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Articles from MAY 2011
One of the great pleasures of Twitter is @FakeAPStylebook, which sends up the Associated Press Stylebook with hilariously terrible writing tips. Now the masterminds behind the tweets, known as The Bureau Chiefs, have a whole book of phony style advice: Write More Good. Here we present an excerpt adapted from their chapter on punctuation and grammar. Proceed with caution. Continue reading...
A new rant in Salon by Kim Brooks complains, "My college students don't understand commas, far less how to write an essay," and asks the perennial question, "Is it time to rethink how we teach?"While it's always time to rethink how we teach, teaching commas won't help. Continue reading...
The Rise of "Logical Punctuation"
May 16, 2011
University of Delaware English professor Ben Yagoda has noted an increased trend of Americans putting punctuation outside of quotation marks instead of inside of them. Yagoda tracks the rise of "logical punctuation" in his latest Slate article, here. And read Baltimore Sun copy editor John E. McIntyre's take here.
Useful sites for educators
Calling All Writers: Introducing Figment
May 16, 2011
Figment is an online community for teens and young-adults to create, discover, and share new reading and writing. Figment enables its users to read amateur and professional content and create their own unfiltered creative writing to share with their peers on web and mobile networks. Since launching in December, Figment has more than 35,000 registered users and more than 75,000 individual pieces of writing. Check it out here!
Exploring the pathways of our lexicon
May 13, 2011By Ben Zimmer
Hot dog. This all-American food term has long been shrouded in mystery, with many competing theories for its origin. But new research points to intriguing early evidence from an unexpected source, in the city of Paterson in New Jersey. Most intriguing of all, the original "hot dog man" may have been a Jamaican-born, German-speaking former circus strong man who plied his wares in Paterson in the late nineteenth century. Continue reading...
Our old friend John E. McIntyre, longtime copy editor for the Baltimore Sun, has some pointed words on the craft of writing.If you rummage around the Internet with a search along the lines of "college students can't write," you'll find that the "why Johnny can't write" jeremiad has a long history. Continue reading...
Writers Talk About Writing
May 11, 2011By Daphne Gray-Grant
Do you ever find writing is just plain tedious? Have you lost the joy of the endeavor? Does writing suddenly seem more like accounting than something delightful? I received an email recently from someone who told me he'd lost interest in technical writing, which had been his sole means of support for more than 25 years. Continue reading...