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Recently I made a big gaffe in one of my columns. Despite the fact I read my columns over dozens of times, and then I have a peer edit, and then there's a Visual Thesaurus editor who reads and edits, I still misspelled the name of one of my favorite authors. (I also was chided for making up words, but as an author that's my creative prerogative and we can debate my taking that license another time.)  Continue reading...
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Some pet linguistic peeves are indulged, I find, not for reasons of clarity or grammatical soundness, but out of petty pedantry, habitual curmudgeonliness, or some kind of character disorder. On the other hand, I've been accused — affectionately, I hope — of excessive tolerance in such matters. But I have peeves of my own, one of which is the confusion over its and it's.  Continue reading...
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The new film The Kids Are All Right, directed by Lisa Cholodenko, owes an obvious debt of gratitude to The Who, even though the band's music doesn't appear on the soundtrack. The title is lifted from a classic song from The Who's 1965 debut album, which also served as the title of a 1979 documentary about the band. Discerning readers will notice a small but important difference: the song and the documentary were spelled "The Kids Are Alright." Did Cholodenko "correct" The Who's spelling?  Continue reading...
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Erin Brenner of Right Touch Editing provides "bite-sized lessons to improve your writing" on her engaging blog The Writing Resource. Here Erin wonders about the fate of spelling in the era of text messaging.  Continue reading...
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At the end of the 2010 Scripps National Spelling Bee, 14-year-old Anamika Veeramani of North Royalton, Ohio stood alone as the champion. Anamika, who tied for fifth in last year's National Bee, showed poise throughout the competition as one contestant after another fell by the wayside. Though her ride was mostly smooth, the Spelling Bee itself saw some controversy.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

Noah Webster and the Bee

In the Wall Street Journal, John Murray uses the National Spelling Bee as a jumping off point for exploring the pivotal role that the lexicographer Noah Webster played in the development of American English, and how his faith informed his work. Check out Murray's column here.
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After the first day of competition at the 2010 Scripps National Spelling Bee, the field of 273 contestants has been winnowed down to 48, who will move on to Friday's semifinal round. They'll all be looking to follow in the path of last year's winner, Kavya Shivashankar. As usual, the preliminary rounds featured some fascinatingly obscure words, from famulus (a close attendant, as to a scholar) to nullipara (a woman who has never given birth to a child).  Continue reading...
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4 5 6 7 8 Displaying 36-42 of 71 Articles