"Late-1979, New York Times columnist William Safire compiled a list of "Fumblerules of Grammar" — rules of writing, all of which are humorously self-contradictory — and published them in his popular column, "On Language." Those 36 fumblerules can be seen below, along with another 18 that later featured in Safire's book, Fumblerules: A Lighthearted Guide to Grammar and Good Usage.
Remember to never split an infinitive. A preposition is something never to end a sentence with. The passive voice should never be used. Do not put statements in the negative form...."
Like other dictionaries, the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) is arranged alphabetically by headword, from A to Z.
What is different about DARE is that it shows where people use the words that are included. We all know, for example, that Americans have many names for the kind of sandwich that includes meats, cheeses, lettuce, tomatoes, etc., served in a long bun.
What DARE can tell you (and can often illustrate through the use of maps based on fieldwork) is where the words hero, hoagie, grinder, sub, torpedo, Cuban, etc. are the local terms for this sandwich. It can also tell you where people use the words darning needle, ear cutter, eye stitcher, mosquito (or skeeter) hawk, sewing needle, snake doctor, or snake feeder (among other terms) for a dragonfly.
The wordsmith and cultural historian debunks common myths about English, recommends the smartest writing about words, and says apostrophes are “orthographic squiggles” not worth fighting for...
Henry Hitchings is an author, reviewer and critic. He specialises in language and cultural history. The second of his four books, The Secret Life of Words, won the 2008 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and in 2009 he received a Somerset Maugham Award. In 2011, his latest book The Language Wars was published and he presented the BBC documentary Birth of the British Novel. Since 2009, he has been the theatre critic of the London Evening Standard
Writing Traits: Teaching the Skills of Conventions teacher-created resources and lessons...all focused on skills that make up the conventions trait
Conventions is a complex trait that should be discussed, explored, and further developed every year that students learn to write in school; both kindergartners and high school seniors can be taught to think about developmentally appropriate skills that are associated with conventions. This page contains conventions lessons and resources that we consider appropriate for sharing with third graders and up. If you are working with primary writers and the six traits, be sure to visit WritingFix's 6 Traits and Primary Writing Homepage.
Here's a post that grew out of a conversation I had recently in my online course: Teaching and Assessing Writing with the 6-Traits. The week we discuss conventions is always illuminating! ~ Dennis
Main point: Let's explicitly teach our students how to improve their spelling by seeing spell check and grammar check as individualized instruction from a slightly crazy robotic tutor. We can't always trust what the machine says. However it does give us a series of learning opportunities.
Our mission is to create a high-quality literary magazine written, edited, and published by high school students. We strive to build respectful, mutually beneficial, writer-editor relationships that form a community devoted to improving students’ literary skills in the areas of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.
A Bibliography for Teachers Interested in the Going Deep Guide: In 2006, the Northern Nevada Writing Project (sponsor of this free-to-use website) published a 196-page resource for teachers: The Going Deep with 6 Trait Language Guide.
The guide features trait-specific lessons and resources designed to help all students use 6 trait language better as they explore the act of writing. Many of the guide's lessons and resources cite awesome picture and chapter books as examples of powerfully crafted text to show and discuss with students. Many Northern Nevada school libraries made sure they had all cited books from the guide available to their teachers.
Yesterday, Snigdha Nandipali won the National Spelling Bee Championship to become the best American speller of the year 2012. It is pretty amazing how a young girl in her age could reach this towering achievement, it is as she said herself a miracle. I heard this piece of news on the radio as I was driving back home from work yesterday and the first thing I did when I logged on was I checked in Google for National Spelling Bee website. To my susrprise I found that the website itself is a great resource which deserves a fair review here.
Is the beloved paper dictionary doomed to extinction? In this infectiously exuberant talk, leading lexicographer Erin McKean looks at the many ways today's print dictionary is poised for transformation. As the CEO and co-founder of new online dictionary Wordnik, Erin McKean is reshaping not just dictionaries, but how we interact with language itself.
Each of the six writing traits--conventions included--can be broken down into multiple smaller writing skills that--when working together--make-up the bigger trait. Below, find some of our webmaster's favorite resources and lessons that focus specifically on just one of convention's sub-skill: spelling . A great writing teacher finds the time to teach conventional skills in context, which means the students apply the skills to a piece of writing they are creating, not a piece of writing that a daily oral language drill has provided.
Below are 20 common grammar mistakes I see routinely, not only in editorial queries and submissions, but in print: in HR manuals, blogs, magazines, newspapers, trade journals, and even best selling novels. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve made each of these mistakes a hundred times, and I know some of the best authors in history have lived to see these very toadstools appear in print. Let's hope you can learn from some of their more famous mistakes.
I've always taught the importance of reading a paper aloud. Every writer should do this when proofreading. Using an avatar as a part of the process makes sense. I've used VOKI, but this use never occurred to me. What do you think? ~ Dennis
Students use text-to-speech software (Web 2.0 Avatars) to listen to their writing aloud. We use this 21st century method for proofreading when students do not read over their writing or are unaware of mistakes in their story. Students use this self-discovery strategy of revision and editing in order to privately critique their own work before conferring with the teacher.
Learn how to teach and assess writing more effectively and help students understand the 6-Traits of good writing (voice, ideas, word choice, organization, sentence fluency & conventions). Explore strategies to enable learners to progress through higher standards and improve test scores. Participants get extensive hands-on practice assessing a variety of student samples using the 6-Traits rubric.
Asserting that one must first know the rules to break them, this classic reference book is a must-have for any student and conscientious writer. Intended for use in which the practice of composition is combined with the study of literature, it gives in brief space the principal requirements of plain English style and concentrates attention on the rules of usage and principles of composition most commonly violated.
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