October 5 is World Teachers’ Day
‘According to a Japanese proverb, “Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.” There’s truth in those words, as anyone who has ever had a great teacher will know!’
I’ve had a few teachers that had an impact on my life. The one who has always shined the brightest is Mr. Wright – my homeroom, civics, and government teacher.
Sadly, he passed away shortly after he retired from Lincoln Park High School, (Go Rails!).
Between Mr. Wright, and a friend named Alicia Burman, I pulled my act together, was inducted into the National Honor Society, and graduated LPHS with honors. I haven’t been able to locate Alicia since high school, social media hasn’t helped me on my quest at all. But… if she ever sees this blog – SUPER HUGS AND A MILLION THANK YOUS!
Fun With Grammar
Mnemonic Man by Steven Frank
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
mne-mon-ic (ni-MON-ic) noun
A device, such as a formula or rhyme, used as an aid in remembering.
Gk. mnemonikos, of memory; rel. to Mnemosyne, the Goddess of memory.
Mne-mon-ic Man (ni-MON-ic man) noun
A superhero from outer space who coaches humans on grammar, dating, and other survival skills.
Written by Steven Frank, Mnemonic Man is a ‘graphic romance for the grammatically challenged’.
It’s very cute & fun read, filled with tons of NtK grammar facts. You can also take THE MNEMONIC CHALLENGE at the end of the book. It’s one that I’m happy I have in my collection – I just need to remember to use it!
*The comics probably look a little better in the paperback edition
WORD CRIMES is a general send-up of people with poor grammar.
“If you can’t write in the proper way / if you don’t know how to conjugate,” “maybe you flunked that class / and maybe now you find that people mock you online.”
He eventually delves into some brief grammar lessons, so you might actually learn a thing or two about parts of speech by listening.
How To Be A Grammar Nazi
Murder! Call the Grammar Police!
1. the willful distortion or depreciation of the original meaning of a word.
2. a person who willfully distorts the meaning of a word.
1. Life and language are alike sacred. Homicide and verbicide–that is, violent treatment of a word with fatal results to
legitimate meaning, which is its life–are alike forbidden.Oliver Wendell Holmes, “The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table,”
The Atlantic Monthly, 1857
2. Men often commit verbicide because they want to snatch a word as a party banner, to appropriate its ‘selling quality’. C.S. Lewis, Studies in Words, 1960
Verbicide joins a variant of the Latin verbum, meaning “word,” with -cide, a suffix used in the formation of compound words that means “killer” or “act of killing.”
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Original post by Adrienne Crezo / Mental Floss
Because sometimes periods, commas, colons, semi-colons, dashes, hyphens, apostrophes, question marks, exclamation points, quotation marks, brackets, parentheses, braces, and ellipses won’t do.
1. INTERROBANG – ‽
You probably already know the interrobang, thanks to its excellent moniker and increasing popularity. Though the combination exclamation point and question mark can be replaced by using one of each (You did what!? or You don’t read mental_floss?!), it’s fun to see the single glyph getting a little more love lately.
2. PERCONTATION POINT OR RHETORICAL QUESTION MARK – ؟
The backward question mark was proposed by Henry Denham in 1580 as an end to a rhetorical question, and was used until the early 1600s.
3. IRONY MARK
It looks a lot like the percontation point, but the irony mark’s location is a bit different, as it is smaller, elevated, and precedes a statement to indicate its intent before it is read. Alcanter de Brahm introduced the idea in the 19th century, and in 1966 French author Hervé Bazin proposed a similar glyph in his book, Plumons l’Oiseau, along with 5 other innovative marks.
4. LOVE POINT
Among Bazin’s proposed new punctuation was the love point, made of two question marks, one mirrored, that share a point. The intended use, of course, was to denote a statement of affection or love, as in “Happy anniversary [love point]” or “I have warm fuzzies [love point]” If it were easier to type, I think this one might really take off.
5. ACCLAMATION POINT
Bazin described this mark as “the stylistic representation of those two little flags that float above the tour bus when a president comes to town.” Acclamation is a “demonstration of goodwill or welcome,” so you could use it to say “I’m so happy to see you [acclamationpoint]” or “Viva Las Vegas [acclamationpoint]”
6. CERTITUDE POINT
Need to say something with unwavering conviction? End your declaration with the certitude point, another of Bazin’s designs.
7. DOUBT POINT
This is the opposite of the certitude point, and thus is used to end a sentence with a note of skepticism.
8. AUTHORITY POINT
Bazin’s authority point “shades your sentence” with a note of expertise, “like a parasol over a sultan.” (Well, I was there and that’s what happened.) Likewise, it’s also used to indicate an order or advice that should be taken seriously, as it comes from a voice of authority.
The SarcMark (short for “sarcasm mark”) was invented, copyrighted and trademarked by Paul Sak, and while it hasn’t seen widespread use, Sak markets it as “The official, easy-to-use punctuation mark to emphasize a sarcastic phrase, sentence or message.” Because half the fun of sarcasm is pointing it out [SarcMark].
10. SNARK MARK – .~
This, like the copyrighted SarcMark, is used to indicate that a sentence should be understood beyond the literal meaning. Unlike the SarcMark, this one is copyright free and easy to type: it’s just a period followed by a tilde.
11. ASTERISM – ⁂
This cool-looking but little-used piece of punctuation used to be the divider between subchapters in books or to indicate minor breaks in a long text. It’s almost obsolete, since books typically now use three asterisks in a row to break within chapters (***) or simply skip an extra line. It seems a shame to waste such a great little mark, though. Maybe we should bring this one back.
12 & 13. EXCLAMATION COMMA & QUESTION COMMA
Now you can be excited or inquisitive without having to end a sentence! A Canadian patent was filed for these in 1992, but it lapsed in 1995, so use them freely, but not too often.
Originally posted 10/7/12 – Mental Floss
Yeah, these are cool, but…
What’s the point if these are not readily available on your keyboard, or if they’re copyrighted (!?) so we can’t use them anyway?
I did a post a while back, originally posted at College Humor, that gave new punctuation, along with a downloadable file of the punctuation used in it! THOSE are awesome!! I have them downloaded into my photo-editing program on my Kindle, and all but one of them work. (The hand-quotes don’t show up, and that makes me sad. I’d of used those the most!)
Until I can link you to the original post, I have notes saved – screen shots edited onto one page, showing what they are.