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"Almost no exercise will improve your writing more than reading what you write out loud," says PR executive Dan Santow, and "not just meant to be spoken such as speeches and scripts." Dan runs the blog Word Wise
, which started as weekly writing tips at his company and spread quickly on the Internet. Lucky for us! Read Dan's entire post on speaking your writing here
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You may remember an interview we did last year with Katie Raynolds, a remarkable 10th grader and dedicated linguaphile from Seattle, Washington. Well, Katie just spent a busy week with us here at the VT's New York office as our editorial intern! She graciously put together this word list:
I discovered when I searched through the Dept. of Word Lists that they're based on a subject a person is passionate about. So I thought, what is my passion? The answer clearly is: words! I found the following words that serve to describe other words, and I explain how we use them. For some I also included interesting stories about their origins.
Eponym, a name derived from the name of a person (real or imaginary). Examples: Achilles tendon (Achilles the Greek hero), Freudian slip (Sigmund Freud), Louisiana (King Louis XIV).
Onomatopoeia, words that imitate the sound that they denote. Examples: Pow! Bam! (a type of onomatopoeia that was made popular in comic books), chickadee, meow.
Sibilant, a consonant characterized by a hissing sound (like s or sh). The word sibilant comes from the Latin word sibil (hiss), which is actually onomatopoeia for the sounds that a snake makes. Example of sibilance: Sally sells sea shell by the sea shore.
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While standing in the checkout line at the grocery store the other day, I spotted the magazine Real Simple
. It wasn't just the cutesy name that caught my attention. (How can the editors live with themselves, basing a magazine name on a grammatical error? But I digress...) The eye-catching cover line that grabbed me by the eyeballs was: What can you do in 15 minutes?
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, the high school linguaphile we interviewed in our magazine last year, emailed from Seattle asking if she could intern in our New York office during spring break. Our answer: But of course! Katie just spent a busy and fun week with us. Here's a list of book recommendations for teenagers she put together:
"Just for girls"
Gossip Girl, by Cecily von Ziegesar
"I'm the first to admit that this series is complete fluff; there are no deep, intellectual conversations, no defining moments, and no witty dialogue. However I believe that these books provide a great opportunity for girls that don't normally read. I find that my friends that shun other reading material tend to enjoy this series."
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, by Ann Brashares
"The first of a series of four, this book is a great story about four girls that stay in touch over the summer through a 'magical' pair of pants. There are moments that tempt you to roll your eyes but it remains a sweet story about friendship, travel and the jeans that tie them together."
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, by Louise Rennison
"While the title of this book makes girls in the book store blush, the story behind the title is well worth the embarrassment. Told through the diary of British girl named Georgia, this series had me crying with laughter. Georgia's British slang is so outlandish that each book requires a glossary for translations, yet her story is relatable and risible in any language."