SENSE 2015 Conference – 14 November 2015


The SENSE 2015 Conference was a one-day event in Utrecht, the Netherlands, for English language professionals.

The event took place in the Paushuize, a memorable historical venue in the heart of one of the Netherland’s most picturesque cities.

Paus Huize 

Participants came from the fields of editing, translating, interpreting, copywriting and teaching English language communication skills.  More than 10 top speakers, from inside and outside SENSE, held presentations and discussions during the conference. Participants were able to debate on the changing state of the language, learn from best practices and brush up on the skills needed to be a successful language professional.

Conference Souvenir 

If you were lucky enough to have been there on the day, you'll know what a wonderful success the conference turned out to be. If you couldn't make it, or perhaps would like to gain an idea of what the next SENSE conference might be like, download this special issue of our house magazine commemorating the conference: eSense 25th Jubilee Souvenir, 2015.


Situated on Kromme Nieuwegracht 49, just behind Utrecht’s landmark Dom tower and about 15 minutes’ walk from Utrecht Central Station, Paushuize is one of the oldest and most outstanding monuments in the city of Utrecht, with a remarkable history. It is so named because it was built in 1517 by Paus (Pope) Adrian VI, the only Dutch pope from the Netherlands.

A variety of beautifully restored period rooms and splendidly decorated salons, makes the building one of the most sought-after venues in the Netherlands.

Read an article about the venue in our eSense magazine: Conference venue is fit for a pope


Utrecht, the fourth largest city in the Netherlands, is the beating heart of the country and at the hub of the rail network.  It’s a vital city, with a large student population: its university (founded in 1636) is the largest in the Netherlands. The medieval city centre is small enough to explore on foot and large enough to boast a wealth of culture and history, including world-class festivals, modern architecture, trendy shops and interesting museums. The inner city canals are unique: they are accessible by steps from the street and their wharves are now used as terraces by the many cellar bars and restaurants.

Keynote speakers

Professor Geoffrey Pullum is a British-American linguist specialising in the study of English. Since 2009 he has been Professor of General Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh. Pullum is co-author of The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (2002). He is also a regular contributor to Language Log, a collaborative linguistics weblog.

Mark Forsyth is a passionate, self-described pedant when it comes to the English language, but his detailed knowledge of history has given him a common-sense approach to its ‘proper’ use. He is an author, blogger, journalist, proofreader and ghostwriter. He can be found dispelling the grammar myths we were all taught in his popular blog The Inky Fool.


Delegates arrived between 9.00 and 9.30 am to register and enjoy a coffee and some informal networking.

Registration, coffee
Opening & announcements
Plenary speaker: Mark Forsyth
Let us go then, you and me - A trip through English grammar
Coffee break
Freek Wallaart
Susan Aretz
Leonie Porton
Stop sitting on the problem
David McKay
Treadmill desks for translators
Ann Hodgkinson
Camilla Brokking
Ethics of thesis editing
Jackie Senior
Working as an in-house scientific editor
Curtis Barrett
Helping students source funding
Joy Burrough
SENSE’s Thesis Editing Guidelines
Robert Coupe, David Barick
& Barbara Borden
Nigel Saych
Sally Hill
Mary Ellen Kerans
General and specific corpora with online concordance tools: quick information to help resolve doubts about language use
Daphne Lees
David Alexander & Hannah Dekker
Lee Ann Weeks
Jackie Senior & Kate Mc Intyre
Share your expertise with fellow professionals: mentoring in practice
Marcel Lemmens & Tony Parr
Plenary speaker: Professor Geoffrey Pullum
English: the language that ate the world
Tea break + exhibits
Plenary Panel Discussion chaired by Professor Mike Hannay (panellists t.b.a.)
Editors, translators and teachers as gatekeepers of the language
Drinks - for delegates, speakers & presenters