August 25, 2014
Many years ago, back when I was in elementary school, diagramming sentences was a basic staple of every English or writing class.
The idea is actually quite simple...
August 19, 2014
Be A Better Writer
Research shows that the average person writes 40,000 words each year.
Writers, students and teachers write far than that. In fact...
August 14, 2014
When Does Slang Die?
The English language absorbs words and terms from every other language, and lots of sub-cultures, vocations and technologies.
But what happens when a word loses its meaning or its context?
Words establish their meanings from events or...
August 09, 2014
151 Great Writing Websites
If you are a writer or a teacher of writing, take a look at this website. It is a index of writing and publishing resources that you can use whether you are an experienced writer or...
August 05, 2014
How Well Do You Know English?
Learning and using English can be tricky. Here is a short quiz to test how well you...
July 31, 2014
Learning And Forgetting A Language
I know many people who have left their native country and language behind and established themselves...
July 25, 2014
What Makes A Good Story?
Everyone loves a good story. We all have our favorite movie, TV series and song. But do any of us recognize...
July 19, 2014
Weep or Cry? Smell or Odor?
The English language is filled with words from other languages. According to many linguists...
July 14, 2014
Does Our Language Reveal Our Age?
Our use of language, vocabulary and grammar in particular, reveal much about us; our education, our class and our place of origin. But did you ever imagine that it also reveals our...
July 08, 2014
Have An Accent?
I have to admit that accents have always been a mystery to me. I live on the West Coast of North America where most of us have what is called a 'flat' accent.
Supposedly news anchors of national news broadcasting stations spend time here to...
July 03, 2014
How do You Pronounce That Word?
Learning a new language vocabulary and grammar is difficult enough, but most new English language learners are exposed, not by their misuse of words or how to put them together in a sentence but by...
June 28, 2014
What Makes A Word 'Real'?
In the English language, words come from just about anywhere; technical jargon, international contact and sometimes misunderstanding or...
June 24, 2014
What Makes A Word Offensive?
Using slang or derogatory words as an individual is one thing, but when a public organization, like a sports team, makes a public statement by their name...
June 19, 2014
How To Use The 15 Punctuation Marks
The English language has 15 punctuation marks. Some are simple and direct, while some are thoroughly...
June 13, 2014
Is There Anything We Should Not Read?
There are great books and there are books that are not really worth your time.
The problem, however, is to figure out which books are worth reading and which aren't.
The only way to do this is to....
June 08, 2014
Maya Angelou On Language
One of the remarkable aspects of language is when someone, in this case, Maya Angelou, speaks with authority.
Love her or hate her, there is no one quite like...
June 03, 2014
What's Your Idiolect?
Each one of us has our own way of using language. When a group has a shared way of speaking, we call it a dialect, but the way an individual speaks is their...
May 30, 2014
12 TED Talks About Words
I have used TED Talks in my classes for a few years now, they are always fresh and provocative. Usually I just find one or two that are relevant to what my class is working on, but today I have...
May 25, 2014
100 Best Movies
Everybody seems to like movies. A good film is many things; a compelling story, familiar actors, interesting settings and yes...
May 20, 2014
Lost in Translation
No language captures every human concept or experience.
Sometimes we like to imagine, or even convince ourselves...