meet the word nerds

We’re a ragtag bunch, with only the love of words holding us together at the seams. All the nerds devote their wisdom and wit to this site simply because pedantry demands it of their conscience – and several of them work in wordy worlds beyond. The site is edited by Karen Jeynes and Chris Hancock

Ant Sims (@mspr1nt) is a freelance writer who writes mainly about cricket and soccer for the Daily Maverick or whoever else will have her….
Unathi Kondile (@unathikondile) is an Eastern Cape Refugee living in the City of Cape Town – he hails from Centane (in the former Transkei) and is a member of the Cirha clan, the Ncibanes, the Nojaholos and the Ntswentswes who were once upon a time the friends of King Phalo. He spends his days surrounded by academics and students whilst pursuing his own research around Culturally Transforming South Africa’s Print and Broadcast Media.
Chris Hancock (@cjhancock) is an IT consultant and dictionary enthusiast in the UK. He’s worked in Engineering and Computing since leaving University, all the time hoping that the post of Crossword Editor for “The Guardian” will come up. It hasn’t.Yet.
Seduced from working with words as a journalist, Mvelase Peppetta (@MvelaseP), now in public relations, spends his days resisting the urge to type out in big bold capitalised letters, “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE”. Currently seeking treatment for a self-confessed addiction to over-punctuating, Mvelase, when able to overcome his chronic case of bone-laziness, likes to share his thoughts on words and such on ThatWordSite.
Karen Jeynes (@karenjeynes) is a playwright, dramaturg, wordsmith, proponent of the Oxford comma, and collector of words. She has been known to rub her hands with girlish glee on discovering a new one.  She experiences high levels of angst over misplaced apostrophes, sometimes having to have a bit of a lie down. She is perilously partial to puns. And also alliteration.
A qualified lawyer with an academic background in, and flair for, languages, Caryn Gootkin (@inotherwordscg) provides a wide range of writing, proofreading, copy editing and plain language rewriting services. She majored in Latin and Hebrew before reading law at Trinity Hall College, Cambridge. When the pitter patter of the small feet got too loud she closed her law practice and focussed on motherhood for a few years. Throughout  all of this she remained a director of The Big Issue South Africa, which ultimately led to her new career as a writer and editor. A few editing, proofreading, grammar and plain language courses later, in other words was born. Caryn writes a regular column for The Media Online in which she rants about words and how we abuse them.
Charl Blignaut (@sa_poptart)is a journalist and poptart who dredges up quotable bits from the interwebs.(They may sometimes contain inaccuracies. It’s probably not worth freaking out about.)
Tarryn Saunders (@TarrynSaunders) is an actress, writer, and fixer of other people’s copy. Sometimes she gets so upset about the dire apostrophic situation of grammar Today that she hides under her duvet and swears never to leave. It’s not her fault. She was brought up by an English teacher.
Gus Silber (@gussilber) is a journalist, author, scriptwriter and tweetwriter. He has been inordinately fond of words ever since he took his first faltering steps on the evolutionary ladder from cry to grunt to babble. He now knows a whole bunch of words, some of them as short as a single letter, others intimidatingly polysyllabic in their gratuitous verbosity. Enamoured by the everyday process of discovering new words, rediscovering old words, and mistakenly inventing new words, he is proud and happy to be labelled…a wordnerd.
Zara Trafford (@zarakatya)  is a history nerd with a penchant for sparkly nail polish. Her love for words and how best they can be strung together started at a young age, when she was especially fond of the adventures of The Moomins. Now her favourite collections of words can be found in books by William Faulkner. She’s been correcting her father’s grammar since she learnt to talk, and her boyfriend’s, much to his delight, since their first date. She thinks these things are important.
Kristina Davidson (@KrisyDavidson) describes herself as a ‘slash and cut’ editor – she likes nothing better than to translate gobbledygook into a succinct, clear communication that is visually pleasing. She believes that creative writing is best reserved for novels, not business writing. Ten years of living in France made her a coffee snob and taught her how to argue. Her love of the French language is equalled only by her love of good food.

4 Comments to “meet the word nerds”

  1. Hi,
    Are both “love for” and “love of,” as in Zara Traffotd’s and Kristina Davidson’s bios here, correct?

    Many thanks,

  2. I’m shy to post my comment, well mainly because my vocabulary and grammar aren’t pleasing to say the least. I’ll post nonetheless because for the life of me I’m in love with literature. I’m yearning to advance and perfect my writing skills, as I have a dream to write columns and theatre plays. So it’s imperative that I acquire this beautiful skill.

    The question is where does one begin?


  3. Chris Hancock

    Hi Lebo! It seems to me you write pretty well. My suggestion is that you read as much as you can, and keep a dictionary close by you to check the meaning of any new words you come across. And when you have ideas for things to write… then write!

    Best of luck!

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