Comic Monday #1

Comic Monday #1

  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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Four Unusual Quotatives

Four Unusual Quotatives

  I didn’t really think about all the ways we could introduce quotes until recently. I just suddenly realized that there were two used fairly frequently, and the third one I remembered later. The fourth one I only realized in researching this post. I was actually doing the research to try to find more, but I didn’t get very far. So I hope to add more as I discover them, and if you can think of any more, please let me know. Like This is probably the most common. A typical example: I was like, […]

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Book Review: Woe is I by Patricia T. O’Conner

Book Review: Woe is I by Patricia T. O’Conner

synopsis The bestselling grammar book has been updated and revised to include the latest and greatest on the basics and subtleties of English, and features a new chapter on the language of the Internet. my review This is a great resource for writers and I recommend it. Some of the rules and advice is outdated but as long as you can tell what is currently considered fine (by the rules of common usage) then you can easily skip over old rules. I did learn some things, and some rules I will have to ignore because […]

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It’s NaNoWriMo! Tips for Working with Editors

It’s NaNoWriMo! Tips for Working with Editors

Welcome to November! As many of you are no doubt aware, it’s National Novel Writing Month. This is more than just a month-long, vague, awareness-spreading initiative. NaNoWriMo is an event where writers of all levels pledge to write a 50,000-word novel throughout November. Some people set a daily goal, and others—forgive me if I say they are more realistic—simply write when they can. There is a community aspect—you can share your word count and novel info, discuss writing in the forums, earn badges, and more. Read on to see how you should approach the editorial process once your novel is complete!

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Halloween Etymology

Halloween Etymology

It’s nearly Halloween! I thought it would be a fantastic time to delve into the history of the word itself, as well as the holiday. There are so many different names used for the holiday. It has changed so much throughout history. I’ll list some of them: Hallowe’en (shortened to Halloween, as we know it) All Hallows’ Eve All Saints’ Eve Holy Eve Allhallow-even Old Year’s Night It was called All Hallows’/Saints’ Eve because it preceded All Hallows’/Saints’ Day, which has its own string of names (e.g. Hallowmas, Feast of All Saints). All Hallows’ Eve […]

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Features I Wish the English Language Had

Features I Wish the English Language Had

    English is confusing. I’ll be the first to admit it. As much as studying linguistics has taught me that the English language is very organized and has many rules, it seems that there are just as many exceptions and things that just plain don’t make sense. I’m sure most languages are like this. Most languages have a long and complicated history that involves many other languages, many cultures, and many groups of people who use it. Every language evolves, and it usually gets more confusing instead of less. That’s why it’s best to […]

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Book Review: Shady Characters by Keith Houston

Book Review: Shady Characters by Keith Houston

synopsis From ancient Greece to the Internet—via the Renaissance, Gutenberg, and Madison Avenue—Shady Characters exposes the secret history of punctuation. A charming and indispensable tour of two thousand years of the written word, Shady Characters weaves a fascinating trail across the parallel histories of language and typography. Whether investigating the asterisk (*) and dagger (†)–which alternately illuminated and skewered heretical verses of the early Bible–or the at sign (@), which languished in obscurity for centuries until rescued by the Internet, Keith Houston draws on myriad sources to chart the life and times of these enigmatic squiggles, both exotic […]

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Less vs. Fewer

Less vs. Fewer

  This is an issue that has plagued people for ages. Well, people who know that it is a hotly debated topic, anyway! It’s difficult to remember what is recommended and when it is appropriate or allowable to use “less” instead of “fewer.” I did some research on this a while back and wrote an essay on it. Hopefully this clears things up a little! I now automatically pay special attention to the terms when I see or hear them, but I still have trouble remembering when to make exceptions, so I tend to be […]

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The Literary Present Tense

The Literary Present Tense

    What is the literary present tense? When do we use it? Why do we use it?   These questions did not occur to me for many years. When I had to write papers for school, my teachers told me to use the literary present, and I did so without question. It was just one of those rules you followed blindly, because you trusted the judgment and credibility of your teachers. At least, I did! But recently I heard someone talk about why we use it, and it inspired me to do some research. […]

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The Case For “Should”

The Case For “Should”

  Consider the following phrase. I recommend that you go to the doctor. Now there are some people who think that there is an elided word there. Consider this: I recommend that you should go to the doctor. This really bothered me for some reason. I didn’t want to think about it that way. It seemed like you were trying to cram together two separate thoughts: “I recommend that you do this” and “You should do this.” Those are basically saying the same thing. It seemed like “should” was redundant. I wanted to prove that it was […]

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