I wrote a column on geology and the English language for the Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia newsletter from 1993 to 2014, a total of about 120 columns. The idea was to have a laugh at some of the misuses of English by geologists (and others) but also to offer advice to young geologists about their writing.

The column had its origins with my admiration for the Geological Column written by Robert Bates in Geotimes magazine for many years, as discussed in my Dec 1995 column, Words for Robert Bates.

First, centenary and last milestone columns are available below, as are a few favorites, and some of the columns that offer advice to young geologists writing reports or papers.


Compose no comprises (January 1993) Download
Words for Robert Bates (December 1995) Download
Century of Words (December 2009) Download
Setting Sail (June 2014) Download


Christmas words (December 2002)Download
Pullet Surprise (August 2011)Download

Advice to Young Geologists Writing Reports

Beginning not to be end (June 2000) Download
Rift Trek (February 2007) Download
Elements of Style (February 2013) Download
Words into action (April 2013) Download
Writing well (June 2013) Download
Zinsser's finger (August 2013) Download
Exits and entrances (October 2013) Download