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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.
"Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch is more than just a writing handbook; it’s a key to unlocking every writer’s innate creativity by offering countless paths to verbal expressiveness." —San Francisco Chronicle Great sentences pivot on great verbs. In Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch, Constance Hale, best-selling author of Sin and Syntax, zeroes in on verbs that make bad writing sour and good writing sing. Each chapter in Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch features four sections: “Vex” tackles tough syntax, “Hex” debunks myths about verbs, “Smash” warns of bad writing habits, and “Smooch” showcases exemplary writing. A veteran journalist and writing teacher, Hale peppers her advice with pop-culture references and adapts her expertise for writers of every level. With examples ranging from the tangled clauses of Henry James and the piercing insight of Joan Didion to the punchy gerunds of the Coen brothers and the passive verbs of CEOs on trial, Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch offers a reenergized take on the “little despot of the sentence.”
“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.
Discusses how to use cognitive instruction to help students see commonalities and patterns in a particular concept and includes examples of visual patterns.

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