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blog archive

the writing life

What’s Another Word for Thesaurus?

“Occasionally one makes use of [Roget’s Thesaurus],” wrote Simon Winchester back in 2001. “But one never, never relies on it + more

Stop! Grammar Time!

Can we talk about the word belated? Here’s how The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (fourth edition) defines + more

Yet Another Entry in the “Writing Is Hard” Category

Russell Baker, the longest-running columnist in the history of The New York Times, on his profession: “I’ve always found that when writing is + more

A Political Page-Turner

Before I became jaded and cynical (read: old), I actually cared about politics and politicians. I convinced myself that it + more

Stop! Grammar Time!

This one came up just today: Is majority singular or plural? Well…yes. Let’s take a look at a couple of + more

This Is How It’s Done, Kids

Speaking of critiques and criticisms (see yesterday’s post if you’re late to the party), I really do believe that there’s + more

Critical Mass

I made my bones as a writer doing music criticism – CD and concert reviews, previews, features, and the like + more

Think Good, Write Gooder

From Clear and Simple as the Truth: Writing Classic Prose, by Francis-Noël Thomas and Mark Turner (Princeton University Press, 1994): + more

Silver Lining Alert

Joshua Gill, Daily Caller: “Sergey Savitsky, an engineer at Bellingshausen Station in the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica, stands accused of + more

Sounds great!

You know Gmail’s new “Smart Reply” feature? Those “bland formulations of convenient and functional corporate language” that sit there at + more

Word of the Day

adjal (noun; Indonesian) the predestined hour of one’s death As Steven washed down his breakfast of pizza-flavored Pringles with a + more

Quote of the Day

Ever come across something so profound that you simply have no response other than to smack yourself on the forehead + more

Take Two Sonnets and Call Me in the Morning

As I may have mentioned here once or twice before, I like to begin each day with a little poetry. + more

Stop! Grammar Time!

Jealous vs. envious. Synonyms? Not quite. Let’s say you see Skooch roll up to helveticka world headquarters in his sweet new + more

Stop! Grammar Time!

When people ask me for advice on writing,* I’ll often respond with “Never use utilize. Always use use.” Sure, it’s + more

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