8 9 10 11 12 Displaying 64-70 of 333 Articles

"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!"  Continue reading...
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Jonathon Owen is a copy editor and student of linguistics who "holds the paradoxical view that it's possible to be a prescriptivist and descriptivist simultaneously." Here, he investigates the word towards, a favorite target of American editors, who love to lop off that supposedly superfluous -s.  Continue reading...
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A recent blog post decried the use of and/or. Rich Adin makes the case that the conjunction is inaccurate. This, at least, is an improvement over the popular argument that and/or is "hideous" or "monstrous," but it isn't entirely true, either.  Continue reading...
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The managing editor couldn't have been any nastier. "We've had a bomb threat," he said in an email to the entire newsroom of about a hundred reporters, editors and photographers. "If you feel the need to leave, please inform your supervisor and your pay will be docked accordingly."  Continue reading...
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If writing teachers have any absolutely verboten, don't-go-there, not-on-your-life, no-no rule, it is: "Avoid vague qualifiers!" Yet in recently re-reading The Bulwark, Theodore Dreiser's last and perhaps greatest novel, I began to see a value in vague qualifiers that I'd never seen before.  Continue reading...
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Jan Schreiber, a noted poet, critic, and translator, writes: "It's an old phenomenon — reaching for the fancy word instead of the plain one, and coming up with a word whose meaning is not quite what the speaker intended. We often smile at those who, as H. W. Fowler memorably put it, 'go wordfowling with a blunderbuss.'"  Continue reading...
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I desperately wanted piano lessons as a child. Too bad for me my parents couldn't afford them. Instead, I watched enviously as my classmates carried their music books under their arms and marched off to meet their piano teachers. Why couldn't I do that?  Continue reading...
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8 9 10 11 12 Displaying 64-70 of 333 Articles