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In 1911 Pelham Grenville Wodehouse was a thirty-year-old British writer living both in England and America. His upper-crust background and boarding school education had given him a knack for turning out satires of high society. Yet Wodehouse hadn't found his voice as a writer: what he wanted to say and how he wanted to say it.  Continue reading...
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Jim Burke's The English Teacher's Companion includes a list of 358 academic vocabulary words culled from a survey of textbooks, assignments, standards, and examinations. Although the term academic vocabulary means different things to different educators, I like to think of Burke's use of the term as representing the vocabulary of directions.  Continue reading...
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I've written columns culled from the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) before, but it wasn't easy. I always had to thumb through the pages like a caveman. No more! Now, finally, DARE is available digitally, allowing this deep well of regional English to be searched easily. This is a bonanza for writers and word nerds everywhere, so get a subscription or take your library hostage until it does so.  Continue reading...
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March 4th is National Grammar Day, so let's celebrate grammatically! As part of the festivities, the American Copy Editors Society has sponsored a grammar-themed haiku contest on Twitter. The entries have been submitted — enjoy them below.  Continue reading...
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An intriguing new theory holds that Egyptian animal mummies were intended as messages to the gods. The theory is yet more fodder for an age-old problem: how do we reconcile our dependence as humans upon language to communicate to divine beings who in nearly all cases are thought to have pre-existed the emergence of languages that we use and who could never have learned them in the natural way that we do?  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

Get Your Haiku On for National Grammar Day

National Grammar Day, celebrated every year on March 4th, is just around the corner. This year, the American Copy Editors Society is sponsoring a Tweeted Haiku Contest. Just tweet your grammar-related haiku using the #GrammarDay hashtag and you'll be entered in the competition! The deadline is noon EST, Monday, March 3rd. You can read more details here, and check out last year's winners here.
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1 2 3 Displaying 15-20 of 20 Articles