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Recently I made a big gaffe in one of my columns. Despite the fact I read my columns over dozens of times, and then I have a peer edit, and then there's a Visual Thesaurus editor who reads and edits, I still misspelled the name of one of my favorite authors. (I also was chided for making up words, but as an author that's my creative prerogative and we can debate my taking that license another time.)  Continue reading...
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The essence of writing's value to humanity is this: the art can convey thought from one human to another. As in gift giving, in writing it's the thought that counts.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

Winning Grammar Haiku

Last week, in honor of National Grammar Day, editor Mark Allen hosted a contest for grammar-related haiku. The winner was submitted by Gord Roberts: "Spell-checkers won't catch / You're mistaken homophones / Scattered hear and their." Read all the submissions on Mark's blog here, here, and here.
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Unless you've been living under a rock for the past week, you've witnessed the spectacular media meltdown of Charlie Sheen unfold before your eyes. The endless stream of over-the-top pronouncements in Sheen's recent interviews has been captivating, and Sheenisms have quickly become inescapable online, especially on Twitter (where Sheen managed to attract a million followers in just over 24 hours). Tiger blood and Adonis DNA. Rock star from Mars. Gnarly gnarlingtons. Vatican assassin warlocks. And, of course, winning, the buzzword to beat them all. Does any of Sheen's frenetic verbiage have a chance of being remembered beyond the current moment of celebrity Schadenfreude, or should I say Sheenenfreude?  Continue reading...
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Tomorrow is National Grammar Day, and in observance of the occasion, I'd like to recommend three resources that will prove valuable to anyone interested in grammar -- and if you are reading this column, I'd say that would be you. To give you an idea how I use them, I'll tell how they each entered into my research on a point of grammar I recently looked into.  Continue reading...
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What is it about the three-word phrase that lends itself so well to euphemisms?

From enhanced interrogation techniques to life problem issues, the three-word form is a red flag for a five-star euphemism. One that made headlines in January — marking our first candidate for Euphemism of the Year 2011 — was taco meat filling, a disturbing term/substance that Taco Bell confessed is the secret ingredient in their tacos and other "beef" products.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

Make a Grammar Haiku!

"Well formed haiku bring / National Grammar Day glory / tweet your best today." In advance of National Grammar Day on March 4th, editor Mark Allen is hosting a haiku-writing contest. Submit your grammar-related haiku by posting it to Twitter with the hashtag #GrammarDay. Deadline is 10 p.m. on March 3rd! Details here.
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2 3 4 5 6 Displaying 29-35 of 37 Articles