M.Leddy + writing   454

“Author”
Donald Trump, whose name is on ghostwritten books, defends his ability as a writer.
writing 
7 days ago by M.Leddy
“Lane Greene on Editing”
An especially good episode of the BBC podcast Word of Mouth : “Lane Greene on Editing.”
podcasts  revision  writing 
7 days ago by M.Leddy
How to improve writing (no. 78)
A revision from Harold Evans’s Do I Make Myself Clear? A Practical Guide to Writing Well in the Modern Age, revised again.
howtoimprove  writing 
19 days ago by M.Leddy
“The deepest motive for writing”
Richard Lanham: “Motive has always been the question of questions for Freshman Composition. Perhaps more success might flow from assuming, paradoxically, that the deepest motive for writing is not communication at all but the pleasures of writing for its own sake.”
teaching  writing 
7 weeks ago by M.Leddy
Writing and speech
Richard Lanham: “Writing’s advantage, as a presentation of self, is not that it allows us to adopt the mannerisms of speech but that it allows us to adopt the tempo of speech without its hesitant waste.”
teaching  writing 
7 weeks ago by M.Leddy
“Slow Reading”
Richard Lanham: “Every course in composition ought to be a course in Slow Reading.”
reading  teaching  writing 
7 weeks ago by M.Leddy
How to improve writing (no. 77)
A Washington Post headline: “Kavanaugh arrives wounded, as is the Supreme Court’s image.”
howtoimprove  writing 
9 weeks ago by M.Leddy
Strunk and White mattering
“Strunk & White was the first text for millions that persuaded reluctant writers that the writing craft was not an act of magic, but the applied use of both rules and tools”: Roy Peter Clark writes about “Why Strunk & White still matters (or matter) (or both).”
EBWhite  Strunk  writing 
11 weeks ago by M.Leddy
Commercialese and its discontents
Eric Partridge: “It is easy, far too easy, to write a letter in which occur all the well-worn terms, all the long-winded phrases, all the substitutes for thinking.”
writing 
august 2018 by M.Leddy
Like father, like daughter
Over the weekend, my daughter Rachel read a piece of journalism that she deemed poorly written.
fambly  writing 
august 2018 by M.Leddy
Imitation and parody
Eudora Welty and Dick Cavett talk about imitation and parody.
parody  writing 
may 2018 by M.Leddy
How to improve writing (no. 76)
I didn’t go looking for a sentence to improve this morning: this one, from David Brooks, presented itself as needing immediate help.
howtoimprove  writing 
may 2018 by M.Leddy
How to improve writing (no. 75)
Every time I look at Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo, I end up rewriting one or more sentences.
howtoimprove  writing 
may 2018 by M.Leddy
How to improve writing (no. 74)
“Certainly, no artist as hugely successful as he has been can have struck a chord without owning a piece of his time.” Yuck.
howtoimprove  NewYorker  writing 
march 2018 by M.Leddy
Pencils in the news
The Guardian reports that increasing number of English schoolchildren are unable to hold a pencil properly. The reason: too much technology.
handwriting  pencils  technology  writing 
march 2018 by M.Leddy
Flowers knows best
Father Knows Best and Betty Sue Flowers’s four-part model for a writer’s work: madman, architect, carpenter, judge.
television  writing 
march 2018 by M.Leddy
That and which
From Bruce Ross-Larson’s Edit Yourself: A Manual for Everyone Who Works with Words, useful advice for solving the problem of a relative clause that doesn’t follow the noun it modifies.
writing  usage 
february 2018 by M.Leddy
Grammar in the writing center
To dismiss or defer a student’s questions about grammar is to do that student a disservice.
college  grammar  teaching  writing 
february 2018 by M.Leddy
Long and short
How to arrange pairs and series. A writing tip from Bruce Ross-Larson’s Edit Yourself: A Manual for Everyone Who Works with Words.
sentences  writing 
february 2018 by M.Leddy
A page-ninety test
A paragraph from Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury. Slack writing, even at 30% off.
writing 
january 2018 by M.Leddy
Whose whom?
