Penina’s Paginations

For some, grammar might be understood as an attempt to control language, or to control a speaker. But the only way to establish complete control over a language is to kill it, which is probably or nearly impossible, because language possesses, like the planarian, the ability to reform or regenerate from a tiny piece ofContinue reading “Penina’s Paginations”

A Brief Statement on the Comma

The comma, which gives one pause; the comma which does not give one pause; the comma, at which point one pauses; the comma, a cockroach in the corner of the closet after all the clothes are cleaned out and the conversations are forgotten, hollow and cold; the comma that defies erasure, the comma that sticks;Continue reading “A Brief Statement on the Comma”

Two Hep Cats and the Cool Comma

Scamble: I met a comma at the bus stop this morning. … Did you hear what I said? I said, I met a comma, at the bus stop, this morning. Cramble: Be wary of commas. They’ll be on you like fleas. -Did you know the apostrophe is the feminine form of comma? -Band of punctuationContinue reading “Two Hep Cats and the Cool Comma”

Verlyn Klinkenborg: “Several short sentences about writing”

In the beginning was the word, and the word was a sentence. And the sentence was an assignment. And the assignment broiled in the brain, that alchemical brewpub of doubt. A devil came near, cooing, “Plagiarize, my dear; allow me to serve the sentence for you.” A good angel appeared: “Depart, ye fiends of papersContinue reading “Verlyn Klinkenborg: “Several short sentences about writing””

A Lot Ado About Nothing

I once spent a lot of time going to a lot of meetings where I took a lot of notes but also doodled a lot. Sometimes my neighbors showed an interest in my doodles, but not often. Over time I developed a disregard for the term a lot. A lot is used a lot asContinue reading “A Lot Ado About Nothing”

As You Like It: Rules for Writing

Back in February 2010, the Guardian posted an article titled “Ten rules for writing fiction.” Celebrated authors had been invited to submit ten of their writing rules. But rules often break down under pressure, we might find writers breaking their own, or the examples held up for adulation contain so many exceptions that the rule isContinue reading “As You Like It: Rules for Writing”

On Words

“Overrated and abused, underrated and reused, hyperbolized and underused, understated and overstated, restated and retracted, excused and double-downed, drowned and rusticated, nailed to a wall and drawn on a scroll, ignored and explored, welcomed and turned away, painted and scrawled, yelled and whispered, tattooed and erased, written down and written up, spelled out in theContinue reading “On Words”