Book Review: How English Works by Anne Curzan & Michael Adams

Book Review: How English Works by Anne Curzan & Michael Adams

With The Story of English in 100 Words, David Crystal took us on a tour through the history of our language. Now, with Spell It Out, he takes on the task of answering all the questions about how we spell: “Why is English spelling so difficult?” Or “Why are good spellers so proud of their achievement that when they see a misspelling they condemn the writer as sloppy, lazy, or uneducated?” In thirty-seven short, engaging and informative chapters, Crystal takes readers on a history of English spelling, starting with the Roman missionaries’ sixth century introduction of the Roman alphabet and ending with where the language might be going.

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Merriam-Webster Word of the Year 2017

Merriam-Webster Word of the Year 2017

  Dictionary.com has already chosen their word of the year for 2017, and that word is complicit. I covered that in this post. Most recently, Merriam-Webster has chosen their word of the year, which is feminism. There is a definite political theme going on here with these words. The website gives these definitions: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests Dictionary.com gives these definitions: the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men (sometimes initial capital […]

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Comic Monday #2

Comic Monday #2

  Happy Monday! A lot of people don’t like Mondays for some reason. I don’t mind them. I spend a lot of time doing stuff I love, and that includes work and classes, so I’m always happy to get right back to it. Still, I thought it would be fun to start off the week with some fun comics. I absolutely love comic strips. I used to read them every day before we stopped receiving the newspaper. It’s just not quite as fun (or easy) to look them up online every day. But some of […]

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Dictionary.com Word of the Year 2017

Dictionary.com Word of the Year 2017

  For those of you who may not have been aware, Dictionary.com has chosen their word of the year for 2017. The word is complicit. There is no doubt that this year’s word, like many others, was inspired by the political climate of our nation, the United States. The website gives this definition: choosing to be involved in an illegal or questionable act, especially with others; having complicity. Merriam-Webster gives this definition: helping to commit a crime or do wrong in some way   Please read the announcement article here for the full story. I […]

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Book Review: Spell It Out by David Crystal

Book Review: Spell It Out by David Crystal

With The Story of English in 100 Words, David Crystal took us on a tour through the history of our language. Now, with Spell It Out, he takes on the task of answering all the questions about how we spell: “Why is English spelling so difficult?” Or “Why are good spellers so proud of their achievement that when they see a misspelling they condemn the writer as sloppy, lazy, or uneducated?” In thirty-seven short, engaging and informative chapters, Crystal takes readers on a history of English spelling, starting with the Roman missionaries’ sixth century introduction of the Roman alphabet and ending with where the language might be going.

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The Subjunctive Mood

The Subjunctive Mood

  Hello everyone! I’ve covered the literary present tense before, but I decided to branch out a bit and tackle something I hadn’t really thought of before: the subjunctive mood. I wrote a guest post on this topic for fellow editor Sarah Liu, and you can see it on her blog here. She has agreed to write a guest post here as well so keep an eye out for that! Have a wonderful day.

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Five Slang Words

Five Slang Words

  Happy Monday! Today we’re going to explore some fun slang. I’ve got five words that you may or may not have heard of already. Even if you have, I’m sure the examples will keep it interesting. I made up some stories, most of which have to do with Thanksgiving and all of which are false. Now, I’m not a writer, and I did write as if I were telling a story to a friend (casual, informal, perhaps not entirely correct). But that’s the fun of it. Slang isn’t usually used by the stuffy. Enjoy. […]

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello everyone! It’s a big day here in the US. It’s Thanksgiving! Instead of boring you with Thanksgiving facts, I’m going to make you laugh with Thanksgiving jokes. Here are some good ones. Q: Why did the turkey cross the road twice? A: To prove he wasn’t a chicken! Q: What happened when the turkey got into a fight? A: He got the stuffing knocked out of him! Q: What’s the most musical part of a turkey? A: The drumstick. Q: Why did the turkey refuse dessert? A: He was stuffed. Q: What kind of […]

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Book Review: Between You & Me by Mary Norris

Book Review: Between You & Me by Mary Norris

synopsis Mary Norris has spent more than three decades in The New Yorker‘s copy department, maintaining its celebrated high standards. Now she brings her vast experience, good cheer, and finely sharpened pencils to help the rest of us in a boisterous language book as full of life as it is of practical advice. Between You & Me features Norris’s laugh-out-loud descriptions of some of the most common and vexing problems in spelling, punctuation, and usage—comma faults, danglers, “who” vs. “whom,” “that” vs. “which,” compound words, gender-neutral language—and her clear explanations of how to handle them. Down-to-earth and […]

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Grammar Quizzes

Grammar Quizzes

I love grammar quizzes. I usually know most of the answers, but there are always at least a few that I get wrong and it becomes a teaching moment. I will likely create my own in the future, but for now, here are a few websites on which you can find a good collection! 1. SoftSchools.com Link Difficulty level: Easy-Medium Good quizzes to take: Intransitive vs. Transitive verbs Confusing Words: Accept/Except, Affect/Effect Your/You’re, Farther/Further, Lie/Lay, Lay/Laid Upsides: Great variety and number of quizzes Quizzes are a good length Allows you to review your answers upon […]

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