Archive for the ‘Reference’ category

Three Uses of the Knife

Mamet’s opening line stops me in my tracks. ‘It is in our nature to dramatize.’ (p.1) Well, really? Let’s unravel this: dramatisation is part of human behaviour, we dramatise—this is very obvious. An organism’s ‘nature’ is, by definition, what it does. Maybe I’m falling prey to my own critique of the shiftless modern reader, but isn’t this a little prosaic…

The Heath Introduction to Fiction, 6th Edition

The Internet, in spite of its negative aspects, provides an opportunity to diversify. We have easier access to global fiction and a much larger map of less familiar worlds than ever before in our history. We should explore those worlds fully with innocent, wondering eyes, not thrash around in their waters…

The Lexicographer’s Dilemma

I started reading avidly for three reasons: I discovered that fiction was often much more interesting than my real life; I wanted to prove to everyone how smart I was through the number of books I could finish in a week; and I developed this little voice at the back of my head…

New Finnish Grammar

Is it more difficult to be physically alone, in an isolated place, or to be without a friend in a crowded city? In a world of almost total connectivity, we are never far from the Twitter-sphere. Although I’m not on Facebook, I am blessed with real friends and a large family.

Woe is I

Considering the state of the informal dialogue you hear on the street and the bloody psychotic emphasis on cutting sentiments down to fewer and fewer characters, it’s difficult to believe that anyone other than editors and devout wordsmiths would bother spending time with O’Conner. And that makes me sad because she’s funny and witty and makes a book about rules a really fun read. O’Conner has managed to write a book about grammar…