12 Gifts for Writers ebook (PDF, 4.2 MB)

12 Gifts for Writers audiobook

12 Days of Gifts for Writers, web version:

  1. You’ve outgrown your high school grammar rules.
  2. You can’t cast someone else’s spell.
  3. Seek qualified advice.
  4. Don’t write from the heart. Write FOR the heart.
  5. Professional writing is a group activity.
  6. Good structure is made of desire.
  7. Read bad writing.
  8. Write whatever you want. Also write whatever you have to.
  9. You’re probably wrong about how good your writing is.
  10. Do your own damn research, and do your own damn writing.
  11. Everyone’s a writer.
  12. You already have a voice.

100% of these usages is wrong
conjugation, English grammar, grammar, numbers, percent, percentages, quantifiers, quantities, verbs

About the serial comma (video)
clarity, grammar, Oxford comma, punctuation, serial comma, style, video

About this sentence that you’re reading
Active Voice, clauses, English grammar, grammar, nonrestrictive clauses, nonrestrictive modifiers, restrictive clauses, restrictive modifiers, restrictive which, that, which

Advice to a beginning editor
advice, books, editing, editors, guides, manuals, style, style guides

After Colville
aesthetic philosophy, Alex Colville, art, art criticism, Art Gallery of Ontario, captions, curation, curator notes, painting, photography, placards

Among other things, it’s a sentence adverb
among other things, dangler, grammar

And can it be?
and, because, but, conjunctions, English syntax, grammar, sentences, syntax

Apparently ignorance is in vogue at Slate
credit, editing, editors

An Appreciation of English: A language in motion
class, English history, English language history, English vowels, great vowel shift, language change, language deterioration, lexical change, long vowels, morphological change, morphology, Old English, phonetic profiling, proper English, reanalysis, Robert Lowth, semantic change, semantics, short vowels, sociolinguistics, sound change, standard English, syntactic change, syntax, word change

Are Latin words bad?
English, English words, Latin, Latin words, loan words

Are this kind of sentences wrong?
English grammar, English syntax, syntax, these kind, this kind

Are this sentence’s needs being met?
conjugation, English grammar, English syntax, syntax, verbs

Are you a fan of its?
a fan of her, a fan of hers, a fan of him, a fan of his, English grammar, English morphology, English syntax, grammar, morphology, possession, possessive, association, syntax

Are you deranged?
to, writing, from…to, ranges, from, clichés, advertising, marketing, descriptions

Are you editor material?
editing, editors

Are you one of the only people bothered by this?
English grammar, one of the only

An article title, “An article title ‘An article title needs commas’ needs commas,” needs commas
appositives, commas, English grammar, nonrestrictive clauses, restrictive clauses, titles

Assimilation by the mutants
English morphology, English phonology, English plurals, i-mutation, irregular plurals, morphology, phonology, umlaut

At sixes and sevens about nine and 10
Canadian Press, CP style, editing, numbers, numerals, spelling out, style

Authority? What authority?
argument from authority, argumentum ab auctoritate, authority, fallacy, logic, logical fallacy

“Banks Bet Greece Defaults on Debt They Helped Hide”
ambiguity, English grammar, headlines, news headlines

Be an editorial Machiavelli
editing, good grammar, grammar, language rules, Machiavelli, pragmatism, rules.

Because language
because, conjunction, English grammar, grammar, language change, preposition

Be on the ball with the origins of phrases
balls, balls to the wall, brass monkey, etymology, have a ball, on the ball, phrase origins

Bighill Creek, the stream of consciousness
Bighill Creek, Cochrane, Coffee with Warren, life, memory, photographs, stream, water

Blarney, baloney, and etymology
Daniel Cassidy, English, etymology, How the Irish Invented Slang, Irish, slang

Books on linguistics for non-linguists
books, introduction, introductory, layperson, linguistics

Book sniffing note: André Kertész: Paris, Autumn 1963
André Kertész, art books, book sniffing note, galleries, museums, photography

