Happy Boxing Day! While Charles Dickens first used the term in The Pickwick Papers, the OED lists its first mention[…]Read more
Words, Words, Words. It’s No Mystery That Writers Love Wordplay
A collection of puns and word/grammar jokes to get you through the holiday stress.Read more
WORDS: Five We Misspell, Five We Mispronounce, and One Pet Peeve
Who cares about spelling anymore? With spelling tests in schools fast disappearing, our children are left to blunder along, trusting in technology to set things right. The upshot? In my opinion, although we may make fewer mistakes on paper, we are losing the ability to spell. And therefore to read. So, in an attempt to stem the tide of illiteracy, I humbly submit five common words just about everyone misspells followed by five words most people mispronounce and one small, very personal pet peeve.
Orthography & My Ten-Year Battle with Spell Checker
Okay, this isn’t an epic battle like the Hundred Years’ War or the Hatfields and McCoys, but the skirmishes are fierce and the outcome, so far, undecided.
Here’s the problem: Spell Checker thinks it knows best, and so do I.
The Point of Words
Although many living things communicate with each other (my dog certainly feels a burning need to let me know the mail has arrived the very moment it does), humans, at least on this planet, are the only ones who have language. And novels. And stories. And Instagram.Read more
A Language Lesson
Author Raquel V. Reyes teaches us a little Spanglish today. Read her primer to whet your appetite for her upcoming cozy, Mango, Mambo, and Murder! @missdemeanors6 #cozymystery #foodiecozy #cubanamerican @latinasleuthsRead more
A Matter of Broiling Importance
Turns out, broilers can be anywhere and nowhere, powered by gas or electricity, and mistaking a gas broiler for a storage cabinet can have…erm… torrid consequences.Read more
Length Matters: How Many Words Does It Take?
How long is a sentence? The answer I got in junior high school was “long enough to finish the thought.” Cheeky.
For years, the longest sentence ever written in English was said to be Molly Bloom’s 3,687-word soliloquy in the James Joyce novel Ulysses (1922). However, one of the finalists for the 2019 Booker Prize was Lucy Ellman, whose 1,000-page Ducks, Newburyport consists mostly of a single sentence that runs to 426,000 words. Beat that if you can.Read more
Pure Word Music
I was about thirteen, an impressionable age, when among the stacks in my small hometown library, I stumbled upon the novels of P. G. Wodehouse (pronounced “Woodhouse,” by the way). For the first time in my life I realized that a story could be brilliant, not only for what was said but also for how it was said.Read more
What I Love About Writing Fiction, Part 4: Romancing the Words
“I hate writing. I love having written.” –Dorothy Parker
One aspect of writing is pure joy for me, though–romancing the words.