Friday, January 19, 2018

The ten pronunciations of -ough

I found this fun graphic at Twitter.

And if you are wondering about the word lough, it's an Anglo-Irish word, which you might know as in the Scottish word "loch" ... as in "Loch Ness" and that lake's famous monster:

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Page Limits

Sometimes you might struggle with the minimum word count on an assignment, and sometimes you might struggle with the maximum word count. I thought this cartoon from PhD Comics had a great take on that:

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

I Say "Tang!"

There are all kinds of "minced oaths" that are commonly used in English, like "darn" or "shoot" or (one of my own personal favorites), "criminy." You can read more about these words at Wikipedia: Minced Oath.

Word from Mythology: Atlas

The English word atlas refers to a book that contains maps, and it got its name from the Greek Titan god, Atlas. You can read more about Atlas at Wikipedia.

The use of "atlas" in English to mean a collection of maps dates to 1636 when an English translation was published of Gerhardus Mercator's Atlas, sive cosmographicae meditationes de fabrica mundi ("Atlas, or cosmographical meditation on the construction of the world"), first published in 1585.

Mercator chose the title Atlas for his book because of the legend that Atlas holds up the pillars of the heavens, his punishment for having fought against Zeus and the Olympian gods in the battle called the Titanomachy.

The statue below shows the Farnese Atlas; more at Wikipedia:

This is a statue of Atlas on the Schloss Linderhof:

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Use all the colors.

As a writer, words are your paint.
Use all the colors.

Here is a fuller version of the quote from Rhys Alexander: Detail makes the difference between boring and terrific writing. It's the difference between a pencil sketch and a lush oil painting. As a writer, words are your paint. Use all the colors.