|Terms and Conditions|
|General Website Terms|
|Competitions Official Rules|
|Free Online Editor|
Welcome to English Language Skills ("this site").
We want everyone to enjoy this site. So, it's important you agree to all the following terms and conditions.
Troy Simpson and Denise Sutherland own and run this site.
Sometimes we may change these terms to keep current with laws and policies. So, please read these terms periodically to make sure you agree to and understand the latest terms. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the latest terms.
3 Not legal advice
Everything on this site is for INFORMATION ONLY. This includes tips we, or our free online editor, give on plain legal language. You must ALWAYS get professional legal advice rather than relying on information that we, or anyone else, provide on this site.
4 Intellectual property
We own the copyright in the text we've written for this site.
Third parties may own other product names and company names on this site.
What you CAN do with our material
You can do the following with our material. You can:
- link to our material, subject to the clauses below about illegal and offensive sites;
- save, print, distribute, and use as teaching and learning aids our e-cards, puzzles, and quizzes, so long as you keep the links to our website, do not make sell our materials, do not claim you own our materials, and accept our other clauses about liability, indemnities, and warranties; and
- otherwise print hard copies of our material for your personal information, but not commercial use, and store a copy of our material on your computer for the purpose of viewing the material.
What you CANNOT do with our material
Unless we expressly approve it in writing or the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) allows it, you MUST NOT:
- use our trademarks; or
- remove the link to our website "www.english-language-skills.com" on our marketing materials and resources, such as our e-cards, puzzles, and quizzes.
You should also get the consent of third party trademark owners before using their trademarks.
7 Linking to this site (legal, non-pornographic, non-gambling, and inoffensive sites)
If your site is legal and has no pornographic or other offensive material, and isn't an online gambling site, then we encourage you to link to this site, and you don't need our permission. But you must remove the link if we ask you to.
8 Linking to this site (illegal, pornographic, online gambling, and offensive sites)
This site is a FAMILY site. So, if your site is illegal, contains pornographic or other offensive material, or is an online gambling site, you MUST NOT link to this site and MUST NOT link to the sites that monitor our web statistics.
9 Code of conduct
What you MUST NOT do
Without limiting your obligations, you MUST NOT do any of the following:
- impersonate anyone;
- violate others’ rights;
- stalk, flame, harass, defame, or threaten anyone;
- post or send spam, junk mail, chain letters, or pyramid schemes;
- use our site for illegal purposes or for purposes that these terms forbid;
- advertise, solicit business, or offer to sell goods or services, without our permission;
- use a false header or other identifiers to disguise the origin of a posting or uploaded content;
- deliberately post the same message or material more than once;
- run a game, raffle, or contest (regardless of whether participants pay a fee), without our permission;
- recruit people to join another website or website forum, whether personal or otherwise, without our permission;
- publish or distribute unlawful or objectionable material, including material that is obscene, indecent, pornographic, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable;
- post material or upload or attach files that are protected by intellectual property laws, unless you own or have got all the required consents and licences to use such material; or
- attach or upload harmful files, such as files that contain viruses, corrupted files, and programs designed to limit, impair, destroy, or interrupt the functionality or operability of any software, hardware, computer systems, or telecommunications equipment.
What we CAN do
Your contributions are not private communications between you and someone else. That means we can edit, filter, review, remove, and moderate your posts without notice for any reason. We may also keep, disclose, and monitor information to satisfy applicable laws.
10 No warranties
We provide this site "as is" without express or implied warranties. While we take all due care and precautions, we make no warranty or representation that the content on this site, and content accessible through this site, is free from viruses or other defects and harmful components. We don't warrant that access to, or use of, this site will be uninterrupted or error-free. We don't warrant the quality, completeness, accuracy, timeliness, suitability, physical state, reliability, or a particular purpose of the content on this site or content accessible through this site.
You promise us that you are 18 or older, or your parent or guardian has consented to your using this site and they agree to these terms for you.
12 Links to other sites
If we don't strictly enforce these terms, then it won't be a waiver of our right to strictly enforce these terms later.
14 Limit of liability
You accept all risks and responsibility for all loss, costs, damage, and other consequences of using this site or the content or material on or accessible through this site.
