Archive | Language/Lit

Sweat and Skin

photo credit: katielann12 Everyone’s always talking about how our big brains make us different from other animals. Hah! The real difference is in our naked skin and our millions of juicy sweat glands. Apparently, we have the most efficient sweating system on the planet. Sure, some animals have big teeth, or can fly. Whatever. We’ve […]

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We’ve Moved!

This is just a test, really. I moved weeklyrob to a new server, and I’m just checking the rss feed. If you subscribe, and you get this, that’s good. If you don’t get this, please let me know (ha ha).

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Cheating on Weeklyrob

I’ve been busy setting up a blog for writing and technical communication. So, poor weeklyrob has just sat here twiddling its thumbs while I call and say that I’m working late, or going to an out-of-town convention. But except for some tweaks and minor changes, I’ve set it up over there. Now I need to […]

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Words Have Meanings

Words have meanings. I know, that’s even more obvious than most of the stuff you read here. But today, as a special gift to you, there’s a twist. I don’t mean that words have definitions. They do, of course, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about meaning beyond definition. Stop being coy, […]

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Yet Another Post about English Usage (Cry for Help Edition)

Terribly sorry for my monomania, but these things stick in my head. This time, I’m not telling you what I know, really. I’m admitting to a problem. I don’t know how to show possession in certain circumstances. But first, let’s talk about the word “who.” Come on, you know you want to. “Who” implies a […]

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The Six Stages of Word Grief

I’ve posted before about the stages that a word goes through on the road from being considered incorrect to being considered above reproach. You know, at first it’s totally wrong, then time goes by, etc. etc., and you really should read the other post. Words like transpire (now meaning “happen,” if you’re trying to look smart); oxymoron (now meaning “contradiction […]

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Contractions Are Your Friend

I have a running battle with people who ask me to write something for them, then ask that I take out all the contractions. For some reason, a lot of people think that formal language is smart language. So they eliminate contractions, or choose big, impersonal words (like “utilize”) instead of little friendly words (like […]

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Xerxes Was Nuts

I’m reading A History of Histories (review and review). The basic idea, I gather, is that when someone writes a history, that piece of writing is itself a part of history. That piece of writing gives us an indication of what people at the time of the writing felt about history and how they fit […]

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Of Bikes and Faks

Why did people start calling the bicycle a bike? Why not a bice? A facsimile became a fax, but it would have easy to call is a fak, right? I don’t get it.

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