7 8 9 10 11 Displaying 57-63 of 332 Articles

When I was 10 years old, one summer morning I remember standing at my kitchen door, talking to a neighborhood pal of mine. Suddenly, wasps started swarming around us. Terrified (I'd been stung on the lip on the first day of grade 1 — an extraordinarily painful experience), I slammed the door and ran to get my mother. It never even occurred to me to try to rescue my friend.  Continue reading...
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In an essay on writing in last week's The New Yorker, John McPhee describes drawing boxes around "perfectly O.K." words in a search for the "mot juste." Meanwhile, Virginia Woolf tells us words are a messy tangle that will always elude our best efforts to tie them down.  Continue reading...
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Having logged many years teaching English and theatre at New York City high schools, Shannon Reed now teaches freshman English Composition at the University of Pittsburgh. Here Shannon shows how teachers can work with students to improve their writing by focusing on five overused words.  Continue reading...
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Of the many small errors that bedevil many writers — and enrage their teachers and editors — there is perhaps none so simple to understand, and explain, than the use of "it's" when "its" is meant.  Continue reading...
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"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture." This enigmatic sentence has been bouncing around the literate world for thirty-plus years. Many attribute it to the cerebral comedian Martin Mull, but its origins, like those of many such catch phrases, remain misty.  Continue reading...
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Just as making great music isn't always about being pitch-perfect (think of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen), writing isn't always about, well, writing. In order to write, your mind needs to be both relaxed and fit. Having written a lot helps, of course, but here are 10 other activities you can do to better prepare yourself to write.  Continue reading...
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"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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7 8 9 10 11 Displaying 57-63 of 332 Articles