Below you will find the most popular articles of the past month. Check them out to make sure you have not missed any.
- A Writer Can be Anyone or Anything: I attended a writers’ workshop session at which a minor, but much-published author warned participants against creating POV (point of view) characters of the opposite sex.
- Found Any Eggcorns Lately?: A friend recently pointed me to a linguistic term that I hadn’t seen before: eggcorn (or egg corn). It seems that in certain dialects eggcorn is a homonym for acorn, as Mark Liberman reported on the Language Log in September 2003. It turns out that there are hundreds of these eggcorns in common use. But what exactly is it, in linguistic terms?
- Alas, Poor Heroine: Anyone who has ever taught knows The Look. It is the eye-rolling look students throw at one another when the behind-the-times teacher uses what she thinks is a perfectly ordinary word, unaware that the word has taken on a new meaning.
- Onomatopoeia (it is not something to eat): Onomatopoeia (on-O-mat-O-P-ya) is a word that’s hard to spell but easy to understand. Derived from the Greek words for name and making, onomatopoeia refers to the literary device of making words that imitate sounds. It’s a way to emphasize the sounds and it’s a technique we use often. In fact, many of us may not know it, but we’re using onomatopoeia when we teach children the sounds that animals make.
- Daily Writing Tips Spelling Test 1: Spelling mistakes represent a common problem on the Internet. Sometimes just one letter separates two words with completely different meanings. Other times we end up transposing a vowel, and the result is hardly noticeable by the eye. Regardless, you should make sure that spelling mistakes are not crippling your writing, and this test is a good opportunity to do so. Here is a teaser.
- No Country for English: In preparing to write a review of No Country for Old Men, I glanced at some online discussions of the film to see what other people were saying. The grammarian in me overcame the movie critic as I found myself paying more attention to the mode of expression than the thoughts being expressed.
- How to Write an SEO Article – Part 1: In a recent article, A Freelance Writer’s Basic Guide to SEO, we had several requests asking how SEO knowledge can be used in practice, when writing articles. Naturally, we are only too happy to oblige.
- The Difference Between “will” and “shall”: In modern English will and shall are helping verbs. They are used with other verbs, but lack conjugations of their own. Both are signs of the future tense.