5 6 7 8 9 Displaying 43-49 of 185 Articles

We all like good writing and dislike bad writing; we all want to write well, not badly. Yet the words "good" and "bad," when applied to any work of art are so much matters of taste that they often seem empty as definitions and arbitrary as categories.  Continue reading...
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Proverbs are defined as "short sayings in common use that strikingly express some obvious truth or familiar experience" or "condensed but memorable sayings embodying important facts of experience taken as true by many people." Agreeing with both, I add: proverbs make dependable, invaluable bricks of human wisdom.  Continue reading...
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For the fifth consecutive year, the Visual Thesaurus assisted the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses with its annual Spelling Bee supporting the work of independent literary publishers. As in past years, the VT supplied the words to challenge some of New York's leading literary lights, and this year singer-turned-memoirist Rosanne Cash emerged victorious.  Continue reading...
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In honor of National Punctuation Day, the Atlantic Wire asked "a few of our favorite writers and word-minded folks around the web" to name their favorite punctuation marks. Among the contributors was our own Ben Zimmer. Find out Ben's response and those of some other punctuation-loving writers below.  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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Jennifer Miller writes: "When I was brainstorming titles for my debut novel, I had in mind something intriguing yet bold — a title that screamed Read Me Now! And after weeks of making lists and scouring the thesaurus, I found the five-word masterpiece that I was looking for: The Year of the Gadfly." But there was a problem.  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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5 6 7 8 9 Displaying 43-49 of 185 Articles