New Category: MorphedWords

Since I screwed up and used the NotWord morphed in my posting yesterday, I’ve created a new category wherein common and acceptable English words get bastardized into forms and meanings never originally intended.  In short, to employ a NotWord (which has been now joined by new category), these words have been morphed.  Hence the name for my new category: [tag]MorphedWords[/tag].

What was the first MorphedWord?

Continue reading “New Category: MorphedWords”

MorphedWords: Put ‘Charisma’ on the List

There I go–I used a NotWord.  I don’t believe morph is a verb, though the dictionary folk may have added it.  Naughty me.

The word I’m really writing about, however, is [tag]charisma[/tag], which is being bandied and thrown about a lot now that [tag]Barack Obama[/tag] is running for president.

What exactly does the word mean?

Continue reading “MorphedWords: Put ‘Charisma’ on the List”

Passive Voice Blues

In the English classes I’ve taught, and there have been many of them over the years, students have generally struggled over the English usage of [tag]the passive voice[/tag].  If, say, I write an active sentence on the board and ask the class to turn it into the passive voice, what I’ll usually get is a past tense sentence.

For instance, change this to passive:  “I eat hamburgers everyday.”

What’s your solution?

Continue reading “Passive Voice Blues”

Death of Anna Nicole Smith: Should Vox Populi Rule the Media?

An analysis over the weekend in the Los Angeles Times lamented the reality that demand for stories about [tag]Anna Nicole Smith[/tag]’s death on its Web site prompted print edition editors to give the story front-page treatment the next day. James Rainey, the writer, saw a similar feeding frenzy across the media spectrum–from print to radio to TV and certain to Web–and with people rushing to sell items on eBay.

The writer attributed all of this to demand for information about her death as evidenced in the increase in Web hits, or visits, when articles and pictures were posted about Anna Nicole Smith following her Thursday demise.  Celebrity death sells, evidently, even and especially with the often-troubled Ms. Smith.

But should writers and editors care about what people want to read as opposed to what they feel people should read in terms of importance and social value?

Continue reading “Death of Anna Nicole Smith: Should Vox Populi Rule the Media?”

Can’t Escape that Rome Connection

English is not a romance language, meaning its roots aren’t in ancient Rome, but our traditions still date back to the days of Caesar et al. 

Take [tag]Valentine’s Day[/tag]. Despite its naming after Catholic saints (which one is hard to say, for two or more are candidates), Valentine’s Day may have its roots in Lupercalia, Feb. 15, when Roman young men ran through the streets naked.

Then what happened? Continue reading “Can’t Escape that Rome Connection”

Hot Deal: Get Paid for Web Surfing

An outfit called AGLOCO (A Global Community) will pay you to surf the Internet and will also pay you for those you sign up or refer, down to four levels below you.  This is classic multilevel marketing.

All you have to do is install an innocuous [tag]AGLOCO[/tag] toolbar on your browser and use it to surf for up to five hours a month.  When your five hours are up, you can turn it off until the next month.  If you’re like me and you do a lot of surfing anyway, this is a nice little reward for your efforts.

How does AGLOCO make money itself?  Through advertising, whose revenue it then shares with its surfers.  Check it out.  Here’s the link to AGLOCO.  You’ve got nothing to lose.

Three Steps to Writing Perfection

Okay, the headline/title sounds promising, doesn’t it?

What I’m referring to here are the three parts of a well written piece, and I know this is going to sound rather mundane, but they are–the introduction, body and conclusion.

The point of success comes in how the writer approaches these elements, and that’s why you should read my articles on thesis statements and topic sentences in English Resources.  The [tag]magic of three[/tag] is revealed in these articles.

Notword Addition: 24/7

Okay, the saying “24/7” is not technically a word, but it still qualifies as a [tag]Notword [/tag]since it has become both uniquitous and meaningless.  To wit: During the local morning sports talk radio program, a listener called in and told the host how great he was because he talked about football “24/7.”

Now, what exactly did he mean?  I seriously doubt any living being does anything contiuously 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except breathe and live.  If he meant “solely,” “a lot,” or “mostly,” Mr. Listener should’ve said that, but we’ve become so inured to bad and sloppy English that Notwords can replace and obfuscate clear English usages.

I say for the next 24 hours, try not to use Notwords.  If not, then stay away from sports radio at least.  You may pick up more bad habits.