Monday, 30 January 2012

Everything You Thought You Knew About Learning Is Wrong

Well, not everything. But there are some good, and perhaps counterintuitive, study tips here. I thought I was bad for doing 'interleaving', so it's good to hear that this is an effective strategy.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Letters of Note: Thou eunuch of language

Language fight! Issues of language usage, standards, dialect and identity do raise people's hackles. Here's Robert Burns' furious slating of a critic of his Scots dialect.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The Great Vowel Shift

Melinda Menzer's very handy GVS site from Furman University - with sound files and widgets as well as diagrams and explanations of the GVS. You don't need to memorise every detail for A Level study - but an awareness of its existence can help explain orthographic changes in texts over time, especially Middle and Early Modern texts.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Plot to Script: This is How I Do It

A detailed account of scripting comics books – with planning, replanting, drafting, redrafting, revisions and more.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

CSUN's Middle English resource

This is a gem of an extract about the transition from Old to Middle English, with lots of excellent examples, practice exercises, explanations and more. Summarises much of the first part of our Language Variation section at A2. CSUN's other resources for their English 400 course are good and readable too.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Nine ways scientists demonstrate they don't understand journalism

One often reads the opposite article – science-savvy writers complaining about the corruption of their discoveries by the brute carvery of journalism – but here is a canny response, defending and justifying the demands of journalistic prose.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

The 50 Most Brilliant, Obnoxious, Or Delightfully Sociopathic Facebook Posts Of 2011

I don't know quite how they decided on or classified these particular 50 as the post title claims - but this is a treasure trove of a) LOLs, b) pragmatics, c) rudeness.

Geared towards creative and fiction writers, this blog of quotations from well-known authors includes tips for all genres, including your academic writing. 


Friday, 13 January 2012

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

12 Tips For The Young Games Journalist

Most of these are practical tips about working culture. But I'd draw your attention to tip number 8. :)

12 Tips For The Young Games Journalist

Monday, 9 January 2012

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Thoughts on Writing

In a so-far-rare turn of events, this post will represent a few of my own thoughts on language and writing, rather than linking elsewhere. Of course I'm doing so as a way of procrastinating on writing which I should be doing: a conference review for the Sussex University online journal Excursions.

I'm finding it tricky work, and a useful insight into the challenges presented by my own students, especially in the coursework they're required to do. Perhaps it's because I've had a full weekend of other commitments; but then we all have those. Perhaps it's because this one is to be published, so there's pressure to get it right: it'll be on display, with my name attached, so it matters. Well: so far, so like coursework; there's no taking that back once it's submitted either.

Writing for a journal is perhaps an especially tricky ask. The writing needs to be academic – so, cut those clich├ęs – but nonetheless, to some degree journalistic and readable. Also, you have a word count to consider; so there's pressure to be concise. Again: just like with coursework. Finally, you feel you owe it, in a conference review, to accurately and adequately represent those whose work you are discussing – especially where you spent time talking to them about it in the pub afterwards.

A blog post is, perhaps, not so much of a worry. You can go on as long as you want, within reasonable bounds. A stylistic slip isn't the end of the world; you can always edit the post later.  And the readership is smaller too. (Unless you're John Gruber, for example.)

So writing for my supper helps me to feel my students' pain. But it also reminds me of some core things which I've posted articles about earlier today: getting every piece of punctuation right is important. Proofreading your work is non-negotiable. Planning ahead is the only way you'll get the material covered. And, finally, you can't beat practice.

11 Ways To Use Commas Properly

Neatly worded tips on polishing up your written accuracy. AO1.

11 Ways To Use Commas Properly

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Vintage Ads

What a convenient archive! REAL advertisement messages from THE PAST to YOUR computation device! Be the envy of other linguists with this ECLECTIC collection. Just click the link below and be transported to a world of VINTAGE ADS.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Top artists reveal how to find inspiration

A lengthy – so, skimmable – list of tips, wisdom and suggestions from a range of creative people, including writers of several flavours.

Top artists reveal how to find creative inspiration