I’d bet a Happy Meal that Trump didn’t write this statement.
literacy  politics  reading  writing 
january 2018 by M.Leddy
Robin Wright on words and sentences
A journalist and foreign correspondent comments on what makes for good writing.
writing 
december 2017 by M.Leddy
How to improve writing (no. 73)
Today we have rearranging of parts. From a New York Times opinion piece , a sentence that needs improvement.
howtoimprove  writing 
december 2017 by M.Leddy
Timmy Martin, writer
“Where’s the pen and ink and good paper?”
Lassie  pens  writing 
november 2017 by M.Leddy
How to improve writing (no. 72)
“The portfolio that works even when you aren’t.“
howtoimprove  writing 
november 2017 by M.Leddy
Perfectionism and its discontents
From the podcast Innovation Hub : Eugenia Cheng, mathematician, talks about perfectionism and diminishing returns.
advice  life  writing 
november 2017 by M.Leddy
iOS text editors
Brett Terpstra’s iOS text-editor roundup is an exhaustive guide to writing apps for the iPhone and iPad. One iOS writing app that I espec...
iOS  writing 
november 2017 by M.Leddy
Inspiration for writing
Rachel Peden: “There were so many things that didn’t suit us that we had abundant practice in writing.”
RachelPeden  writing 
november 2017 by M.Leddy
One Alice Munro sentence
Nine of its fourteen words form prepositional phrases, but the sentence moves as quickly as the truck, or the air.
AliceMunro  writing 
september 2017 by M.Leddy
The 26 Old Characters
From the W.A. Sheaffer Pen Company, a dowdy-world history of our alphabet and fountain pens.
pens  writing 
september 2017 by M.Leddy
Writing instruction
What does it mean to go through twelve or more years of schooling and not be able to recognize a sentence in your language — or a noun, or a verb? More than a little crazy.
teaching  writing 
august 2017 by M.Leddy
Bryan Garner on rules and writing
On writing and rules, those to follow and those to ignore.
BryanGarner  writing 
july 2017 by M.Leddy
Coffee-and
Balzac’s writing equipment: special coffee, special paper, special pens.
Balzac  coffee  supplies  writing  Zweig 
june 2017 by M.Leddy
Too many ands?
When Paul Romer of the World Bank criticized the Bank staff’s writing and called for shorter, clearer documents, he pointed specifically to excessive use of and and insisted that the word account for not more than 2.6% of a Bank report.
revision  writing 
june 2017 by M.Leddy
Bear, a writing app
A writing app of great simplicity, for macOS and iOS.
iOS  Mac  writing 
may 2017 by M.Leddy
A page-ninety test
Redundancies, inelegant variations, slackness, and vague pseudo-profundities: this writer’s prose is, for me, unreadable.
writing 
may 2017 by M.Leddy
Joubert on writing
Writing too much, or not at all.
Joubert  writing 
april 2017 by M.Leddy
How to improve writing (no. 71)
Inflated diction, a weak “to be” verb, a nominalization.
howtoimprove  writing 
april 2017 by M.Leddy
Gleanings from Maira Kalman
Three passages from The Principles of Uncertainty.
life  writing 
april 2017 by M.Leddy
Carrying on
Winston Smith has begun to keep a diary. Will there ever be someone to read it and understand?
fiction  GeorgeOrwell  writing 
january 2017 by M.Leddy
W(h)ither grammar
How many problems in reading stem from an ignorance of basic grammar? And how many problems in writing stem from an ignorance of basic grammar?
grammar  reading  teaching  writing 
january 2017 by M.Leddy
Make it known
John D’Agata’s The Making of the American Essay (2016) has a witty sequence of epigraphs from Walt Whitman, Ezra Pound, and John Ashbery. But D’Agata isn’t the first to put them into a sequence.
poetry  repurposing  writing 
january 2017 by M.Leddy
Martinis or cheap cigars
Henry Threadgill, on the importance of adjusting to the economic difficulties of life as an artist, filmmaker, musician, writer.
art  film  money  music  writing 
december 2016 by M.Leddy
Deresiewicz v. D’Agata
“It kills me to think that there are going to be people walking around who believe that Socrates was an essayist because a self-important ignoramus named D’Agata told them so.”
truth  writing 
december 2016 by M.Leddy
Lambuth serendipity
Bryan Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day today includes a passage from The Golden Book on Writing.
