Archive for November 2019

Kipling Tuesday: What 'Gunga Din' is really saying

Kipling Tuesday: What 'Gunga Din' is really saying
To many, Rudyard Kipling’s poem “Gunga Din” is a relic at best, an offense at worst. I don’t agree, and I ask your indulgence as I take a few moments to look at what it really says and the noble view behind it. Yes, noble. (As a digression, enjoy one of the reasons the poem... Read more »

The Chicago Manual of Style on Parts of Speech

The Chicago Manual of Style on Parts of Speech
In Section II of The Chicago Manual of Style, even the most ardent grammarian can find reasons for fear, if not despair. (Quotations that follow are from the 17th edition of the manual, as initially described here.) “As traditionally understood, grammar is both a science and an art,” states the manual in the section on... Read more »

Kipling Tuesday: 'The Last of the Light Brigade' and continuing to remember veterans

Kipling Tuesday: 'The Last of the Light Brigade' and continuing to remember veterans
If you saw the headline and reacted that Rudyard Kipling didn’t write “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” you’re correct. That was Alfred, Lord Tennyson, writing about the “noble six hundred” British forces who fought in the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War in 1854. But if you’re tempted to think of Veterans Day... Read more »
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'They were a great Scout troop' -- Veterans Day stories from Dad

'They were a great Scout troop' -- Veterans Day stories from Dad
When I was a junior in high school — let’s leave it at that and “back in the last century” — I went with my parents to their home town, Indianapolis, Ind.  Addresses there are figured from Monument Circle just as addresses here in Chicago are figured from the zero North-South and zero East-West intersection... Read more »

The Chicago Manual of Style on grammar -- and itself

The Chicago Manual of Style on grammar -- and itself
Now that I’ve started a series of posts (every Friday, starting here) on The Chicago Manual of Style, it’s time to look at just how this huge book’s second section, “Style and Usage,” begins. The first section, “Publishing Process,” is less useful for those of you not involved professionally in publishing, so “Style and Usage”... Read more »

Kipling Tuesday: 'If,' minus the satires

Kipling Tuesday: 'If,' minus the satires
“If you can keep your head when all about you     Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,” begins Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem, “If.” But quickly — what’s the next line? If your reply is “Then you don’t understand what it’s like to work here,” I understand, but I  also have a marvelous poem to introduce... Read more »
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A Chicago writer (and editor) looks at 'The Chicago Manual of Style'

A Chicago writer (and editor) looks at 'The Chicago Manual of Style'
Since I’ve been finding “The Chicago Manual of Style” mentioned in many ads I’ve been reading for editorial jobs, I checked the book out of the library to start studying it. That was in mid-September. When the Chicago Public Library got rid of most overdue fines, part of the cheering you heard was from me.... Read more »