Book sniffing note: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1964 edition
book sniffing note, Encyclopedia Britannica, grandma, grandmother, smell

Book sniffing note: Slanguage
book sniffing note, Slanguage

But is it art?
art, artistic, artwork, editing, Editors Canada, work of art

But what about plural “they”?
editing, English grammar, English pronouns, gender, gender-neutral pronouns, grammar, language change, pronouns, singular they, writing

By Grand Central Station I sat down and wept
allusion, By Grand Central Station I sat down and wept, central, citation, Elizabeth Smart, exile, grand, metaphor, poetry, reference, river, sentence tasting, station

Calling them what they want
editing, language and linguistics and tagged gender-neutral pronouns, James Harbeck, Linguistics Frankly, political correctness, preferred pronoun, pronouns, them, they

Canada ≠ America
America, Americans, Canada, Canadians, North America

Can a metaphor be hyperbole too?
hyperbole, hyperbolic metaphor, metaphor

Chez what?
double prepositions, editing, prepositions, titles

Clichés and picturesque language
clichés, eggcorns, idioms, metaphors, The Spanner

Commas before quotes
commas, dialogue, English grammar, quotations, quoted material

Confident in or about?
confidence, confident, confident about, confident in

Contronyms: to sanction or to sanction?
auto-antonyms, cleave, contronyms, dust, impregnable, inflammable, leave, sanction, temper

A convincing – or persuasive – argument?
editing, language change, language rules, linguistics

The Correction of Josef Stalin
editing, Robert Service, Stalin

Counterfactual or not?
conditional, counterfactual, English grammar, subjunctive

A couple things to know
a couple, a couple of, couple

A cryptic crossword

Currying favour with your readers
cooking, curry, editing, genres, good English, registers, writing

Dashing around
dash, dashes, em dash, en dash, The Week

A day in the life of an editor
a day in the life, editing, freelance, freelancing, in-house, life, managing, planning, working

Dear Kitty, Hi, Kitty, Love, Kitty
commas, correspondence, English grammar, letter writing, salutations, signatures

Digital enhancement for numbers (Go figures!)
ACES conference, AP style, Associated Press, James Harbeck, Linguistics Frankly, numbers, readability, speech sounds, style, style guides

Does verbing impact the language?
conversion, Editors Canada, English, grammar, verbing, words

Don’t die a critic of diacritics and special characters
accents, characters, diacritics, letters, special characters, typography

Don’t look busy
business, busy, Editors Canada, Editors’ Association of Canada, hierarchy, offices, The Editors’ Weekly, work

Don’t tell me no lies
double negatives, English grammar, English syntax, negative concord, Songs of Love and Grammar

Do you want to use a Germanic feature, or do you prefer using a Celtic one?
Celtic, Editors Canada, Editors’ Association of Canada, Germanic, gerund, grammar, infinitive, syntax, The Editors’ Weekly

E.g., this kind of thing, etc.
and so on, e.g., et cetera, etc., for example, for instance, i.e.

Each and every
each, English grammar, every, grammar, syntax

Each writer should remember this
each, grammar

Editor James Harbeck on titles and job descriptions before names
attributive nouns, modifiers, names, nonrestrictive modifiers, restrictive modifiers, titles

Email joke writers, please read this
email forwards, email jokes, forwards, humour, jokes

Etymology in dire straits
Between the Straits, dire straits, etymology, phrase origins, The Three Weeks

Eye rhymes and iRhymes
emoji, eye rhymes, iRhymes, rhymes

For a thousand years it’s good English, then it’s a comma splice?
adverbs, and then, but then, comma splice, conjunctions, English grammar, run-on sentences, then

For anyone who hadn’t noticed…
English grammar, English history, prescriptivism, proper English

Forget the title
articles, process, publications, title, titles, websites, writing

From the bookshelf: Twice Have the Trumpets Sounded
from the bookshelf, Stratford, Stratford Festival, Twice Have the Trumpets Sounded

Fulford fulminates – pfui.
apostrophe, apostrophes, English grammar, English punctuation, National Punctuation Day, punctuation, Robert Fulford

Fun with find & replace: trailing punctuation
bold, commas, find-and-replace, formatting, italics, Microsoft Word, MS Word, periods, search and replace, wild cards

Global English?
accents, dialects, English dialects, English grammar, English spelling, English vocabulary, global English, grammar, international English, localization, localizing, spelling, varieties, varieties of English, vocabulary, world English.

