Category: Writing

Talking of Michelangelo and other memories in the Imaginary Writers' Room (Eliot, Part Two!)

Talking of Michelangelo and other memories in the Imaginary Writers' Room (Eliot, Part Two!)
For part one of the arrival of T.S. Eliot in my Imaginary Writers’ Room, click here. With the affectionate thanks of the author to W.G. for helping to consider the committee and to A.W. for his Michelangelo comment on part one. “Who is it?” said Daphne du Maurier. “Oh, do not ask ‘Who is it?’ Let... Read more »

The Imaginary Writers' Room gains another poet

The Imaginary Writers' Room gains another poet
I walked into the Imaginary Writers’ Room, one of my favorite corners of my mind, with a bigger smile than usual on my face. It makes me happy to retreat there with my favorite inspiring writers, to talk about their work — and mine. But that night, I was arriving with happy news. “Sir Arthur,”... Read more »

William Safire 'On Language' - my hero among logophiles

William Safire 'On Language' - my hero among logophiles
When my fellow blogger Marianne Goss offered some editing books, as I mentioned in a previous post, one of them I brought home was “On Language” by William Safire (New York, TIMES BOOKS, 1980). I recognized quickly that this book, a collection of definitions (and letters from readers) culled from his New York Times language... Read more »
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An imaginary meeting about a real emergency in my Imaginary Writers' Room

An imaginary meeting about a real emergency in my Imaginary Writers' Room
Last night, I dreamt I went to the Imaginary Writers’ Room again. (How’s that, Daphne?) When my dreams calmed down enough to let me get to the writers’ room in my imagination, there was a familiar-looking sign on the door: “Urgent Meeting! Come at once if convenient. If inconvenient, come all the same.” I didn’t... Read more »

Don't let 'do' take over your vocabulary

Don't let 'do' take over your vocabulary
I keep seeing a worrisome trend, and hearing it, too. People are doing too much! I don’t necessarily mean they’re too active, but any action is being described by the word “do.” I suppose it started with “let’s do lunch” among executives. But now I’m hearing people saying “I did the onions” or “Just do... Read more »

The, most powerful word in the English language

The, most powerful word in the English language
No, that comma in the headline is not out of place. In the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) weekly newsletter, “”The Essential List: This week’s best stories,” the subject line caught my eye immediately: “The most powerful word in the English language.” Seriously, folks, you know I needed to read that. It turns out that “the”... Read more »
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It's not over yet: Hope for the Apostrophe Protection Society

It's not over yet: Hope for the Apostrophe Protection Society
I was dismayed to receive an e-mail from a friend and reader early in December about the closing of the Apostrophe Protection Society. You can read that e-mail here. Contrary to its headline, however, ignorance and laziness have not won. I looked at the society’s web site, www.apostrophe.org.uk, and I was pleased to find that ... Read more »

What The Chicago Manual of Style says about the ends of decades -- arrrrggh!

What The Chicago Manual of Style says about the ends of decades -- arrrrggh!
It was barely December before I started seeing mentions of year-end lists — best of, worst of, oddest of whatever a column or site reviews. Those are fine with me. But the lists of best, worst or whatever of the decade are too early. Decade means ten years — not nine. So I wanted to come... Read more »

Kipling Tuesday: 'To James Whitcomb Riley,' a grateful reply to a fellow poet

Kipling Tuesday: 'To James Whitcomb Riley,' a grateful reply to a fellow poet
In 1890, Rudyard Kipling received a copy of “Rhymes for Children” by James Whitcomb Riley, a fellow poet, who lived in Indiana. These days, such a gift would result in some sort of social media post on the theme of “Look what I got!” But in 1890, Kipling wrote to Riley in a poem we... Read more »
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The Chicago Manual of Style on 'verbing' nouns -- 'it has always been so'

The Chicago Manual of Style on 'verbing' nouns -- 'it has always been so'
Late in The Chicago Manual of Style’s section on nouns is part 5.25, Nouns as verbs. I thought it’d be about the newfangled habit called “verbing,” using nouns as verbs. I was wrong about the newfangled part. The example give in the book is the noun husband, which in the year 1220 meant “one who... Read more »