1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 8-14 of 541 Articles

Intensive purposes? Slight of hand? Linguist Adam Cooper contemplates phrases whose meanings are in transition as we replace unfamiliar words fossilized with language that sounds more reasonable to our modern ears.  Continue reading...

In the seventy-one columns I've written for the Visual Thesaurus, I've stuck to writing on writing, examining the art's principles and its quirks. But now with the presidential debates growing hot as autumn grows cold, I'd like to say a few words about the role of writing and politics in our democracy.  Continue reading...

When I was in high school and university, I hated writing. I adored editing, mind you, but I found the pain of extracting that first draft torturous.

The most painful part? Paraphrasing.  Continue reading...

My husband and I had a plethora of reasons for rebuilding our house five years ago. One reason was that we wanted to head into our retirement years without having to worry about upkeep for a 100-year-old house.  Continue reading...

Since fiction writers can conjure up big chunks of a text by consulting only their imaginations, we often think of fiction as more personal than nonfiction. But when reading the most fact-based nonfiction, I and many readers still want to connect one-to-one, soul-to-soul, with the writer as well as with the characters.  Continue reading...

Some years ago, there was a series of stories in a magazine about dates that did not go well. In one of the stories, a woman met her date at a Mexican restaurant. When they ordered dinner, her companion asked for tortillas, but he pronounced the word "dor-dee-yas." Although he did not know it, the hapless gentleman's pronunciation proved to be a shibboleth that meant there would be no second date, and got me thinking about other encounters we may have with shibboleths in our personal experience.  Continue reading...

Life, Life, LIFE!

Whether the words, spaces, and punctuation marks appear in The Iliad or Don Quixote, a fluffy sportswear catalogue or a dense computer manual, the goal of all writing is to get some tiny bit of the gargantuan energy we call life onto the page so that other humans can read it and say, "Yes, that writing describes the life I know."  Continue reading...

1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 8-14 of 541 Articles