Going all the way with statistics

Going forward, it’s an adverb
adverbs, English grammar, English syntax, going forward, grammar, sentence adverbs, syntax

Go, vocatives! Go invocations!
cheering, cheers, imperatives, invocation, vocative

Grammar Girl is not where it’s at
English grammar, English syntax, Grammar Girl, prepositions, syntax, where it’s at

Grammar Matters book review
English grammar, English syntax, grammar, Grammar Matters, Jila Ghomeshi, syntax

A grave case of synonym-itis
elegant variation, journalism, sing, synonyms, variation, writing

The hardest language
culture, Editors Canada, Editors’ Association of Canada, English language, grammar, inflections, language learning, languages, Linguistics Frankly, pronunciation, The Editors’ Weekly

Help stop a word-lynching
etymology, picnic, racism

A Hidden Gender?
gender, grammar, language, pronouns, sex, they, video

An historic(al) usage trend: a historical usage trend (part 1)
a historic, a historical, an historic, an historical, historic, historical, indefinite article

An historic(al) usage trend: a historical usage trend (full version)
a historic, a historical, an historic, an historical, historic, historical, indefinite article

The Honourable Member for the 18th Century?
classism, grammar, ideology, Jacob Rees-Mogg, prescriptivism, style guides

How come it can’t be used?
combine together, concision, editing, English grammar, how come, why

How possessive should you be?
English grammar, genitive, of, possessive, prepositions

How to explain grammar
English grammar, English syntax, grammar, syntax

How to write gleefully
editing, genres, phonaesthemes, phonaesthetics, writing

Hyphe-nation? Hyphen-ation?
American, British, English, hyphenation, spelling, syllables, word breaks

“I can do that!”
career, design, desktop publishing, editing, The Writers’ Community of Durham Region, work, writing

I’d say that if you want to, you can write it this way
appositives, commas, parentheticals, subordinate clauses, that

If I were using the subjunctive…
English, grammar, If I were, subjunctive, syntax

“I’m just saying…”
conversation, I’m just sayin’, I’m just saying, Just sayin’, pragmatics

I must disagree with whoever wrote that
editing, English grammar, grammar, relative pronouns, syntax, who, whoever, whom, whomever

In case you’re wondering, it’s a callow mistake
English grammar, English syntax, grammar, sentence adverbials, sentence adverbs, syntax, xkcd

Index, icon, symbol: a tale of abduction
C.S. Peirce, icon, index, indexes, indexing, Peirce, semiotics, symbol

In praise of long titles
book titles, long titles, old book titles

In principio…
nouns, verbs, verbum, words

An Introduction to Sclgnqi: Pronunciation Guide
invented languages, phonemics, phonetics, Sclgnqi

I only wanted to explain this
editing, English grammar, English syntax, grammar, only, syntax

Is it art? Well, how does it feel?
art, Bob Dylan, genre, literature, Nobel Prize

Is she more knowledgeable than him?
comparative, conjunctions, English grammar, English syntax, syntax, than he, than her, than him, than I, than me, than she, than them, than they, than us, than we

It is not I, it’s me
conjugation, English grammar, English syntax, first person singular nominative, it is I, it’s me, nouns, pronouns, syntax, verbs

Jack Lyon is right too
commas, too

Just for reference
Chicago, citations, CMoS, editing, MLA, reference

Kicking ass and taking names is useful sometimes
compound subjects, conjugation, editing, English grammar, verbs

