Category Archives: Literature

HUNTERS IN THE SNOW—THE POEM.

HUNTERS IN THE SNOW—THE POEM. Here is a poem by John Berryman: Winter Landscape John Berryman The three men coming down the winter hill In brown, with tall poles and a pack of hounds At heel, through the arrangement of … Continue reading

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A TRADITIONALIST REMAINS UNCONVINCED (COMMENT).

A TRADITIONALIST REMAINS UNCONVINCED (COMMENT). I concluded my apology by saying: “For myself, since I am not going to be facing any more English teachers, I intend to use ‘they’ more often.” Mary Jane commented on my post: “What does … Continue reading

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USING THE SINGULAR “THEY” BECAUSE IT’S TRADITIONAL.

USING THE SINGULAR “THEY” BECAUSE IT’S TRADITIONAL. Paula Froke, lead editor for the AP Stylebook, said “… we offer new advice for two reasons: recognition that the spoken language uses they as singular and we also recognize the need for … Continue reading

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VINDICATION FOR “THEY” AS A GENDER-NEUTRAL SINGULAR PRONOUN.

VINDICATION FOR “THEY” AS A GENDER-NEUTRAL SINGULAR PRONOUN. In 2010, I posted an apology to Annalisa and Nick for having given them a hard time when they were in school about being careful not to use “they” as a gender-neutral … Continue reading

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STATES WHICH REQUIRE THE OXFORD COMMA IN STATUTES.

STATES WHICH REQUIRE THE OXFORD COMMA IN STATUTES. Grammarians argue about the Oxford comma with only clarity and style at stake. For judges and legislative draftsmen, the “serial comma”, as the Oxford comma is referred to in the opinion I … Continue reading

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A COURT CASE TURNING ON THE USE—OR NONUSE—OF THE OXFORD COMMA.

A COURT CASE TURNING ON THE USE—OR NONUSE—OF THE OXFORD COMMA. I posted here about RAB’s discussion of the Oxford comma on her You Know What I Meant blog. She gives a striking example of the ambiguity which can result … Continue reading

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ACTORS INTONING.

ACTORS INTONING.. I posted here about how Mary Jane and I each liked Mel Gibson’s performance as Hamlet because he avoided the “intoning” of Shakespeare’s lines that we each associate with John Gielgud—a style which always seemed to be focused … Continue reading

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HOW I LEARNED THE EXCLAMATION POINT IN HIGH SCHOOL.

HOW I LEARNED THE EXCLAMATION POINT IN HIGH SCHOOL. An exclamation point can be like a stage direction. In second year high school English—where I learned all the punctuation and grammar rules I ever needed in six brilliantly taught weeks—one … Continue reading

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WHY THE HATRED FOR THE EXCLAMATION POINT?

WHY THE HATRED FOR THE EXCLAMATION POINT? Why would Elmore Leonard call for limiting the use of exclamation points? This article in the Atlantic by Megan Garber provides a list of some of the names that the exclamation point has … Continue reading

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THE PHILOSOPHICAL REASONING UNDERLYING TOM WOLFE’S USE OF EXCLAMATION POINTS.

THE PHILOSOPHICAL REASONING UNDERLYING TOM WOLFE’S USE OF EXCLAMATION POINTS. Here is Tom Wolfe’s explanation from the brainyquote website for why he uses exclamation points. “People complain about my exclamation points, but I honestly think that’s the way people think. … Continue reading

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