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the writing life

It’s Like “Inception” for Punctuation Nerds

Over at the Spectator, David Crystal reviews Semicolon: The Past, Present, and Future of a Misunderstood Mark by Cecelia Watson, + more

It’s Happening

Courtesy of the inestimable Jill Poland, who once did yeoman’s work for us here at Helveticka world headquarters, comes this + more

Stop! Grammar Time!

Because these things matter, if only to keep the barbarians beyond the gates for a little while longer: An abbreviation + more

A Recommendation

I’ve been reading Benjamin Dreyer’s Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style, and even though I’m only + more

“Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!”

Though this is an interesting and welcome admission – inasmuch as writers have historically been the Dalits of this business + more

There’s a Lesson in There Somewhere

In a conversation about grammar and style over at Literary Hub, Mary Norris and Benjamin Dreyer were asked the number + more

Making It Better

Richard Lehnert, Stereophile copyeditor for the last 34 years, is calling it quits. He wrote a short reflection at the + more

The Secret’s Out

When people ask me what I do for a living, and I respond with, “I’m a writer,” there’s a 99.78 + more

Nerds!

The latest edition of Collins Official Scrabble Words includes 2,862 new entries, among which is OK. But that’s “a controversial choice among + more

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

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