Laxity and language
academic writing, clarity, English grammar, formal English, grammar, language, laxity, linguistics, proper English

Let comma heads, as it were, prevail

Let her who is without error…
grammar, he who is, him who is, let he who is without sin, let him who is without sin, syntax

Let’s be clear about something
ambiguity, clarity, Dalkey, editing, editors, Mima Simić, My Girlfriend

Licence to smear?
Broadcasting Act, Canada, ethics, falsehood, journalism, news truth, responsibility

Life lessons I learned from Scrabble
chance, game, life lessons, playing, Scrabble, strategy, words

The linguistic bodhisattva
advice, bodhisattva, Buddhism, editing, grammar, grammar advice, language, linguistics, Nirvana

A little Hellgoing sentence mechanical deconstruction
convoluted sentences, English grammar, English syntax, grammar, Hellgoing, Lynn Coady, relative clauses, speaking to, syntax, whoever, whomever

The long and short of English vowels
English vowels, long vowels, phonology, short vowels, vowels

The lord, the bishop, and the harlot: an etymological fallacy
bishop, correct English, etymological fallacy, etymology, good English, harlot, lord,, Merriam-Webster, proper English

A macaronic feather in our cap
etymology, history, language, lexicon, macaroni, macaronic, macarons, vocabulary

The madder matter of t’s and d’s
English pronunciation, flap, phonemics, phones, phonetics, phonology, sounds, t, tap

Made-up rules are what get on my nerves
English grammar, grammar, relative pronouns, syntax, what

The majority of these second-guesses are wrong
collective nouns, collectives, majority are, majority is, quantifiers, remainder are, remainder is

Math… amazing
arithmetic, math, number puzzles, numbers, numeracy

Mind your idioms
American English, British English, Canadian English, idioms, phrasal verbs

Miss Knirps (a story)
bowdlerization, Doobie Brothers, register, school teachers, Steely Dan

A more delectable dictionary
English words, etymology, morphemes, morphology, pseudomorphemes, The Week, words

More honoured in the breach or the observance?
accuracy, misquotation, quotations, quotes, Shakespeare

My veil of tears: an eggcorn poem
eggcorn poem, eggcorns, English, idioms, poems, poetry

naked text
capital letters, English punctuation, naked text, National Punctuation Day, punctuation, Songs of Love and Grammar

A naughty chemistry poem
chemistry, elements, humour, periodic table, poems, poetry, Songs of Love and Grammar, The elements of lust

A new way to be a complete loser
English grammar, English spelling, proper English, standard English, Twitter

None of it is true, and none of them are right
grammar, none are, none is, syntax

Nothing to chauffeur a classiomatic
background speech sample, categorical perception, classiomatic, Duran Duran, lyrics, mishearing, more than just colour and shape, more to this kind of camouflage, speech perception, The Chauffeur

Novel medical treatments
brave, communication, editing, Editors Canada, fighting, health, healthcare, hero, inspiring, lucky, medicine, miracle, morality, struggling with, The Editors’ Weekly, writing

Now or immediately?
immediately, now

The old “ye olde”
English spelling, orthography, ye, ye olde

Omitting periods? It’s about genres.
David Crystal, genre, periods, texting

On editing versus linguistics
editing, linguistics, prescriptivism

One fewer thing to fuss about
fewer, good English, good grammar, grammar, greater, less, more, rules

One of the best poem
English grammar, English syntax, grammar, one of the, one of the best, syntax

One of those questions that are often asked
English grammar, English syntax, grammar, one of those, syntax, who are, who is

One or two things about numbers
compound modifiers, English grammar, English syntax, number ranges, numbers, syntax

The onesies
aughties, decades, naughties, new decade, noughties, oh-ohs, onesies, eighties

The ongoing demise of English
bad English, bad grammar, English, language change

On wine tasting and grammar
grammar, grammar grumblers, grammar Nazgûl, language professionals, wine, wine tasting, winemakers

