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It's September and students of all ages are heading back to school. But why is it back to school and not back to the school or back to schools? Certainly if I were to write about one specific school, I would write the school. If I were talking about schools as a category, I can say schools.  Continue reading...
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Avast! Ahoy! Bring it on, mateys! Did you know that September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day? Arrrr, it's true! Lately, it seems that everyone is trying to sound piratical.  Continue reading...
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I am 56 years old. I have an honors degree in political science. I've written professionally for 33 years and was a senior editor at a metropolitan daily for six of them. And I just signed up for some more continuing education. Yes, more lessons!  Continue reading...
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I have to admit that two of the biggest areas in which I struggle as a teacher are instructing grammar and punctuation. Long ago, I didn't seem so frustrated, but like cursive handwriting, grammar and punctuation have become lost in the shuffle.  Continue reading...
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Some punctuation marks hog the spotlight, like the versatile, omnipresent comma and the flirty, oft-abused semicolon. Question marks and exclamation marks — the good cop, bad cop of punctuation — are forever in your face. The period subtly but emphatically makes its presence known, while parentheses are off gossiping and tittering like teenage girls. These are the usual suspects most people think of when it comes to punctuation.  Continue reading...
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The situation in Syria has revived a number of well-worn foreign-policy phrases, from "boots on the ground" to "slam-dunks" and "smoking guns." As the American response to the conflict has involved far more in the way of words than deeds, it's worth taking a closer look at the words used by officials and commentators, no matter how hackneyed.  Continue reading...
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Jan Schreiber, a noted poet, critic, and translator, encourages aspiring writers to make their own metaphors: "The ability to shift, smoothly and almost unnoticed, between two related meanings of a word is one of the remarkable features of human communication."  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 Displaying 8-14 of 24 Articles