background preloader

Language/Writing

Facebook Twitter

English, loanword champion of the world! The art of the metaphor - Jane Hirshfield. Surprise! No one teaches it. « A Brave Writer’s Life in Brief. Image by Nadia Hatoum In all the writing literature I have crammed between DVDs on my book cases, the one literary element that gets short shrift is: Surprise.

Surprise! No one teaches it. « A Brave Writer’s Life in Brief

I can’t find it—no chapters devoted to expounding its importance. Exercises for plot, dialog, essay format, poetic structure, yes. Surprise? Well, occasionally it gets a passing mention. Surprise means bursting through the door unannounced with cookies and milk, just for the reader, right when energy flags and minds wander. The best writing is as dependent on generously ladled portions of surprise throughout its lasagna layers of meaning, imagery, cool logic and vivid language as middle-aged readers are on good lighting and corrective lenses!

(124) Brave Writer - A few thoughts about freewriting... The blank... The King’s Apostrophe. Why H is the most contentious letter in the alphabet. Is it 'aitch' or 'haitch'?

Why H is the most contentious letter in the alphabet

Photograph: Alamy The alphabet is something not to be argued with: there are 26 letters in as fixed a sequence as the numbers 1-26; once learned in order and for the "sounds they make", you have the key to reading and the key to the way the world is classified. Or perhaps not. Actually, in the course of writing my book about the history of the letters we use, Alphabetical, I discovered that the alphabet is far from neutral. Patricia Kuhl: The linguistic genius of babies.

Where the Dollar Sign Comes From. Why is there a "b" in doubt? - Gina Cooke. This is a map of the wheel-ruts of modern English.

Why is there a "b" in doubt? - Gina Cooke

Etymologies are not definitions; they're explanations of what our words meant and how they sounded 600 or 2,000 years ago. We all know certain spelling errors are very common, such as miniscule or geneology. But how common exactly, and are they getting more or less common as time goes on? Spelling is the writing of one or more words with letters and diacritics.

In addition, the term often, but not always, means an accepted standard spelling or the process of naming the letters. On the history of spelling. by the Rev. Real Spelling www.realspelling.com. How typeface influences the way we read and think. Why is English Spelling So Messed Up? If you're a kid learning how to write, or an adult speaker of a language with sensible spelling, English spelling can seem like a cruel prank.

Why is English Spelling So Messed Up?

And even if you're a completely literate adult native speaker of English, you will still run into situations that make you wonder how English spelling ever got so messed up. Imagine A Flying Pig: How Words Take Shape In The Brain : Shots - Health News. Hide captionAlthough a flying pig doesn't exist in the real world, our brains use what we know about pigs and birds — and superheroes — to create one in our mind's eye when we hear or read those words. iStockphoto.com Although a flying pig doesn't exist in the real world, our brains use what we know about pigs and birds — and superheroes — to create one in our mind's eye when we hear or read those words.

Imagine A Flying Pig: How Words Take Shape In The Brain : Shots - Health News

This is a story about a duck. More precisely, it's a story about what your brain just did when you read the word "duck. " Chances are, your brain created an image of a web-footed waterfowl. Just a few decades ago, many linguists thought the human brain had evolved a special module for language. But in the 1990s, scientists began testing the language-module theory using "functional" MRI technology that let them watch the brain respond to words. 4 Changes to English So Subtle We Hardly Notice They're Happening. From 1946 to 1952, Eva Perón (full name: María Eva Duarte de Perón—though she was born Eva María Ibarguren) was Argentina’s First Lady.

4 Changes to English So Subtle We Hardly Notice They're Happening

Nicknamed Evita, she became a massively popular celebrity and icon to Argentinians, as well as a source of great controversy. Her life inspired the Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber Broadway musical Evita (which became the 1996 film version starring Madonna), but there’s much more to the real Evita’s life. Here are 13 facts about Perón in honor of her birthday. Eva’s father, Juan Duarte, was a wealthy farmer who raised livestock and grew crops.

The only problem was that he already had a wife and kids, so she, her mother, and her four older siblings were Duarte’s second family. In her early teens (most sources say she was 15), Perón left home to be an actress in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. In January 1944, an earthquake in San Juan, Argentina killed an estimated 10,000 people. Perón at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in 1947. Be a better writer in 15 minutes: 4 TED-Ed lessons on grammar and word choice. There’s no denying it — the English language can be mighty tricky.

Be a better writer in 15 minutes: 4 TED-Ed lessons on grammar and word choice

When writing a paper, a novel or even an e-mail, you might look at a sentence you just wrote and think, “Is that comma supposed to be there?” Or “Is that really the best word to use?” Fear not! TED-Ed has put together a list of four of our favorite grammar and language lessons to get your next piece of writing in tip-top shape. Bad English: Ammon Shea takes on language purists. Anne Curzan: What makes a word “real”? English Has a New Preposition, Because Internet - Megan Garber.