1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 8-14 of 29 Articles

In a recent Slate article about the em dash, Noreen Malone demonstrates what overuse of the punctuation looks like. Her article is so overloaded with em dashes that the reader is left dizzy and confused. A paragraph would have done the trick in my mind, but the article certainly makes its point.  Continue reading...
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In over 10 years of teaching college writing classes (my other gig besides reporting on obscure euphemisms in Evasive Maneuvers) I've seen boatloads of comma splices, goofy fonts, and misspellings of not only my name but the student's own. Plus plagiarism. Oh, the plagiarism I've seen! If plagiarism were flowers, I'd have earned a second Ph.D. in botany by now. Here are a few examples harvested from my ever-blooming garden of academic dishonesty. Warning: you may need to hold your nose.  Continue reading...
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Here are a few summer programs that provide incentives for students who reach their reading goals.  Continue reading...
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Earlier this month, lexiphiles were glued to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, as Sukanya Roy of South Abington Township, Pennsylvania won a grueling 20-round contest. As the drama unfolded on national television, the viewing audience got to hear some incredibly obscure words, along with their definitions, all read aloud from a great American dictionary now celebrating its 50th anniversary.  Continue reading...
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The Supreme Court is using dictionaries to interpret the Constitution. Both conservative justices, who believe the Constitution means today exactly what the Framers meant in the 18th century, and liberal ones, who see the Constitution as a living, breathing document changing with the times, are turning to dictionaries more than ever to interpret our laws.  Continue reading...
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Words with similar definitions can have wildly different connotations. This week's worksheet ask students to analyze a group of related words and to figure out how they could be placed in a word spectrum — ranging from the word with the most negative connotation to the word with the most positive connotation.  Continue reading...
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A new batch of words has been added to Oxford Dictionaries Online, and the additions lean heavily on the lingo of online communication. "The world of computers and social networking continues to be a major influence on the English language," the Oxford announcement says, and sure enough the list has everything from Twittersphere to overshare to ZOMG. (The last one is a playfully misspelled version of OMG, as if someone is a bit too excited to type it correctly.) A sample follows below.  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 8-14 of 29 Articles