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blog archive

the writing life

Stop! Grammar Time!

Saw this in today’s paper: Coeur d’Alene-based technology company, Rohinni, is under new leadership and is planning to relocate its + more

Language Evolves Apace

I learned a new word today: kakistocracy. My copy of the OED defines it as “the government of a State + more

Write. Edit. Repeat.

According to Wikipedia, Benjamin Franklin was “an American polymath active as a writer, scientist, inventor, statesman, diplomat, printer, publisher and + more

Looks Like I’m About to Be Replaced

OpenAI’s GPT-3 is an artificial neural network that uses “probability, machine learning, and a huge body of training texts to + more

Writing Is Hard, part 8,493

“I am deeply resentful that others write my headlines,” says Peggy Noonan, “and deeply relieved I don’t have to.” It’s + more

Stop! Grammar Time!

From today’s edition of the Spokesman-Review: You’ll catch Drew Marquis on Saturday mornings at the Hood River farmers market patiently + more

The Creative Process

In this delightful segment from a 1970 interview with the ever-charming Dick Cavett, Paul Simon reveals how he came to + more

Our Ever-Evolving Language

I learned a new word today. (Don’t get excited—I’m usually the last one to learn anything, so y’all are probably + more

Stop! Grammar Time!

It brings me no pleasure to point out others’ failings. Really, it doesn’t. (Well…maybe a little.) Either there’s someone named + more

Quote of the Day

NPR host Scott Simon: I interviewed Elmore [Leonard] at a Tucson book festival in 2010. Just before going onstage we + more

Get to Know Your Punctuation

“The semi-colon is a funny fellow,” writes Tom Hogkinson in his review of Claire Cock-Starkey’s forthcoming Hyphens and Hashtags: The + more

True Artistry

Journalists call it a lede; normal, less pretentious folk simply call it an opening paragraph. Either way, Caitlin Flanagan is + more

Quote of the Day

“I have no taste for either poverty or honest labor, so writing is the only recourse left for me.” Hunter + more

Advice for Aspiring Writers

A new, “compulsively readable” biography of Philip Roth contains, according to reviewer Christian Lorentzen, “a blueprint for enduring literary stardom”: + more

Stop! Grammar Time!

“Omit needless words.” That’s Rule 13 in my copy of Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style (second edition), and + more

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