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How to Not Write Bad
— by the prolific Ben Yagoda — is an original, amusing, practical take on the writing self-help book. Yagoda points out that most writing book are about writing well, then makes the refreshing observation that writing well is beyond most people.
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With Baz Luhrmann's movie adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby
arriving in theaters, this week has been full of Gatsby
talk. Online commentators have been writing about words coined or popularized by Fitzgerald, the slang of the 1920s "flapper" era, and even the name Gatsby
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"Kindle-schmindle, Nook-schnook, give me a good old-fashioned book," I wrote a year ago in a Visual Thesaurus column that garnered more comments, and more negative comments, than any other column I've written in three years contributing to the site. "Fie on you, Michael Lydon," VT subscribers told me in no uncertain terms, "we love our Kindles, and don't you dare say mean things about our little black and white darlings!"
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Despite its popularity among teens, you're not going to find class sets of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight
series in the English department book rooms across the country. Even if most teachers don't incorporate trendy literature into their class syllabus, it doesn't mean that they can't take advantage of the excitement of the fad and harness it to teach some valuable lessons about writing, editing, and word choice.