Our changing language: When does wrong become right?
editing, Editors’ Association of Canada, English language, language change, syntax, words

Our strange language, or: How I learned to stop worrying and love language change
editing, history, language, language change, linguistics

Overwrought about overweight
bad grammar, emotional reactions to language, errors, grammar, noun conversions, overweight, prescriptivism

“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain”
Editors Canada, language ideology, sociolinguistics, The Editors’ Weekly

Peking, Beijing, whazzup?
Beijing, Chinese, Mandarin, Peking, Pinyin, pronunciation, transliteration, Wade-Giles, Yale

The performance of a text
books, Editors Canada, fonts, layout, performance, publishing, text, The Editors’ Weekly, type face, typeface.

Plough through enough dough to make you cough or hiccough
cough, dough, English history, English spelling, enough, hiccough, ough, plough, through

Poetic inversion in all of us command
all of us command, all they sons command, anastrophe, Canada, Canadian, grammar, national anthem, O Canada, poetic inversion, political correctness, syntax

Prescriptivist or descriptivist?
descriptivism, descriptivist, editing, English grammar, grammar, prescriptivism, prescriptivist

Presenting the future
English grammar, English syntax, future tense, grammar, inflections, present tense, syntax, tense

Repainting birds
dictionaries, dictionary, editing, not a word, words

The restrictive which
nonrestrictive clauses, nonrestrictive modifiers, relative clauses, restrictive clauses, restrictive modifiers, restrictive which, restrictive witch

The roots of disagreement
classical roots, Greek plurals, Latin plurals, loanwords, plurals, roots

Rule-bound tut-tutters?
editing, English grammar, rules

Sears and the cooperative principle
cooperative principle, pragmatics, principle of pertinence, sales, Sears

Season your fiction just right
fiction, grammar, Novelists Inc., phonaesthemes, writing

Semicolons are recess periods
colons, commas, English grammar, English punctuation, punctuation, semicolons, syntax

Sentence fragments? If you like.
editing, grammar, if, rules, syntax, then, whether

Seriously, what’s the problem with sentence adverbs?
English grammar, English syntax, grammar, hopefully, sentence adverbs, syntax

Sharpening and vowel shifts
contrast, edges, great vowel shift, perception, sharpening, speech perception, vowel shifts, vowels

Silly place name limericks
Bangkok, Báile Atha Cliath, Beijing, Bombay, Burma, Cirencester, Dublin, Godthab, Greenland, Ho Chi Minh City, Kalaallit Nunaat, Krung Thep, limericks, Mumbai, Myanmar, Nuuk, Peking, Rangoon, Saigon, Schuylkill, Worcester, Yangon

Singular or plural?
agreement, distributive, each, English grammar, English syntax, plural, singular, syntax

The size of the equipment
cameras, Donald Trump, equipment, photography, size

So it goes
Kurt Vonnegut, sentence tasting, Slaughterhouse-Five, So it goes

Some advice for a would-be author
advice, articles, authors, magazines, novice, pitching, querying, submission, submitting

Some travel shortcuts
coordination, humour, place names, poem

So why fund the arts, then?
arts funding, fine arts, politics

Special characters and diacritical marks
diacritical marks, diacritics, language, special characters, typography

Streamkeepers of the language
English words, etymology, language change, language purity, language rules, nitty-gritty, picnic, streamkeepers

Such cases as these
English grammar, English syntax, grammar, such as, syntax

Sure-fire opening lines
books, Editors Canada, opening lines, The Editors’ Weekly, Tinder

Tag-teaming without coordination
conjunctions, coordination, English grammar, English syntax

That old bad rule-seeking behaviour
adjectives, English grammar, grammar, rules, word order

There is to be no overthinking and no false agreement
editing, English grammar, false agreement, grammar, overthinking, syntax, there are, there is

