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Posts tagged ‘writing’

Five things your English teacher (may) have gotten wrong

mean teacher

You can’t use “and” to start a sentence

Actually, you can use and for this purpose. Just for good measure, here are a few examples from literature:

“And even Mary could assure her family that she had no disinclination for it.” – Jane Austin from “Pride and Prejudice”

“And to seek to make the blacksmith a scholar is almost as silly as the more modern scheme of making the scholar a blacksmith.” – W.E.B. Du Bois from “The Souls of Black Folk”

“And let every other power know that this hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house.” – John F. Kennedy from his Inaugural Address on January 20, 1961

You always use commas after each item in a series

Commas are necessary after each of the items in a series, except the last one. For example, someone might suggest that this is correct: red, white, and blue. However, that’s not the case. Using the comma after “and” is actually redundant. It’s like saying “and” twice. So, the correct method would be to write it as follows: red, white and blue.

Over and under

They do it in commercials and advertisements all the time. I suppose it is for brevity sake but that doesn’t make in any less incorrect. I’m talking about when people use the words “over” or “under” to indicate anything other than height. For example, cars are not on sale of under $20,000. Nor are there over 7 billion people in the world. The correct phrasing for each of these would be: Cars are on sale for less than $20,000 and there are more than 7 billion people in the world.

It’s not a real word if it’s not in the dictionary

First off, this implies that there is only one official dictionary when in fact there are many. On another note, there are many words that have simply been removed from dictionaries based on infrequent or rare use in modern language and conversation. I bet you wouldn’t find a lot of terms used in the Renaissance era in today’s dictionaries but that does not make them any less relevant.

Improper grammar is never acceptable

Generally speaking, improper grammar is a bad thing. However, there are a few exceptions. One of the first that comes to mind is with the use of direct quotations. Whether the quote is from a real person or a character in a book, language and grammar allowances can be made for such things as accents, education level, etc.  A quick example is the phrase frequently spoken by the character Aibileen Clark in the film “The Help” in which she says, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”

Nature’s Masterpiece (A Poem)

One of my newest poems, this one is dedicated to the female form. I hope you like it.

Nature’s Masterpiece

The masterpiece of nature
Molded for a canvas fair
With piercing eyes enthralling
And flowing locks of hair

Painted with lips to kiss so sweetly
And sing in gentleness
Along with breasts to nurture
As well as to caress

Sculpted with curves so eloquent
And legs so well defined
Leading to the secret garden
Of life and passion combined

New e-book on working with shadows and light in photography

Shadows and be a great asset to a photograph or they can be a major hindrance as well. And of course, the lighting situation plays a role as well.

The new e-book “Pesky Shadows, Pretty Shadows” is all about helping photography enthusiasts work with this natural and unavoidable condition.

Check it out by clicking the image below to follow the link.

pesky-shadows-pretty-shadows

The “rules” of poetry

When people first hear the word poetry…

beside the notion of eloquent language and the concept of emotional sensitivity coming to mind, they might often think about this form of literature as being filled with rules and structural regulations.

While classically poetry has had it’s share of rigidity and intense structure, this is not always necessarily the case.  For example, slam poetry would probably drive someone from the Renaissance era insane.

Personally, I believe that good poetry is not so much about structure and form as it is about emotion and the ability to convey a concept not easily stated in any other way. Hence the reason that I, and many others, do not always follow the so-called rules.

First and foremost, poetry is an art and as such should not be constrained. We all need to have our own rules to some extent.

My personal rules and guidelines

1. I either use rhyme or not. It seems clumsy and awkward to switch between the two in the same poem.

2. When I use rhyme, I tend to rhyme in a pattern of matching up either the first and third/second and fourth lines or a stanza of lines one and two then three and four.

3. I generally write 3-5 line stanzas

4. Modern free verse has always been a great stylistic friend

5. I rarely punctuate except for emphasis with a question mark or exclamation point or to separate items in a series with a comma

I figure hey, what the heck? After all, E.E. Cummings was known for his unorthodox and grammatically flexible style while the great William Shakespeare literally made up hundreds if not thousands of words.

images

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Comedy for writers

While comedy is in and of itself a form of art, as a writer, I have a special place in my heart for those who create comedic content about writing and writers. Check out these funnies for something to tickle your lighter side.

As seen on Pinterest:

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A few great tools for writers

Listen up fellow writers.

When it comes to academic writing specifically, we’ve all had that experience of putting together a good old bibliography. Honestly, this was always one of the biggest pain in the a#@ parts of the entire process. In fact, it wouldn’t really be a stretch to say that on some occasions, putting together the bibliography took darn near as long as writing the paper or essay itself.

What if there was a way to nearly bypass this tedious task or at least make it a lot faster? Well, there is, enter the site Easybib.

Easybib

So, maybe you don’t work with academic writing.  Maybe you’re more into writing poetry books or novels. No matter what you write, grammar is always important. This brings me to the second tool I’d like to share – Grammarly.

The name is pretty straight forward in regard to its function. The site checks your gammar on a much more intense level than any basic word processor and can even aid in working with the book publishing process.

Grammarly

Give these a try today.

Ballad of Me

Guest post by Clara Littleton

 

I am a girl, pretty and fair.

I like to wear flowers in my hair.

I care and Share with all I meet.

I worry about all the people without enough to eat.

I am a woman and think with my heart,

by this is only a very ..very small part.

 

Some days…. many days….

When this is me….

I want to race cars, climb mountains and play baseball.

these are the days I dread….

when the words come that I don’t like,

I don’t like them at all.

 

Dyke, bitch, confused and not doing my part.

Now that I think back, not so much.

The names are here no matter the garb.

Tom boy, whore

Biker bitch, tease

My long dress, they think I cover for shame.

Too long or too short,

look at those clothes. She’s such as slut.

 

She must be selling something, I bet it’s free.

Tits too small, or too big. They bet they’re fake

They stop and stare.

Is it my clothes, maybe my hair?

I wonder why they are still standing there.

I turn away.

I want to fight back.

I want to scream,

but these same venomous words are all that is available to me.

To label me.

 

Not girl enough, too much a boy.

I dance with spiders and snakes.

Sometimes they assume it’s all a fake.

Is it because I am a girl?….

To the man crying out to be allowed to feel.

This all makes my head whorl.

From the men too, pride they steal.

 

Rare day they dare,

To ask me, to be fair?

What label may we address?

I’m always caught so unaware.

Bo, girl, femme, masculine,

modest, outrageous, too skinny, tooo fat,

I sometimes forget where I’m at.

 

Lost in what I might be called,

They ask again, wanting to know it all.

I sigh, the words don’t mean a damn.

Not to me, or these people who have set me free

from these labels, schemes and plots.

They ask again, what label do you want?

 

Finally, I look up, filled with dread.

I feel sad and mad and wish I’d fled.

I contemplate one moment,

the words still flying free.

If you want to label me…

I remind them of civility.

Label me please but with the label I want….

Stop playing this game,

for the label YOU want.

For everyone it’s simply the same.

I just want you to ask for my name.

About the poet:

Carla is an accomplished educator and art enthusiast who also owns and operates her own artistic services and jewelry business Archaeotype Designs.

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