Category Archives: Language

Speaking So You Are Understood

I feel a bit sorry for the writers of Downton Abbey.  They’re getting a lot of flak for language infractions, and I’m not sure they deserve the microscope for that particular shortcoming. Frankly, I’m more in this guy’s camp. Still, … Continue reading


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Why Use One Word When Thirty Will Do?

“I would have written a shorter letter but didn’t have time.” — attributed to Voltaire, Twain and Pascal, and probably a zillion other folks. It’s a clever saying, but it is incredibly, sadly true of most people I know.  I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in Editing, Language, Mechanics | 1 Comment

Read, Read, Read

There’s a certain literary voice I’m quite fond of.   I guess it’s the Humorous Memoir voice.  Think Jean Shepherd, or Clarence Day, or Patrick Dennis. (Well, Patrick Dennis’ tales of Mame were fictional, but you get my meaning.) It’s the … Continue reading

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Look. It. Up.

My day job is keeping me stupid busy, but it has inspired today’s tip: If you don’t know for sure and certain what a word means, for God’s sake, either dig out your dictionary or use a word you do … Continue reading

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When Did Sitting Down Become a Big Effing Deal?

I’ve read at least five things in the past three days where the writer/blogger/emcee/whatever the hell used the construction, “Joe Blow sat down to talk with us/take a test/eat dinner.” Google gave me 3,950,000 hits when I searched the phrase … Continue reading

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Word List, 1

I love lists.  Perhaps it is a byproduct of my attempts to get my ADD son and my own overheating brain on track — regardless, I’m a big fan of the bullet points.  So here’s my first list for this … Continue reading

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