There’s a couple things about this…
a couple, a couple of, agreements, collective nouns, collectives, English grammar, grammar, nouns, numbers, plurals, predicated, there are, there is, verbs

There’s no way to truly split an infinitive
grammar, infinitives, language, linguistics, split infinitive, usage, word choice, writing

This business of verbing
business English, business-speak, conversion, English words, nouns, verbing, verbs

This fragile earth, our island home
astronauts, Coffee with Warren, earth, flooding, island, landing, moon

This statement is false
Cretan paradox, Epimenidean paradox, liar’s paradox, logic, meaning, paradox, pragmatics, self-contradiction

365 words for drunk
drunk, drunken, synonyms

To be a preposition or not to be a preposition
infinitive, prepositions, to

To be, or not to be, that is the question
etymology, grammar, Hamlet, history, or not to be, performance, Richard Burbage, sentence tasting, stagecraft, that is the question, To be, To be or not to be, vocabulary, William Shakespeare

Tonnes of options
centimetre, idioms, inch, kilometre, metric conversion, mile, tonnes, tons

Topics, we front them
English grammar, English syntax, left dislocation, syntax, topic fronting

Two spaces and authority
authority, double spaces, English teachers, high school teachers, periods, punctuation, teachers, typography

Two weeks’ notice?
apostrophes, English grammar, English syntax, genitive, possessive, time measure

Unknown knowns
discovery, known knowns, known unknowns, logic, matrix, Rumsfeld, square, unknown knowns, unknown unknowns

Unpacking the Grey Owl
commas, English grammar, English syntax, Grey Owl, syntax

Unrequoted love
grammar, poems, poetry, quotation marks, quotes, Songs of Love and Grammar

A variety of ways of using a variety
a variety, collective nouns, conjugation, English grammar, grammar

Walk away from this sentence
analysis, complex, editing, English, grammar, Inception, subordinate clauses, syntax

A walk on the wildcard side
find-and-replace, Microsoft Word, MS Word, wild cards, wildcards, word, Word wildcards

Watch out for the theta roles!
agent, beneficiary, editing, experiencer, goal, grammar, instrument, linguistics, location, NINK, passive voice, patient, recipient, source, stimulus, thematic roles, theme, theta roles, writing

Watch your endings, genii!
-ii, -us, Engl, I, Latin plurals, plural

Well Begun Is Nearly Done: Desktop publishing workflow at warp speed
change-alls, desktop publishing, find-and-replace, InDesign, layout, Microsoft Word, styles

What “Did You Know,” exactly, anyway?
Did You Know?, information, Shift Happens

What do we care about, really?
authoritarianism, authority, complaints, English, good English, good grammar, grammar

What flavour of English do you want?
business English, collocation, context-focused discourse, field of discourse, information-focused discourse, interactive discourse, mode of discourse, narrative-focused discourse, non-narrative-focused discourse, pragmatics, proper English, reflected meaning, register, slang, stance, style of discourse, syntax, technical English, tone, vocabulary

What’s including what?
English grammar, including

What’s English?
editing, English, English dialects, quiz, world English

What’s logical about English?
English, English grammar, grammar, linguistics, logic

What’s the reason to not do it?
split infinitive, split infinitives, splitting infinitives

What’s the referent?
danglers, editing, English grammar, grammar, referents, relative pronouns, syntax, which

What’s up with English spelling?
alphabet, English, English language history, English spelling, Old English, orthography, Roman alphabet, silent e, silent letters, spelling, spelling reform

What we pay with in word country
communication, economy, interaction, language, pragmatics, status, word tasting notes, words

What would result in you sounding better?
English grammar, English syntax, possessive, gerunds, participles

What would you need in order to know if this is right?
in order to, conditional, if, to, whether.

