One of the things everyone remembers about Shakespeare, whether they spent a few weeks on one play in high school or an entire semester on several plays in college, is that he wrote in iambic pentameter. Some may also have vague recollections about their teacher explaining that iambic pentameter isn't difficult to understand, because English "naturally" falls into its rhythms. Continue reading...
March 4th is National Grammar Day, so let's celebrate grammatically! As part of the festivities, the American Copy Editors Society has sponsored a grammar-themed haiku contest on Twitter. The entries have been submitted — enjoy them below. Continue reading...
Topics: Fun Grammar Poetry

Blog Excerpts

Get Your Haiku On for National Grammar Day

National Grammar Day, celebrated every year on March 4th, is just around the corner. This year, the American Copy Editors Society is sponsoring a Tweeted Haiku Contest. Just tweet your grammar-related haiku using the #GrammarDay hashtag and you'll be entered in the competition! The deadline is noon EST, Monday, March 3rd. You can read more details here, and check out last year's winners here.
Topics: Fun Grammar Poetry
National Grammar Day is just around the corner — it falls on Monday, March 4th (march forth, get it?). Among the festivities is the annual Grammar Haiku Contest, overseen by editor Mark Allen. In the contest, verbivores vie for glory by submitting grammar- or usage-based haikus on Twitter. This year, I've been asked to be a judge. Continue reading...
Topics: Poetry Fun Grammar
I was recently asked by a young and annoyingly successful poet how I thought language learners dealt with the special demands that poetry puts on the reader, and the discussion that followed led us into a marvelous land. Continue reading...

Blog Excerpts

To a Thesaurus

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Franklin P. Adams, a regular at the Algonquin Round Table in the 1920s and '30s, was a master of comic verse. His best-known work is no doubt "Baseball's Sad Lexicon," an ode to the Chicago Cubs double-play combination of "Tinker to Evers to Chance." The blog Futility Closet brings to our attention another playful ode by Adams that's right up our alley: "To a Thesaurus." Continue reading...
In high school we studied a poem by Robert Frost called "Design." It deposited enduring fragments that echo in our mind from time to time, and recently we spent a quiet afternoon in the Poetry Corner of the Lounge to revisit the poem. Continue reading...
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