Tagged writing

Text Message Abbreviations

There are few who will argue against the fact that modern language has degenerated with the advance of on-line communications – particularly our use of strings of abbreviations when we send text messages. For your reference to this new world of abbreviations, we have compiled some of the most commonly used: AFK – away from the keyboard ASL? – Age? Sex? Location? B4 – before BAK – back at the keyboard BBL – be back later BCNU – be seeing you BRB – be right back BTW – by the way FAQs – frequently asked questions IMHO – in my…

Ernest Hemingway on his craft of writing

All good books have one thing in common – they are truer than if they had really happened, and after you’ve read one of them you will find that all that happened, happened to you and then it belongs to you forever: the happiness and unhappiness, good and evil, ecstasy and sorrow, the food, wine, beds, people and the weather. If you can give that to readers, then you’re a writer. Any man’s life, told truly, is a novel. There is no rule on how it is to write. There are events which are so great that if a writer…

The Five Oldest Words

Of all languages, throughout the ages, around the globe, there are five words that are today recognized as “the oldest.” University of Reading evolutionary biologist Mark Pagel studies have concluded the oldest words as: I Who Two Three Five These words are the most often used in daily speech – their forms or sounds date back over 10,000 years. Some of the other oldest words in mankind’s communicative history are: We Thou Name Tongue What How Where Four This extraordinary work was first reported in a 2009 issue of National Geographic, but detailed reports about Professor Pagel’s study are found…

A lesson in punctuation

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Henry Miller’s 10 Commandments for Writers

Work on one thing at a time until finished. Start no more new books, add no more new material to “Black Spring.” Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time! When you can’t create you can work. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only. Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate.…

Margaret Atwood’s 10 Rules for Writers

Take a pencil to write with on airplanes. Pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you can’t sharpen it on the plane, because you can’t take knives with you. Therefore: take two pencils. If both pencils break, you can do a rough sharpening job with a nail file of the metal or glass type. Take something to write on. Paper is good. In a pinch, pieces of wood or your arm will do. If you’re using a computer, always safeguard new text with a ­memory stick. Do back exercises. Pain is distracting. Hold the reader’s attention. (This is likely to…

Of Virtues and Vices

Writers will appreciate these listings… and, at the office, perhaps they will serve as good reference(s) for spicing up the next meeting? The 7 holy virtues: Faith – complete trust Hope – to expect with confidence Charity – goodwill and the love of humanity Prudence – control and discipline Justice – being impartial and fair Temperance – moderation in action Fortitude – strength The 7 deadly sins: Pride – excessive belief in one’s own abilities Envy – excessive desire for possession of another’s Gluttony – consuming more than one needs Lust – excessive thoughts and actions of a carnal nature Anger –…

Writers on writing

I struggled in the beginning. I said I was going to write the truth, so help me God. And I thought I was. I found I couldn’t. Nobody can write the absolute truth. – Henry Miller A good writer is basically a story teller, not a scholar or a redeemer of mankind. – Isaac Bashevis Singer A writer and nothing else: a man alone in a room with the English language, trying to get human feelings right. – John K. Hutchens How can I know what I think till I see what I say? – E.M. Forster A writer is…

Vonnegut’s 8 rules for writing

In his book Bagombo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction, American author Kurt Vonnegut listed eight rules for writing a short story: Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water. Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action. Start as close to the end as possible. Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent…

Top 10 Funny-Sounding and Interesting Words

Here is an interest top-ten list. The Merriam Webster dictionary has listed the 10 most funny sounding and interesting words.   Bumfuzzle / to confuse; perplex; fluster Cattywampus / (dialect) askew, awry, kitty-corner Gardyloo / used in Edinburgh as a warning cry when it was customary to throw slops from the windows into the streets Taradiddle / 1 : a fib 2 : pretentious nonsense Billingsgate / coarsely abusive language Snickersnee / 1. (archaic) to engage in cut-and-thrust fighting with knives 2 : a large knife Widdershins / in a left-handed or contrary direction; counterclockwise Collywobbles / pain in the…