November 23, 2009 |
The :nv:s:ble Play is a diacritically witty title: Whenever Colin, one of the heroes in Alex Dremann's play, dispatches an e-mail, the "sender" field appears merely as the punctuation mark ":" (colon) - which has a slightly different pronunciation. It's amusing in a couple of ways: Director Bill Felty's Philadelphia Theatre Workshop production is about book editors, so punctuation is second nature to them. And, existentially speaking, Colin is becoming invisible. Dremann's publishing house specializes in existential books - existential yoga, existential romance novels.
March 14, 2004 |
So its logical isnt it to start a column about the joys and necessity of punctuation without any at all driving home the point that the dots commas and dashes we find so cumbersome actually make communication quicker and more accurate than the sloppy jumble of words that too often passes for english on this side of the atlantic and judging from lynne truss new book on the other side as well It says something about the British that one of the...
April 27, 2009 |
My savvy Great-Aunt Mary recently recommended that I read Eats, Shoots & Leaves, a book about the failing state of punctuation in Britain (though the United States isn't doing much better). It's (note the well-placed apostrophe) entirely possible that my aunt noticed a punctuation mistake in something I wrote, but more likely that she aimed to plant the seed of a stickler (author Lynne Truss' term for the grammatically correct) in a writer from my generation. While I share Truss' disappointment with the state of punctuation and grammar - particularly in informal media such as text messages and blogs - I was particularly struck by a sentiment in her preface: "The disappearance of punctuation ... indicates an enormous shift in our attitude to the written word, and nobody knows where it will end. " Widespread neglect of apostrophes and commas isn't likely to scare any college student (or blogger)
January 7, 1990 |
If the sentence sounds right, most people scribble it down. What difference will a missing comma or two make? Others will know what they mean - right? Wrong. Gene Robertson cringes at such thoughts. In his class, you had better know your apostrophes and your commas, your semicolons and your hyphens. And you better know your rules of punctuation. Robertson teaches a secretarial class. His course, which lasts for three months, is held six hours a day, every week day, at the A.P. Orleans Center, 1330 Rhawn St. Students receive lessons in typing, filing, operating computers and other office machines, record-keeping, accounting, resume-writing and interviewing for jobs.
January 30, 1990 |
Once again we are pleased to present Mister Language Person, the internationally recognized expert and author of the authoritative "Oxford Cambridge Big Book o' Grammar. " Q. What is the difference between "criteria" and "criterion"? A. These often-confused words belong to a family that grammarians call "metronomes," meaning "words that have the same beginning but lay eggs underwater. " The simplest way to tell them apart is to remember that "criteria" is used in the following type of sentence: "When choosing a candidate for the United States Congress, the main criteria is, hair.
September 25, 1987 |
The American premiere of "Nodiho," an African dance opera. Directed by Dokolo Nzabididi Ya Bilengo, choreography by Tampise Sura Beyung and Wazungu Bilengo, lighting design by Whitney Quesenbery. Presented by the American Music Theater Festival in cooperation with Mwenzo-Africa at the Annenberg School Theatre, 3680 Walnut St., through Sunday. In this, its fourth season, the American Music Theater Festival has for the first time veered away from the stated purpose of its founders to "build the future of a distinctive American art form.
May 14, 1999 |
Saul Steinberg, whose pen-and-ink epigrams graced the pages of the New Yorker and the walls of the Metropolitan Museum, died Wednesday at his Manhattan home. He was 84. Throughout his career, the Romanian-born, Italian-educated American emigre hopped between cultures, erasing the border between fine and commercial art. Most critics dodged the issue of whether to describe Mr. Steinberg as an artist or a graphic artist by likening his line to the fractured Cubist geometry of Picasso, his whimsy to the playful flourish of Klee and his metaphysics to the surrealism of Magritte.
September 6, 2007 |
As the yellow school bus starts coming around again this fall, it's time for parents and students to start thinking earnestly of school. For a lot of young people, especially teens, the first few days of school are exciting, a time to compare summer adventures, scope out the new fashions, and reconnect with peers. I wonder how many of them will share summer experiences that had something - anything - to do with writing. Not many, I bet. Students are too busy being weaned on high-stakes tests and fill-in-the-blank pedagogy that permeate many of our schools.
June 29, 2012 |
Saturn rises and returns, and people move in and out of the iterations of their lives: Weddings, divorces, degrees, Pilates, children, vacation, coffee. There is only so much one can fit into a day, a decade, a life. And yet while others may have to take the GRE or write half a dozen cover letters to explore a divergence from the path they're currently plodding, I have only to check my e-mail. The Other Megan Ritchie is a recent graduate of a film academy in New Zealand; I know this because I received her final transcript.
January 8, 2015 |
Just 13 letters have created some of the longest moments of my life. When it comes to my last name - Edinger-Turoff - I have to spell it out to make doctor appointments, or when I introduce myself. During standardized tests in school, it was commonplace to alert a teacher because it didn't fit in the prescribed number of boxes. Upon signing up for utilities at my apartment, the company couldn't verify my identity because my Social Security number didn't match the last name in the system.