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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Beijing Cleans Up Its English Act

In preparation for the 2008 Olympics being hosted there, [tag]Beijing[/tag] officials have decided to eradicate bad English translations from public venues, including "Deformed Man" for handicapped restrooms and "Show Mercy to the Slender Grass," reports the Wall Street Journal. For the next eight months, teams of linguistic monitors will scour the city’s nooks and crannies […]