Archive for March 2015

What else is there to read? (Chicago Now blogs I like)

What else is there to read? (Chicago Now blogs I like)
There are few times when I don’t have at least one book nearby, and I’m usually in the course of reading several — a home book and at least one bus book. But what about when I sit down at the computer? Good writing abounds here on Chicago Now. Here are some of my favorite... Read more »

'The Lost Art of Gratitude' - and of saving early drafts?

'The Lost Art of Gratitude' - and of saving early drafts?
In the reading room of my apartment, which would be a walk-through closet (and linen closet) to an ordinary person, a collection of detective stories by Alexander McCall Smith takes up two areas — one for his Scottish stories about Isabel Dalhousie, starting with “The Sunday Philosophy Club” (one volume of which I’ve written about... Read more »

Spring: Some dissenting opinions from Bartlett's

Spring: Some dissenting opinions from Bartlett's
While I spent most of Monday’s 60-degree plus (Fahrenheit) weather laid up, fighting off a stuffy head and sore throat, I got thinking that there must be some quotations in Bartlett’s for dissenters like me — those who don’t enjoy changes to “better” weather. Here’s the best of what I found. I hope you’ll enjoy... Read more »
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'The Sense of Style' and the curse of knowledge

'The Sense of Style' and the curse of knowledge
As Steven Pinker puts it in Chapter 3 of his book “The Sense of Style,” the main cause of incomprehensible prose is the difficulty of imagining what it’s like for someone else not to know something that you know.” He calls that the curse of knowledge — but admits that it keeps getting new names... Read more »

You could look it up? Not in the Oxford Junior Dictionary

You could look it up? Not in the Oxford Junior Dictionary
When you’re writing, do you depend on the Oxford English Dictionary? Many of the world’s finer writers in English do so. But schoolchildren may be less able to do so if recent news (and other commentary) is any indication. In the Jan. 13, 2015, Guardian, Alison Flood wrote that “Oxford Junior Dictionary’s replacement of ‘natural’ words... Read more »

'Found footage' I'd love: 'Dangerous Work'

'Found footage' I'd love: 'Dangerous Work'
Our theme for the week is the historical event(s) we wish had been filmed. That got me thinking again about a great winter book, “Dangerous Work: Diary of an Arctic Adventure” by Arthur Conan Doyle (University of Chicago Press, 2012 — yes, 2012). I loved reading the book, as documented in this earlier post about... Read more »
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Pinker's 'Sense of Style' - A window onto the world

Pinker's 'Sense of Style' - A window onto the world
The second chapter of Steven Pinker’s “The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century” (Viking Penguin, 2014) is titled “A window onto the world.” The chapter, as its subtitle says, describes “Classic style as an antidote for academese, bureaucratese, corporatese, legalese and other kinds of stuffy prose.” (For more... Read more »