When an “error” isn’t
a historic, ain’t, alright, an historic, anyways, can, capitalization, conjunctions, decimate, descriptivism, double negatives, double superlatives, fewer, fun, hopefully, language change, lay, less, lie, like, may, more unique, prepositions, prescriptivism, sentence adverbs, sociolinguistics, split infinitives, standard English, till, verbing

When does the new decade begin?
1999, 2000, 2009, 2010, AD, decades, millennia, millennium, new decade, new millennium, years

When intransitives go transitive
accusative, ambitransitive, cognate object construction, English grammar, ergative, intransitive, preterite causative, self-transitive, transitive, unaccusative, unergative, verbs

When to Use Bad English
bad English, English grammar, grammar, video

Wherefore pleaseth archaic English?
archaic English, elevated English, King James Bible, poetic English, Shakespeare

Wherein I talk to Australians about accent shift
accent shift, accents, Anthony Funnell, Austrialian Broadcasting Corporation, English language, future tense, language change, speech, The Week, vowel shift

Where to link to?
editing, links, web design, websites

Whoever is the subject?
grammar, relative clauses, relative pronouns, syntax, who, whoever, whom

Whoever tells you to always avoid splitting infinitives is wrong
English grammar, split infinitive, splitting infinitives

A whole nother thing
a whole nother thing, eac, Editors Canada, false splitting, reanalysis, rebracketing, resplitting, The Editors’ Weekly

Whom do you believe?
English grammar, English syntax, syntax, when to use whom, who, whom

“Whom” is a foreign word
English grammar, whoever, whomever, who, whom, English syntax

Why? Because it’s a complete sentence.
complete sentences, conjunctions, English grammar, English syntax, incomplete sentences, sentences, syntax

Why “fetuses”?
English spelling, feti, fetii, fetus, fetuses, foeti, foetii, foetus, foetuses, Latin plurals, octopi, octopodes, octopus

Why it’s best to leave grammar advice to experts
English grammar, grammar, grammar advice, syntax, websites

Why not the Silicon Valley?
geographic names, place names, Silicon Valley, valleys

Why the second comma?
appositives, commas, English grammar, punctuation

Why use terms the reader might not be familiar with
clarity, imagery, metaphors, similes

Wines, the world, and so on
travel, Urban Adventures, wine, wine cellar, wine tasting

Words that glitter and splash
language, linguistics, onomatopoeia, phonaesthemes, sound symbolism

Words we love irrationally much
antepenultimate, betwixt, cattywampus, copacetic, crepuscular, defenestrate, defenestration, Editors Canada, facetiously, gobsmacked, moist, penultimate, persnickety, petrichor, plethora, pulchritude, serendipitous, serendipity, susurrus, Twitter, ululation, words, words we love

Writing “smart” versus smart writing
Douglas Biber, effectiveness, genre, genres, lexicon, styles, syntax, usage, writing

Yeet citationality: yippie-ki-yay!
Bugs Bunny, citationality, Editors Canada, Judith Butler, language, linguistics, yeet

You can have Danishes with your giant beaver, but maybe not croissants
Amy, Big Bang Theory, cheese Danish, counterfactuals, croissant, dams, Danishes, giant intelligent beaver, Leonard, Sheldon

5 responses to “Articles

  1. Pingback: Introducing the article index | Sesquiotica

  2. Would love to see a short article on the increasing use of “different than” (I hear and read it all the time these days, in contexts that are relatively “formal”) instead of “different from”. I would argue that, since “than” can only be used with comparative adjectives, the only acceptable use of “different than” would be in a sentence such as “apples and oranges are more different than tangerines and oranges.” However, “apples are different than oranges” is simply incorrect.

    • This is actually not even such a new issue. The usage doesn’t really sit well with me, intuitively, either, generally, for the same reason. But prepositions are the most cussèd idiomatic things going, and the than version is quite common, meaning there are a lot of people who have a version of English where it seems to work well. It’s not standard, though. I’ll see if I can find the time to write something – but in the meanwhile, you may find Stan Carey’s article on it detailed and interesting:

  3. Pingback: milli | Sesquiotica

  4. Pingback: Impact as a verb versus affect and effect | CyberText Newsletter

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