L

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Lady Blackstone, Jay, Thatcher etc
not Baroness

lager beer, larger means bigger

Lailat al-Qadr
Islamic holy day, time for study and prayer

Lailat al-Miraj
Islamic holy day

Lake District, the Lakes

lambast

lamb's wool

lamp-post

laptop

larva
(plural larvae), insects; lava, volcanic magma; we often say the former when we mean the latter

last post

later/latter
'Peter and Paul visited the bingo hall. The latter was later heard shouting "house".'

latitude
like this: 21 deg 14 min S

leap year

learned
not learnt, unless you are writing old-fashioned poetry (he learned his tables, a message well learned, etc)

led
past tense of the verb "lead"; it is surprising how often such sentences as "he lead them to the lecture" crop up

less/fewer
less means smaller in quantity, eg less money
fewer means smaller in number, eg fewer coins

letdown, letup
nouns

let down, let up
verbs

letters
cap up single letters, eg there are six As in taramasalata

leukaemia

level crossing

liaison

licence
noun; license verb

lieutenant-colonel, lieutenant-general
abbreviate on second mention to Col or Gen: Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Mackay, subsequently Col Mackay, etc

lifelong
one word

lightbulb

light year
a measure of distance, not time

likable
not likeable

like/as if
never use the former to mean the latter: 'it looks as if he's finished' not 'it looks like he's finished'

like/such as
like excludes; such as includes: 'Cities like Manchester are wonderful' suggests the writer has in mind, say, Sheffield or Birmingham; she actually means 'cities such as Manchester'

likely
takes the infinitive (he is likely to win) or a qualifier (he will very likely win), not 'he will likely win' — if you want to use that form, say "he will probably win"

loathe
detest; loth unwilling, not loath

longlist, shortlist

lovable
not loveable

Luxembourg
the country, Luxembourgeois its inhabitants

luxury, luxurious

Lycra
TM; the briefly fashionable term 'lycra louts' led to complaints from the Lycra lawyers



 
 

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