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Monthly Archive for: ‘January, 2012’

How Not To Argue: Straw Man

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Arguments get pretty ugly these days. But they don’t have to. Reasoned argument can be a good thing, but we need to learn how to argue reasonably. That means learning to avoid fallacies like the ubiquitous Straw Man Fallacy.

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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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