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Monthly Archive for: ‘January, 2012’

Word Pairs that Repeat Themselves

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He grew by leaps and bounds. We searched every nook and cranny. You will have to pick and choose. English is replete with redundancies. There is little to no difference between leaping and bounding, nooks and crannies, picking and choosing. Some language purists advocate the elimination of all redundant expressions, but I not only disagree, I think it’s a terrible …

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Girl Talks Backwards (Sdrawkcab Sklat Lrig)

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  This young lady has a gift — useless, yes, but astonishing nonetheless.   How does she do it? Does …

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Department of Redundancy Department, Part 3: When Repetition Is OK

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  In our previous two discussions of redundancy, we covered tautology, which is using different words to say the same …

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Shakespeare’s Most Amazing Word

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The Oxford English Dictionary attributes somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 words to William Shakespeare. He was certainly among the greatest word-coiners of all time, but his most fascinating word was not actually a coinage.

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Does Formula Writing Have a Bad Rap?

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Do you know the definition of “formula writing?” No? Neither did I. I’d heard of the term and held a vaguely uneasy prejudice against it. Still, it surprised me when an Essay I student’s mother accused me of teaching it.

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