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Above and Below

Don’t you hate it when you see above and below used as nouns?

This lumpy construction usually occurs when the author wants to refer to material within text in a position relative to where the monstrosity occurs. (More precisely before and after, if you want to get literal about it.)

The above is what I believed at the . . . → Read More: Above and Below

Footnotes Versus Endnotes

My favorite magazine, The Watchtower, has a series of study articles in the July issue that uses endnotes rather than the footnotes it has used almost if not entirely exclusively in my forty-three years of reading the journal. A friend, knowing I’m an editor, asked if I know what the difference is between footnotes and endnotes, . . . → Read More: Footnotes Versus Endnotes

Uncircling, Unfriending, and Unfollowing

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Though I don’t maintain an ironclad bullet list of rules about who I follow in my social networks, certain annoyances move me to uncircle, unfriend, or unfollow persons posthaste. (All three italicized words are social networking neologisms.)

Give me full sentences in some reasonable semblance of English. Persons who write habitually in the abbreviated . . . → Read More: Uncircling, Unfriending, and Unfollowing

Ulysses by James Joyce — a Reaction

To quote a famous old Alka-Seltzer commercial, “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.” That was a long song.

If you are searching for an intelligent review of the James Joyce’s novel Ulysses, look elsewhere. The book has been out for a few years. Plenty of literati of all sorts, including hyper-, semi-, and il-, the . . . → Read More: Ulysses by James Joyce — a Reaction

About Legacy Posts

As of July 25, 2011, I have migrated over 130 articles from my Neologistics blog, where since August 2005 I have posted many unsorted articles, including items unrelated to editing, writing, or literature. The articles copied from the old site have all been labeled with the category LEGACY.

It has been a longstanding shortcoming of Google’s otherwise . . . → Read More: About Legacy Posts

Reading in Installments

At any given time I have between one and seven books in my Recent Reading stack marked as current. These are books that I really am reading at present.

At this writing there are six on the stack:

Washington: A Life (Ron Chernow)
The Elements of Typographic Style (Robert Bringhurst)

The Associated Press Stylebook
Life (Keith Richards)
Marathon & . . . → Read More: Reading in Installments

Pale Fire — Vladimir Nabokov

Cover of Pale Fire

Vladimir Nabokov‘s 1963 novel Pale Fire appears on a number of lists purporting to identify the greatest novels of the twentieth century. I wouldn’t dare to attempt a literary analysis of Pale Fire. It’s been a staple of literature classes for over forty years, and countless reviews and scholarly . . . → Read More: Pale Fire — Vladimir Nabokov

Ultrarunning Hyperbole

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Certain tainted words occur repeatedly in journalism about ultrarunning, all of which cause noisy alarms to go off in my head whenever I see them. The four most frequent culprits are:

crazy
grueling
test[ing] limits
extreme

Rarely have I ever read an article about ultrarunning by a non-ultrarunner that does not use the word crazy to describe the . . . → Read More: Ultrarunning Hyperbole

Bone — Jeff Smith

Cover of Crown of Horns (Bone, Vol. 9)

Cover of Crown of Horns (Bone, Vol. 9) Exactly one year ago today Suzy and I attended the world premiere of a documentary about comic book artist Jeff Smith, who is from Columbus area, and a graduate of The Ohio Statue University. Smith is famous in . . . → Read More: Bone — Jeff Smith

A Thought on Literary Precision

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Compare the consequences of a lack of a single punctuation mark in English and in software. Imagine what would happen if high school students were not permitted to graduate for failing to insert a quotation mark in an essay.

I’ve heard the likely apocryphal story of how the lack of . . . → Read More: A Thought on Literary Precision

Fantastic Writing

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

At this moment my wife is sitting in the living room watching Lord of the Rings. I tried watching it when it first came out, but fell asleep, and have had no further interest in watching the others. I also fell asleep watching the first Harry Potter movie, . . . → Read More: Fantastic Writing

Icy Warts

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… or maybe the title should be Eye Sea Wards.

When I hear or speak words, I see them spelled out in my head. Similarly, when I read I tend to see the letters in individual words, so that when called upon to read out loud, I rarely mispronounce words, unless . . . → Read More: Icy Warts

Why Do I Write?

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Recently I posted a comment to an excellent article written by a friend on Ergo Sum. What I wrote works well as a standalone thought, so I decided to post it here as well.

Why do I write? One reason is to teach myself.

Whenever I begin to write something — as I have . . . → Read More: Why Do I Write?

Rant on Writing

This diatribe was originally foisted upon a class of unmotivated and nearly illiterate university students. It was my job to attempt to teach them something about Unix and Linux, while also demanding, as a matter of school policy, that they upgrade their largely nonexistent writing skills.

If you write well, you will be . . . → Read More: Rant on Writing

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