What gives me the qualifications to write about language?
After taking degrees that included the study of French, Spanish, Linguistics and Phonetics, I lectured on English phonetics for half a dozen years, and was then the BBC’s Pronunciation Adviser for over twenty years. I was the editor of the 2nd edition of the BBC Pronouncing Dictionary of British Names (OUP), and am the co-author, with Stewart Clark, of Word for Word, an English usage text book for foreign learners (OUP), and Words: A User’s Guide, aimed at native speakers (Pearson Education).
During my years with the BBC I was a frequent broadcaster: on all the national radio networks, many of the local radio services, the World Service, and also television channels – including independent television, always on the subject of language.
I have also lectured in many countries on the same topics.