We will not be liable for any loss at all (including, without limitation, special, indirect, incidental, or consequential loss, or loss of profits), damage, expense, or injury that is suffered (however so caused) in connection with your using this site or the content or material of this site (including linked websites), except for liability that we cannot legally exclude. Where we cannot legally exclude liability, our liability is limited to our minimum obligations required by law, which may include, at our election, our replacement of the goods, supply of equivalent goods, re-supply of the services, payment of the cost of having the goods or services replaced or re-supplied, the repair of goods, or the cost of having the goods repaired.
By using this site, you indemnify us against all costs (including legal costs on a full indemnity basis), claims, awards, demands, judgments, damages, proceedings, and any other liability whatsoever, wholly or partly arising from your using or accessing this site and its content, breaching these terms, or participating in our blog forums and competitions.
If a term is invalid or unenforceable, then that term will be "read down" (if it can) so that it will be valid and enforceable. If that isn't possible, then the term will, so much that it is capable, be severed from the rest of the terms to the extent of the invalidity or unenforceability, without affecting the remaining terms.
17 Governing law
These terms will be subject to and interpreted according to the laws of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). If a dispute arises between you and us, then you will submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the ACT’s courts.
We are committed to Australia’s 10 privacy principles. The main principles that apply to us are collection, use and disclosure, data quality, data security, openness, and access and correction.
We collect personal information only when we need that information to run our site. We collect personal information only through fair, lawful, and non-intrusive ways. You can get a copy of the information we have about you by emailing us. We collect the following information for the following purposes:
When you visit this site
When you visit this site, our service provider records your visit and logs the following information for statistical purposes: your server address, your top level domain name (for example, .com, .gov, .au, .uk), the date and time of your visit to this site, the pages you accessed, the link and search terms you used to find this site, and your browser. We use “cookies” to help you login the site without having to re-enter your details every time.
If you win a competition
If you win a competition, we will ask you for your full name, address, email address, and phone numbers. We will use these details to send you your prize.
2 Use and disclosure
We would use your personal information for a secondary purpose only if you consented to such use, or where you would reasonably expect us to use or disclose the information, or where we are required or authorised by law.
3 Data quality
The currency, accuracy, and completeness of the personal information we collect about you is limited only by the currency, accuracy, and completeness of the personal information you give us.
4 Data security
Access to your personal information is restricted to a handful of people who need access to the information to do their jobs. They, too, are committed to our privacy and security policies. If we no longer need your personal information, or if you withdraw your consent to our using your personal information, we will destroy or de-identify the personal information.
5 Access and correction
If you ask us, we will show you the information we have about you (we may ask you to supply reasonable proof of identity so that we know it is really you who is accessing the information). You can correct that information any time. The only exceptions are those exceptions under the privacy principles. In such exceptional cases, we will tell you why we have denied access or refused to correct the personal information, as the privacy principles require.
We explain our policies on managing personal information in documents such as this one, which we update on this site. If you have questions about the personal information we hold, the purposes for which we hold the information, and how we use, collect, and disclose that information, just email support @ english-language-skills.com.
Promoter. The Promoter of our competitions is Serenson (ABN 43 123 214 200) of GPO 1721 Canberra ACT 2601, Australia (“We”, “Our”, “Us”).
Prizes. One person will receive 1 copy of the popular vocabulary-building software Ultimate Vocabulary (RRP $67).
Eligibility. To enter the competition, you must be aged 18 or above; OR younger than 18 if your parent or guardian has consented to these Official Rules on your behalf. Employees, contractors, and family members of the promoter and publisher are ineligible.
Multiple entries. You may submit more than one entry as long as each entry is substantially different.
Notification of winner. The promoter will contact the winner by email or phone. The promoter may also publish the winner's name and entry at www.english-language-skills.com and on our Facebook® Fan Page at http://www.facebook.com/englishlanguageskills.
