Thursday, January 14, 2010

today's interesting read

Last night I oriented a very bright freshman gal to her new duties in RS. She is majoring in English, hopes to be an editor someday. Her speech and thoughtful demeanor (as in we discussed many books and what we thought was good writing) reveal her to be smart, unbelievably so. I enjoyed our conversation and then this morning in a bit of synchronicity I found this:

I am all red faced hoping that I didn’t ‘latinize’ my speech in an attempt to appear on equal footing.:)

Go have a read. It’s good, stick it out to the end.

From "Writing English as a Second Language":
So what is good English—the language we’re here today to wrestle with? It’s not as musical as Spanish, or Italian, or French, or as ornamental as Arabic, or as vibrant as some of your native languages. But I’m hopelessly in love with English because it’s plain and it’s strong. It has a huge vocabulary of words that have precise shades of meaning; there’s no subject, however technical or complex, that can’t be made clear to any reader in good English—if it’s used right. Unfortunately, there are many ways of using it wrong. Those are the damaging habits I want to warn you about today.

and then this:
Repeat after me:
 Short is better than long. 
Simple is good.

Long Latin nouns are the enemy.

Anglo-Saxon active verbs are your best friend.
 One thought per sentence.

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