One of the main functions of language is communication, and for this it no doubt helps to be as clear, concise and straightforward as one can possibly be. Clear and straightforward art using language, however, is usually pretty boring.  Continue reading...
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The world utterly forgot the Roman poet-philosopher Titus Lucretius Carus and his masterwork, De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things). Then in January 1417 an adventuresome papal secretary found a 500-year-old copy on a dusty shelf in a German monastery, and De Rerum began a second illustrious life that continues, still blossoming, to this day.  Continue reading...
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One of the things everyone remembers about Shakespeare, whether they spent a few weeks on one play in high school or an entire semester on several plays in college, is that he wrote in iambic pentameter. Some may also have vague recollections about their teacher explaining that iambic pentameter isn't difficult to understand, because English "naturally" falls into its rhythms.  Continue reading...
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March 4th is National Grammar Day, so let's celebrate grammatically! As part of the festivities, the American Copy Editors Society has sponsored a grammar-themed haiku contest on Twitter. The entries have been submitted — enjoy them below.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

Get Your Haiku On for National Grammar Day

National Grammar Day, celebrated every year on March 4th, is just around the corner. This year, the American Copy Editors Society is sponsoring a Tweeted Haiku Contest. Just tweet your grammar-related haiku using the #GrammarDay hashtag and you'll be entered in the competition! The deadline is noon EST, Monday, March 3rd. You can read more details here, and check out last year's winners here.
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Figuring out how to teach poetry is particularly troublesome, and may be ruining some poor teacher's time on the beach at this very moment. The threshold for frustration over poetry seems to be extremely low, indeed, judging from the groans and complaints from both sides of the teacher's desk.  Continue reading...
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National Grammar Day is just around the corner — it falls on Monday, March 4th (march forth, get it?). Among the festivities is the annual Grammar Haiku Contest, overseen by editor Mark Allen. In the contest, verbivores vie for glory by submitting grammar- or usage-based haikus on Twitter. This year, I've been asked to be a judge.  Continue reading...
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