The Winner. Our competitions are games of skill. Chance plays no part in determining the winner. The winner will be the person who, in the opinion of the judges, supplies the best answer to the competition question provided on our competitions page, taking into account accuracy, creativity, and humour. The judges' decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
Claiming your prize. If you win, you must claim your prize by supplying any details we need in order to send you your prize. You must claim your prize within 14 days of being notified that you have won. If you do not claim your prize within 14 days, we may declare the prize forfeited and award the prize to someone else.
No liability. We will not be liable for any loss at all (including, without limitation, special, indirect, incidental, or consequential loss, or loss of profits), damage, expense, or injury that is suffered (however so caused) in connection with the Competition or prize, except for liability that we cannot legally exclude. Where we cannot legally exclude liability, our liability is limited to our minimum obligations required by law, which may include, at our election, our replacement of the goods, supply of equivalent goods, re-supply of the services, payment of the cost of having the goods or services replaced or re-supplied, the repair of goods, or the cost of having the goods repaired.
Privacy. We will only use your contact details if you are a winner, to let you know that you have won. We do not sell or pass-on email addresses.
Severability. If a term in the Official Rules is invalid or unenforceable, then that term will be "read down" (if it can) so that it will be valid and enforceable. If that isn't possible, then the term will, so much that it is capable, be severed from the rest of the terms to the extent of the invalidity or unenforceability, without affecting the remaining terms.
Governing law. The laws of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) shall govern the interpretation and enforcement of these Official Rules; you hereby submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the ACT’s courts and waive any right to claim that those courts are an inconvenient forum.
We have provided a free online editor. Please read the following information carefully before using the tool.
Make sure you exercise your own careful judgement when using the tool. The tool does not provide definitive results. Take particular care when using the tool on legal documents. (Some words and phrases have important legal meanings. Before changing legal words, phrases, clauses, or documents, you should get professional legal advice; we are NOT lawyers).
How it works
The free online editor looks for 10 traits of "good" writing
The free online editor checks your text against 10 broad traits of clear, persuasive writing. Specifically, we've coded the tool to:
- turn negative words into positive words
- turn nouns into verbs where possible
- prefer short words to long words
- prefer understatement to overstatement
- find alternatives to clichés
- remove or shorten "throat-clearing" phrases (such as "It is important to note")
- prefer specific words to vague words
- use modern language rather than archaic language
- identify and edit tautologies (two or more words that mean the same thing)
- identify and correct "eggcorns" (malapropisms, or commonly misused words and phrases)
The free online editor then processes 15,000 "rules" under each of these categories
Under each of these categories, we have coded more than 15,000 "rules". These rules check for not only simple text matches but also complex patterns. An example of a simple text rule is:
- Find: "However"; Replace with: "But".
An example of a more complex rule is the rule that looks for "nominalizations" (phrases that turn verbs into nouns). The tool finds possible nominalizations by looking for patterns that nominalizations typically use. For example, we have programmed the tool to look for words that end in "-ment", "-tion", and other endings that nominalizations often use; look for weak verbs nearby (eg, "make", "conduct") and prepositions (eg, "of"), and suggest more active verb alternatives based on the structure of the suspect nominalization (eg, "examine" rather than "conduct an examination of").
Right now, the free online editor has several limitations. For example:
- you can convert a maximum of only 5000 characters
- the tool will sometimes suggest edits that make no sense (tell us about these so that we can improve the tool)
- the tool shares the limitations of every piece of grammar checking software
Measures you can take
To get the most out of the free online editor:
- check your spelling. If you have misspelt a word, the free online editor might not find it.
- write a good first draft. The free online editor works best when you have already got a good draft for it to work on. So, try using the tool only when you are confident about what you have written and you know what you are trying to say.
- think about the editor's suggestions. One of the tool's best benefits is the way it makes you think about your writing. When the editor queries a word or phrase, think about why the editor is suggesting alternatives. Think carefully about the different options and their potentially different meanings.
- improve your vocabulary. As Edwin Abbott wrote in How to Write Clearly (1883), "Verbosity is cured not by a small, but by a large vocabulary". Likewise, to get the most from the free online editor, you need a good vocabulary so that you know whether simpler alternatives have the same meaning as the word you want to replace. To improve your vocabulary, use tools like Ultimate Vocabulary.