Archive | Language/Lit

Hidden Meanings in Language

Language is funny. This post doesn’t give any helpful tips about using language, or about writing. But I recently thought of one of many examples of how native speakers use language in a way that might seem inscrutable to new speakers. Think of the difference between asking: Are you cold? And Aren’t you cold? Strangely, […]


Twitter is OK

I recently heard a news story about a teacher using Twitter in her 8th grade classroom. She teaches and the kids tweet questions, answers, thoughts, and general feedback. Apparently, the teacher finds that students are more willing to respond (even the shy ones), and they respond more quickly. The response to this idea has been […]


Catch Your Breath

“We were both running, then we had to stop to catch our breath.” It’s not “catch our breaths,” even though each person has his own breath. Go figure.


Don’t Try

Ok, I’ve been asked for more thoughts. Here’s a bit more. Writing advice from Charles Bukowski: Don’t try. In a letter, linked below, he points out that writing comes naturally to writers. In fact, writers can’t stop it, even if they want to. I agree with all of that, though I think that it does […]



Weeklyrob is taking a break. Or going away and never coming back. I’m not sure. Sigh. I’m just too busy and lazy to bother. Between moving continents and switching jobs and keeping up my other web site, I just don’t have the interest any more. I probably will again someday. If you’re subscribed, and if […]


I Could Care Less

Ladies and Gentlemen, another crossover from my writing blog (Save the Semicolon): From all the language pet peeves that I hear about, the phrase “I could care less” seems to peeve people the most. Well, let’s say it’s tied with “irregardless.” Taken on its own, of course, if Rhett Butler had said, “Frankly, my dear, […]


Authors: Lynd Ward and Anthony Powell

Have you ever read 11 novels in a 12 novel cycle, and just wanted it all to end? Have you ever read 11 novels in a 12 novel cycle? I have! Anthony Powell‘s vast series, “A Dance to the Music of Time,” seemed like a good idea back when I started it. 11 novels ago. […]


Comprise and Utilize

This is a short post with two requests: If you feel the need to say, “utilize,” would you please have a really good reason not to just say “use”? If you want to say that something is composed of things, please say “composed” rather than “comprised.” Thanks for your help!


Seriously, Exercise Doesn’t Lead to Weight Loss

I’m on vacation, and writing this on my phone, so this will be short (and contain no pics or links). I just heard a BBC report about a study saying that children who are overweight are less likely to exercise, but children who don’t exercise are NOT more likely to become overweight. In short, we […]


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