BryanGarner  DavidLambuth  writing 
december 2016 by M.Leddy
A David Lambuth sampler
David Lambuth appears not to have been an especially prolific scholar. But he was an excellent writer.
DavidLambuth  writing 
december 2016 by M.Leddy
The other little book
David Lambuth’s The Golden Book on Writing, better than The Elements of Style.
DavidLambuth  Strunk  EBWhite  writing 
december 2016 by M.Leddy
VKNY
Verlyn Klinkenborg’s Several Short Sentences About Writing, popular in a NY bookstore.
bookstores  VerlynKlinkenborg  writing 
november 2016 by M.Leddy
How to improve writing (no. 69)
Writing that represents the speech of someone fleeing an erupting volcano should exhibit greater terseness, greater urgency.
comics  howtoimprove  MarkTrail  writing 
november 2016 by M.Leddy
“Are We Teaching Composition All Wrong?”
Provocative reading in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
college  teaching  writing 
october 2016 by M.Leddy
How to improve writing (no. 68)
I don’t read New Yorker prose (or any prose I’m not editing) looking for things to change: these passages presented themselves to me (or to my bad-sentence radar) as prose in need of repair.
howtoimprove  NewYorker  writing 
october 2016 by M.Leddy
How to improve writing (no. 67)
Ford Madox Ford’s page-ninety test (and it is page ninety, not ninety-nine), can yield amazing results.
howtoimprove  writing 
september 2016 by M.Leddy
How to improve writing (no. 66)
A partial sentence from a short piece at The New Yorker website.
howtoimprove  NewYorker  writing 
august 2016 by M.Leddy
Joe Gould’s Teeth
A scrupulously documented journey down a rabbit hole, or rather, a journey through whole warrens of archival material.
NewYorker  writing 
july 2016 by M.Leddy
How to improve writing (no. 65); or, CBS, sheesh
“Commander-in-chiefs” and other problems: improving a CBS This Morning story about Ken Burns.
howtoimprove  sheesh  writing 
july 2016 by M.Leddy
“How not to write”
Advice for aspirants in the humanities.
academia  humanities  writing 
july 2016 by M.Leddy
Thinking and writing (2)
Joseph Joubert: “Writing is closer to thinking than to speaking.”
Joubert  writing 
february 2016 by M.Leddy
Thinking and writing (1)
Sir Ernest Gowers: “Clear thinking is hard work, but loose thinking is bound to produce loose writing.”
writing 
february 2016 by M.Leddy
From a van Gogh letter
Admire as much as you can, most people don’t admire enough.
advice  art  letters  VanGogh  writing 
february 2016 by M.Leddy
How to improve writing (no. 63)
From The New Yorker website, a sentence that needs rethinking.
howtoimprove  writing 
february 2016 by M.Leddy
Orderly, dark and deep
Verlyn Klinkenborg (born in Colorado, living in upstate New York) recounts waking up with “a deep taxonomic yearning” to identify the trees around him.
names  nature  VerlynKlinkenborg  writing 
february 2016 by M.Leddy
The Lettermate
For anyone who has trouble writing in a straight line.
letters  writing 
february 2016 by M.Leddy
Verlyn Klinkenborg: “old world,” “cold week”
My enthusiasm for Several Short Sentences about Writing prompted me to pick up The Rural Life.
VerlynKlinkenborg  winter  writing 
january 2016 by M.Leddy
Recently updated
“The Power of the Printed Word,” now with Garrison Keillor’s advice on how to write a personal letter.
advertising  how-to  paper  print  writing 
january 2016 by M.Leddy
William Maxwell on his habit of work
æI like to work in my bathrobe and pajamas, after breakfast, until I suddenly perceive, from what’s on the page in the typewriter, that I’ve lost my judgment.”
WilliamMaxwell  writing 
december 2015 by M.Leddy
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