Tag Archives: grammar

What Makes a Poem ‘Hard’?

“Syntax” is the answer to the fudgy question. It’s hard to reach image and reference through muddy syntax. In narrative and exposition, context comes to the rescue; in poetry often not, because a poet revels in flare-gunning lap dance moon … Continue reading

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What Does a Poem Teach? Fluidity

Excerpts are from the poem “A Future History” by Suzi L. Garcia (Poetry, March 2020). A muster of peacocks show off their tails, but instead of feathers, knives. This line introduces me to “muster,” a collective noun applied to peacocks. … Continue reading

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Manifestoid 1 of 2

A correspondent writes: Watched the lunchtime news, it veers between positivity and warnings that leaves the head spinning and the heart pumping. In that last sentence, should it be ‘leave’ or ‘leaves’. I had ‘leaves’ because it is the veering … Continue reading

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They Says It

the tru-est words they says is that there are no per se true words for it for ev-‘ry thing has a no-thing if a sin-gle per-son ut-ter it they is the ip-so fac-to ut-ter-er of it if a sin-gle per-son … Continue reading

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Cutting Slack

Rather than fostering some new sense of civic unity, the virus is just as likely to worsen inequality further [my bolding]. (Farhad Manjoo, “San Francisco Beat the Virus. But It’s Still Breaking My Heart,” NYTimes, 5-13-20) Calling out infelicities of … Continue reading

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“Forebode”? Verboten!

But some religious authorities, too, have acted with anti-adaptive zeal. In my own Catholicism, the diocese of Raleigh, N.C., didn’t just cancel Masses and close churches; it forebode [my bolding] its priests to attempt experiments like drive-through confessions that might … Continue reading

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Knotty, Naughty “Not”

Americans need leaders who rise to the occasion, not [my bolding] worry about their own pocketbooks. (The Editorial Board, “Did Richard Burr and Kelly Loeffler Profit From the Pandemic?” NYTimes, 3-20-20) I haven’t read this particular article, but my reflexive … Continue reading

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Latinx Redux

Dr. García Peña has been involved in… the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures’ program in Latinx studies [my bolding]. (Latinx is a gender-neutral term for people of Latin American heritage, used commonly in academia.) (Kate Taylor, “Denying a Professor … Continue reading

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Tenseness Sought in Firm Times

But the president can still be reasonably held responsible for the urgency with which [etc.]… the speed at which [etc.]… the pressure brought to bear [etc.]… and the use of presidential rhetoric [etc.]…. Is it still necessary to point out … Continue reading

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Such Ado About Something

Two bits in this opinion piece by Shmuel Rosner have an off ring, one solecistic, the other non-colloquial. But most Israeli voters would support such move. Most of them voted for parties that support such move. “Such” here is an … Continue reading

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