verb

(in British English, the Americans use “license” for both )

Hard to remember UNLESS you think of ” advice ” and ” advise ” , which work exactly the same way but their respective pronunciations give them away.

FYI ” practice ” and ” practise ” also work the same way

SO to choose a random example :

Uber have lost their licence

Uber are no longer licensed

Uber were not deemed fit and proper to hold a licence

TfL’s licensing decision re Uber was the right one

Uber are appealing against the loss of their licence

We all hope that Uber are not relicensed

Hope that helps !

Vaughan Williams.

Who is Vaughan Williams? Producer of the stage play from the movie ‘The Knowledge’

Boundary Conditions

They Need To Be Understood

But there is so much more.

For the longest time, my sentence description for what I do is ‘translate’

Tech Speak to Business Speak.

Sales Speak to Marketing Speak.

English Speak To American Speak.

Corporate Speak to Customer Speak.

I didn’t start that way … but when I look back at what I have done and attempt to explain what some would consider to be an eclectic career – that is the common thread. Back in 2012 I wrote this.

I was prompted to write this as I was thinking today about a dialogue I had with a good friend of mine around the People First initiative … dialogue modified  to make sense out of context …

ME: I am thinking that IF People First is focussing on the future present of work …. (since ALL language you read is really about impact on corporations and society – not really on the individual), then one aspect I want to be talked about is IF you are an individual – what is the language YOU should use?

For example …. I am not ‘talent’. You are not going to ‘acquire me’, so why does a corporation talk about ‘talent acquisition’. On the flip side – I have mobility and can move around and YOU dear corporation have to jump to this piper, who is playing my tune.

Make sense ?


Friend: Makes sense.

I don’t frame it as a ‘corporate and you’ thing.

I frame it as an understanding, sense making and modelling thing where the refreshed and healthier models can live in various contexts.


ME: I frame it as the interface / intersection where the translation occurs. That is where I hang out, always have done – which in turn plays to …

“ an understanding, sense making and modelling thing where the refreshed and healthier models can live in various contexts.”

Flagging and highlighting this now and will come back to it later.

The Road Not Taken

… and the one that is …


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

This just in from ‘Today I Found Out

… a poem famous for being one of the most misunderstood and misinterpreted poems ever written, and a testament to how twisted the meaning of something can be by taking a quote out of context.

I don’t care – it is still beautiful.

What A Concept!

Nice Article …

… from the team at Teamrock, where Steven Wilson guides us through ten ‘concept albums’ you may have missed.

Delighted to report that there was only one that I had missed …. Tom Newman’s Faerie Symphony – which I found in full on YouTube for your delectation (if you like Horslips – give it a whirl) … and in fact only 3 that I don’t actually own ….

  • Tom Newman’s Faerie Symphony (hard to own if you have never heard of it)
  • Virginia’ Astley’s ‘From Gardens Where We Feel Secure’
  • Serge Gainsboro’s Histoire De Melody

[When I say ‘own’ … my vinyl collection needs to be checked – because I definitely do not have all of them in my CD/Digital collection – can someone check the vinyl for me – you KNOW who I am talking to ….

BTW – talking of Faerie’s – why oh why do the Enid get left out of all the lists …


SaveSave