Workshop on English usage

24 Jun 2017 at 09:00 to 13:00
Centre for the Book, Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town
Event Details

Focus: English usage: Say again? The other side of South African English (2016) (first session) and What is ‘correct’ English? (second session)

Date: Saturday 24 June 2017

Time: 09:00 for 09:30 to 13:00

Place: Committee Room, Centre for the Book (CFB), Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town

Presenter: Dr Malcolm Venter

Malcolm Venter holds a PhD in English Linguistics from Rhodes University. He taught English at high-school level for 37 years and was a principal for 22 of those years. He has co-authored and authored a number of school language textbooks and compiled various literary anthologies for schools. He is the founder of the English Olympiad and serves as the National Chairperson of the SA Council for the English Olympiad and as a member of the National Executive of the English Academy of Southern Africa. Since retirement, he has lectured to English Method students on the teaching of English at Stellenbosch University. He was a member of a radio panel on English usage on SABC for a number of years with John Orr. He is the editor of Teaching English Today, an online journal for English teachers. In 2002, he received the English Academy’s Gold Medal Award, its highest award, for services to English in South Africa. Beyond his involvement in English, Malcolm has served as the president of two teacher unions. He is currently the provincial executive officer of the Governing Body Foundation, an NPO that advises school governing bodies and principals, but enjoys spending his time reading books on the English language, his first love.

The press (and others) have written the following about Say again? The other side of South African English written by Malcolm Venter and published by Pharos in 2016:

  •  ‘I did finally buy a copy of Say Again? I am enjoying it hugely. It’s a real time-guzzler – ‘I’ll just check out the entry on XYZ’, and an hour later I’m still absorbed in it! Congratulations on a really fascinating social history as well as a lively linguistic record! – Robin Malan, author of Ah Big Yaws? A Guard to Sow Theffricun Innglissh
  •  ‘This is a book for every South African. It shows how South African English is changing as we speak. New phrases, words and expressions are being invented and coloured to express our variety and unique nature’. – Prof Rajendra Chetty, President of the English Academy of Southern Africa
  •  ‘Written by eminent scholars in linguistics and lexicography, Say Again will be a source of edification and delight to anyone interest in language.’ – Prof Rajend Mesthrie, Profess of Linguistics, UCT
  •  ‘About thirty odd years ago Oxford published the first dictionary of South African English. I loved that book … Now we have Say Again, a delightful little book with a lot more background than the original dictionary. A copy of Say Again should find its way onto the reference shelf of every school library. English teachers will find the book particularly useful. Quite a lot of the chapters could be used for comprehension purposes or for reference material. In conclusion, the authors have done marvellous work in producing a truly “lekker” book.’ – Dr Mark Potterton, principal of Holy Family College in Johannesburg – NAPTOSA INSIGHT: April 2017
  •  ‘… this entertaining compendium is jam-packed with South Africanisms – Sunday Times 27 November 2017

English grammar questions

Attendees are welcome to send any questions about English grammar for Malcolm’s attention beforehand to the Western Cape Branch Committee. Questions must be received by Monday 19 June 2017. Please send your questions to Corné Janse van Rensburg (

PEG guides

The following guides will be on sale at the workshop:

  •  Consistency, consistency, consistency: PEG’s guide to style guides (third edition) by John Linnegar with Paul Schamberger and Jill Bishop at R40
  • The business of editing: The PEG guide to setting up and running your small business (second edition) by Jill Bishop, John Linnegar and Linda Pretorius at R50
  • Marketing your freelance services: The PEG guide for practitioners by John Linnegar with Jenny de Wet and Lia Marus at R70

One copy of Text editing: A handbook for students and practitioners (Kris Van de Poel, WAM Carstens and John Linnegar) is available at R400.


The price of the workshop, including refreshments, is:

Affiliation Early-bird registration fee
(before or on 16 June 2017)
Registration fee
(before or on 21 June 2017)
PEG members R250 R300
LAMP members R350 R400
Non-affiliated members R500 R600

Owing to the size of the venue, attendance is limited to 24 attendees. To book your place, please complete the registration form and return it along with proof of payment to Ellyn Barry at by Friday 16 June 2017 (early-bird rate) or by Wednesday 21 June 2017 (normal rate).

Make use of the early-bird special: save money and secure your spot for this workshop by registering early!