Tag Archives: grammar

Pausing to Remark

A former associate stumbled upon this blog recently and wrote to me. She had read some older posts in which I challenged certain language practice encountered in published articles. It’s true I experimented for a time with adopting the persona … Continue reading

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‘Inclusive Writing’

The French controversy over “inclusive writing” has surfaced.* Cole Stangler, “France Is Becoming More Like America. It’s Terrible,” NYTimes, 6-2-21.Annabelle Timsit, “The Push to Make French Gender-Neutral,” http://www.theatlantic.com, 11-24-17. Here are examples that have been cited: les musicien·ne·s (the musicians)les … Continue reading

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Adverb Rebellion

This passage from a fellow blogger (cap doff to) caught my eye: Reality? Well it starts to mock back at your face, you get surrounded by the clouds of regret, cry on the ashes of your pretentious bliss and feel … Continue reading

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Semicolon Rebellion

Use a semicolon to separate two independent clauses — i.e., two sentences that work on their own — which are closely sequential: “I finished a painting today; it went better than I thought it would.” Or in order to separate … Continue reading

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What It Means

The so-called ‘ethical dative’ or ‘dative of interest’, where the use of an indirect object pronoun expresses the involvement of the subject in the action of the verb, intensifies such feelings as sadness, happiness and mockery. Ten cuidado, y no … Continue reading

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‘Blurred Stupid Dulled’

Hilma af Klint inspires a certain perfervid evangelism which is diluted in this article by careless editing. The article cites a beautiful film by Halina Dyrschka about the visionary artist’s astonishing work. The beguiled film maker contracted [sic] MoMA to … Continue reading

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Friday Morning

I’m struggling. My remote interlocutor in life of the mind is keeping me afloat insofar as having a rational dialog with someone. But that dialog is private. Of the muchness on my mind, I’m conflicted as to which of it … Continue reading

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The Gargoyles’ Grin

In 1915, Wallace Stevens offered Harriet Monroe, founder of Poetry (the magazine), several poems that included Disillusionment of Ten O’Clock. “She returned them… finding them ‘recondite, erudite, provocatively obscure… all with ‘a kind of modern-gargoyle grin to them,’” writes Stevens … Continue reading

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Prosodic Moments in Poeisis

In English, the difficulty of perceiving even brief isosyllabic lines as rhythmically equivalent is aggravated by the inordinate power of stressed syllables… The mashup of mystification about versifying that’s available online furnishes what I call Prosodic Moments — when phraseology … Continue reading

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Poetry Frisson

The poem is “That Other” by Joyce Carol Oates (Poetry*, July/August 2020). Reading this miniature is like encountering a firm pack of beach after jogging on dry sand. The poem is accessible while allusive, and wry. It crystallizes for me, … Continue reading

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