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Blog Excerpts

When a Gerundy-Looking Word Isn't a Gerund

Even the New York Times can get tripped up on the difference between gerunds and participles. In her Tip of the Week, Copyediting newsletter editor Wendalyn Nichols explains how a punctuation error in the Times is symptomatic of confusion about words ending in -ing.
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Last week, in part one of our interview with author Paul Dickson, we talked about the work that went into the new edition of his Dickson Baseball Dictionary — a thousand-page monument to baseball's bottomless linguistic riches. Now in part two, Dickson discusses the diverse influences on the language of baseball, and how the sport has become a metaphorical source in politics and elsewhere.  Continue reading...
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If "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally" saved you in learning the order of operations in mathematics, then you should check out what Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher have to say in Learning Words Inside and Out about using keyword mnemonics to help commit words to memory.  Continue reading...
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We welcome back University of Illinois linguist Dennis Baron, who reflects on some disturbing news that emerged recently about Amazon.com's e-book reader, the Kindle.

In a move worthy of George Orwell's Big Brother, Amazon.com sent its thought police into Kindles everywhere to erase copies of 1984 and Animal Farm.  Continue reading...
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Blog Du Jour

Frank McCourt: Teacher, Storyteller

The passing of Frank McCourt, high school writing teacher and Pulitzer Prize-winning memoirist, has occasioned the sharing of many fond memories online.

Artsbeat (N.Y. Times)

Book Bench (New Yorker)

Salon Books

Jacket Copy (L.A. Times)

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In the outpouring of remembrances since the passing of Walter Cronkite on Friday, two polysyllabic words beginning with "a" have proved to be inextricably linked to "the most trusted man in America": avuncular and anchorman. It's hard to describe Mr. Cronkite without using one or the other, or preferably both.  Continue reading...
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Dog Eared

Books we love

Remembering Frank McCourt

Frank McCourt, the Irish-American schoolteacher whose poignant memoirs earned him a Pulitzer Prize, has passed away at the age of 78. He leaves behind a gripping set of life stories.

Angela's Ashes

'Tis

Teacher Man

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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 8-14 of 30 Articles