The Sense of Style: by Steve Pinker – Book Review

sense of styleI have a confession to make.  I’m one of those dorky people who reads grammar/writing style guides for fun (as if that comes as a surprise to any of our readers here).  And so, it should further come as no surprise that I found Steven Pinker’s The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century! to be a sheer delight. Continue reading

“Quack This Way”- David Foster Wallace and Bryan Garner Talk Language and Writing

DFW-Quack-This-WayWhat if you took two of the most beautiful minds known to man, sat them down in a room together, told them to talk about your favorite topic (language & writing), recorded the whole thing, and then turned it into a book.  Basically, that is exactly what has happened in Quack This Way.  I have had the distinct pleasure of reading several of Garner’s books and seeing him present in person.  I have read just about everything David Foster Wallace ever wrote.  The very idea of this book made me ecstatic with hope and excitement.  I was not disappointed. Continue reading

Eats, Shoots & Leaves- Radio Edition


I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that many in our esteemed readership have at the very least heard of Eats, Shoots & Leaves, the book.  I will confess that I have not read it.  Yet.  Nevertheless, I was excited indeed when, looking through the books on CD at my local library, I happened upon, not the book itself, but (perhaps even better) the original BBC radio series the book was based on. Continue reading

Past tense of “sneak”

What is the past tense of “sneak”?  If you’re like me, your initial reaction is “snuck,” right?  But I make a lot of these decisions quickly, and based on my inner ear.  What sounds right?  What sounds familiar?  I grew up mostly in America, mostly among native English speakers, and mostly among American English speakers.  History was not my best subject, but I know we didn’t invent the language.  It’s not called “American,” after all (though I know some that would probably argue for a change there). Continue reading