Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Archive for the 'language' Category

Quick take: Skip the “took a”

Like many editors I’ve collected my own gaggle of words and phrases that I find annoying. I can become curmudgeonly if I spot certain words in a manuscript, especially when they’re abused and appear over and over. Now, I realize that taste and preference are highly subjective and chances are I might stand alone on […]

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Brian Doyle on Voice & Truth

“I was learning a lot of times what people said was not at all what they meant….It was hard to learn all the languages spoken in our house. There was the loose limber American language that we all spoke, and then there was the riverine sinuous Irish language that the old people spoke when they […]

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“Language is a living thing. We can feel it changing. Parts of it become old: they drop off and are forgotten. New pieces bud out, spread into leaves, and become big branches, proliferating.” – Gilbert Highet

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