Do you see any difference between example one and example two?
1. I love dogs. I hate cats.
2. I love dogs. I hate cats.
Anything stand out there?
Every now and then on this blog, we’ll step out of the world of books and into a world that makes the world of books possible. That would be the world of words. Words.
Today, let’s take a look at impossible-to-spell words. Or at least words that I find impossible to spell.
These aren’t words like pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis or even floccinaucinihilipilification (both actual words) that I couldn’t be expected to spell if you gave me 24 hours and one of those wild-eyed spelling bee kids, like this girl, as a tutor.
These are simple words, words that we’ve heard and written all our lives. But for some reason, these words are the bane of my spelling existence. I simply can’t put the letters in the right order.
How about some light-hearted content today?
Sadly, the greatest curmudgeon of our time, Andy Rooney, passed away recently. But that’s obviously not the light-hearted part of today’s post.
Rooney was definitely a grumpy old guy, almost like an old grandfather that rambles nonsensically about politics, religion, athletics, and you simply nod your head and think, “That’s just grandpa.”
We’ve already had a little fun at 101 Books with David Foster Wallace’s Grammar Quiz. As I mentioned in that post, DFW was a serious student of grammar, and he stressed proper English usage to his students.
But DFW realized what is accepted as “correct” grammar changes. He also realized his inclination to be a “snoot.” Read the following passage from his Harper’s essay called Tense Present: Democracy, English, and the Wars over Usage.
David Foster Wallace (why do I always feel obligated to say his full name?) was known to be a bit of a grammar nerd. His mother taught English in college, so he grew up in a house where proper English was militantly stressed. He taught writing and literature at Pomona College for many years before he died.
I thought we’d have a little fun today and take one of DFW’s grammar tests that I found online–over at HTML Giant.
Sadly, I only got 5 of 10, and I write English for a living and fake my way as a copyeditor on occasion. How well can you do? Determine what’s wrong with each sentence. Go here for the answers.
Here’s how DFW opens his quiz: “IF NO ONE HAS YET TAUGHT YOU HOW TO AVOID OR REPAIR CLAUSES LIKE THE FOLLOWING, YOU SHOULD, IN MY OPINION, THINK SERIOUSLY ABOUT SUING SOMEBODY, PERHAPS AS CO-PLAINTIFF WITH WHOEVER’S PAID YOUR TUITION”
I love quotes and tips about writing, especially from the great writers.
So, on occasion, I’ll throw a writing post into the mix–especially if it has something to do with an author on the Time list. In fact, the most popular post in the history of this blog is about writing.
Anyway, here are two of my favorite quotes about punctuation from two authors on the Time list: