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Hi! Hey! Ho! Yo! Ahem. Good day, ladies and gentlemen, umm, I'd like to address you today about the silly little words that we, umm, use without knowing if they're words or not: words like hey, hi, ho, yo, ahem, and umm. Here's hoping you don't find the topic ho-hum. (Oy, is anyone out there listening?)  Continue reading...
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"Calling a work of art ordinary is not ordinarily considered praise," Michael Lydon writes, "but I use the term as a lustrous laurel wreath." In particular, he singles out Anthony Trollope as a master of using language to depict ordinary human life: "not what we think life would, should, or could be like, but what life truly is like."  Continue reading...
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Communication — from the Latin "cum unio," union with — is the big answer humans have come up with to break us out of lifelong solitary confinement and link us up with other beings. Communication's content, the specific information sent or received, can be of life-or-death importance, but beneath the content, there's the bond, the union with, that communication creates, whether the content is "I love you" or "I hate you."  Continue reading...
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Michael Lydon has been swayed by the power of allusion. "I began by laughing at P. G. Wodehouse's addled literary quotations, and then I discovered how powerful and surprisingly subtle a writing resource allusion can be," he writes. "Though often overlooked, allusion lives omnipresent in the writing that surrounds us."  Continue reading...
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Michael Lydon makes an eloquent case for the central role of assonance in the craft of fine writing: "More than a device we can apply by rule or rote, assonance comes to us as a gift from language itself, from our deep animal urge to communicate with our voices."  Continue reading...
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What keeps writing alive? The truth of life. Getting the truth into words is our only hope for immortality. Writing that speaks falsely about life dwindles down to death in a matter of decades.  Continue reading...
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Fine, call me a Luddite or, even worse, a late adopter, but I say, Kindle-schmindle, Nook-schnook, give me a good old-fashioned book.

Yes, I have adopted, step by reluctant step, each new advance of the digital realm, Facebook, Google, Wikipedia and all the rest, and I've grown used to the virtual media's constant changing despite my constant grousing.  Continue reading...
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3 4 5 6 7 Displaying 29-35 of 64 Articles