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Once wildly popular in grammar schools across the country, sentence diagramming has fallen out of fashion. But are we that much worse for not knowing the word-mapping method? Now, in this illustrated personal history that any language lover will adore, Kitty Burns Florey explores the rise and fall of sentence diagramming, including its invention by a mustachioed man named Brainerd “Brainy” Kellogg and his wealthy accomplice Alonzo Reed ... the inferior “balloon diagram” predecessor ... and what diagrams of sentences by Hemingway, Welty, Proust, Kerouac and other famous writers reveal about them. Florey also offers up her own common-sense approach to learning and using good grammar. And she answers some of literature’s most pressing questions: Was Mark Twain or James Fenimore Cooper a better grammarian? What are the silliest grammar rules? And what’s Gertude Stein got to do with any of it?
Beginning with an introduction to the philosophy of learning through the process of play, this book brings you through a series of basic warm-up exercises that can be combined with later projects. Then you'll move quickly on to more challenging and engaging exercises, including word games, dimensional shapes, and inventive sketchbooks and letterforms, eventually creating a "toolkit" of ideas and skills developed through the process of play. This book features creative, adaptable ideas, and numerous examples of designers and artists responses to each exercise, giving you a peek into their way of thinking and seeing.
A writing handbook that celebrates the infinite pizzazz of verbs. Writers know it instinctively: Verbs make a sentence zing. Grammar gurus agree: Drama in writing emerges from the interplay of a subject (noun) and a predicate (verb). Constance Hale, the best-selling author of Sin and Syntax, zooms in on the colorful world of verbs. Synthesizing the pedagogical and the popular, the scholarly and the scandalous, Hale combines the wit of Bill Bryson with the practical wisdom of William Zinsser. She marches through linguistic history to paint a layered picture of our language—from before it really existed to the quirky usages we see online today. She warns about habits to avoid and inspires with samples of brilliant writing. A veteran teacher, Hale gives writing prompts along the way, helping readers “try, do, write, play.” Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch guides us to more powerful writing by demonstrating how to use great verbs with style.
“Charming and erudite," from the author of Enlightenment Now, "The wit and insight and clarity he brings . . . is what makes this book such a gem.” —Time.com Why is so much writing so bad, and how can we make it better? Is the English language being corrupted by texting and social media? Do the kids today even care about good writing—and why should we care? From the author of The Better Angels of Our Nature and Enlightenment Now. In this entertaining and eminently practical book, the cognitive scientist, dictionary consultant, and New York Times–bestselling author Steven Pinker rethinks the usage guide for the twenty-first century. Using examples of great and gruesome modern prose while avoiding the scolding tone and Spartan tastes of the classic manuals, he shows how the art of writing can be a form of pleasurable mastery and a fascinating intellectual topic in its own right. The Sense of Style is for writers of all kinds, and for readers who are interested in letters and literature and are curious about the ways in which the sciences of mind can illuminate how language works at its best.
"A witty and readable (and fetchingly illustrated and glossed) excursion through the history of handwriting." —The Wall Street Journal Let a self-confessed "penmanship nut" take you on a tour of the strange and beautiful world of handwriting. Since her Catholic school days learning the Palmer Method, Kitty Burns Florey has been in love with handwriting, and can't imagine a world where schools forego handwriting drills in favor of teaching something called keyboarding. In this "winsome mix of memoir and call to arms" (Chicago Tribune), Florey weaves together the evolution of writing implements and scripts, pen-collecting societies, the golden age of American penmanship, and the growth in popularity of handwriting analysis, and asks the question: Is writing by hand really no longer necessary in today's busy world? "Charmingly composed and handsomely presented," Script & Scribble traces the history of penmanship to the importance of writing by hand in an increasingly digital age (The Boston Globe). From the Trade Paperback edition.

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