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While English teachers are notorious for teaching the plot curve and its inciting incident, rising action and climax, etc., and while this is a great way to analyze literature, one of my most interesting sets of lessons involves leaving the plot curve behind and replacing it with the three-act structure most screenwriters and novelists use today.  Continue reading...
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Clear and concise, concise and clear: these are two universal watchwords of good writing. Rightly so, for we writers slave at our desks hoping that readers will get what we’re trying to say with as little fuss or fog as possible. Writing is a window; it can only help us to keep it sparkling clean.  Continue reading...
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One of the more unforeseen outcomes of the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound is a controversy over a code name used during the mission: Geronimo. Native American groups have protested the use of the code name as a denigration of a heroic historical figure, by equating him with a modern-day terrorist and mass murderer. Strong opinions on the topic were voiced yesterday at a Senate Indian Affairs committee hearing on combating Native American stereotypes. It's the latest unusual chapter in the long history of the name Geronimo.  Continue reading...
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The current love of my life is Green's Dictionary of Slang: an enormous, meticulous, ridiculously wonderful historical dictionary that's the biggest slang collection ever made (uncurated Wiki-crapola like Urban Dictionary doesn't count). Jonathon Green's slangapalooza is an extraordinary source for fulfilling this column's mission: finding under-the-radar euphemisms.  Continue reading...
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The killing of Osama bin Laden by a team of Navy SEALs has brought new attention to the military term kinetic, referring to violent (or lethal) actions in the field of battle. Our resident linguist Neal Whitman takes a look to this addition to the lexicon of war.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

A Bin Laden Lexicon

On her Fritinancy blog, Visual Thesaurus contributor Nancy Friedman examines some of the words and phrases that have emerged in the coverage of the killing of Osama bin Laden, including Abbottabad, double tap, triumphalism, and halo effect. Read her post here.
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 22-28 of 30 Articles