6 7 8 9 10 Displaying 50-56 of 185 Articles

July 4th marked the 167th anniversary of Henry David Thoreau's decision to go into the woods because he "wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life," as he wrote in his classic memoir, Walden. In the midst of quiet contemplation of nature and language, Thoreau did something we hardly ever recollect: he developed a handful of new words.  Continue reading...
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Michael Lydon makes an eloquent case for the central role of assonance in the craft of fine writing: "More than a device we can apply by rule or rote, assonance comes to us as a gift from language itself, from our deep animal urge to communicate with our voices."  Continue reading...
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Machines can grade essays as accurately as human readers. According to the New York Times, a competition sponsored by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation produced software able to match human essay readers grade for grade, and a study of commercially-available automatic grading programs showed that computers assessed essays as accurately as human readers, but a whole lot faster, and cheaper, to boot. But that's just the start: computers could lead to a reading-free future.  Continue reading...
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What keeps writing alive? The truth of life. Getting the truth into words is our only hope for immortality. Writing that speaks falsely about life dwindles down to death in a matter of decades.  Continue reading...
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How are you at handling criticism? I don't mean comments about your driving or your housework or your management style. And I particularly don't mean criticism from your kids. (Anyone who can tolerate that with grace deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for parenting.) I'm talking about criticism of your writing.  Continue reading...
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Fine, call me a Luddite or, even worse, a late adopter, but I say, Kindle-schmindle, Nook-schnook, give me a good old-fashioned book.

Yes, I have adopted, step by reluctant step, each new advance of the digital realm, Facebook, Google, Wikipedia and all the rest, and I've grown used to the virtual media's constant changing despite my constant grousing.  Continue reading...
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When I was a callow teenager and completed my honors political science thesis in June 1979, I finished it only because my professor declined to give me another extension.

Although this made me furious, I'm now very grateful. If he hadn't refused to molly-coddle my deadline-averse ways, it would have taken me the entire summer to write it. If then.  Continue reading...
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6 7 8 9 10 Displaying 50-56 of 185 Articles