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A Writer's Edge

English words, writing, and books--with a tech touch

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Name: Georganna Hancock
Location: San Diego, California, United States

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Monday, June 21, 2004

Blogs R Backwords

Did it ever occur to you that as you read a blog, you're going backwards? In order to read it from start to current, you have to scroll down to the beginning. Makes it difficult to follow someone's development or train of thought. On the other hand, adding to the forums on Orkut returns you to the start of a thread, and you must click to the end to see what you've just posted. Or to see where the conversation is at the present, because the topics open with the first post no matter how old. Equally annoying.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Did I Loose You?

Online recently I discovered a new example of word confusion: expand and expend. The first means to increase, the latter means to decrease as in to spend or use up. An exhortation to "expend your contacts" was not an incentive to sign up for a business networking service. Other commonly confused words include:
affect and effect (both as nouns and verbs)
rap and wrap
lie and lay (as verbs)
accept and except
allusion and illusion and delusion
censure and censor
compose and comprise
imply and infer
founder and flounder
loose and lose

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Thursday, June 10, 2004

I Have a Big Vocabulary I'm Not Afraid to Use!

Continuing the semi-literate younger generations rant: I despair at the lack of literal literary education. My speech and writings, especially fiction, are liberally laden with allusions to Bible verses and many Great Books of the First World, or western Europe and English America. I generously sprinkle on some Italian, French, and Latin words and phrases. This is not because I think it makes me appear erudite or sophisticated. The reasons are that anything sounds better in French (I'm frankly a Francophile), and sometimes a French or latin phrase is le mot juste or summun bonum (the precisely right terminology). I picked up the Italian from studying music. I'm not above linguistic puns, either!

I'm thinking of running a contest like "Who can find the most ... " in my posts. Email suggestions for prizes.

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Monday, June 07, 2004

Writing Right

I'm passionate about punctuation, greedy for good grammar, and silly for syntax. What's a good alliterative adjective to accompany "spelling"? My formal writing developed under the influence of Strunk and White's The Element's of Style, the Scribner Handbook of English, Roget's Thesaurus and probably a Funk & Wagnall's "New World" dictionary. It's been replaced by Webster's New Collegiate, Webster's Instant Word Guide, and a bevy of specialty dictionaries. I've also acquired a copy of Bartlett's "Quotations". All these and more are online, of course. Also online is a generation of semi-literates who received little, if any, rudimentary training in word slinging. Reading their writings makes my hair hurt.

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Friday, June 04, 2004

Writing Blogs

The hardest part about writing a blog, for a writer, is to be brief. Writers naturally elaborate, embroider, explain, edit ... See?

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Tuesday, June 01, 2004

What is a writer?

A writer writes. A writer is not someone who wants to write, is trying to write, is studying how to write. A writer writes.

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