The very model of an amateur grammarian

You may have heard Gilbert and Sullivan’s Modern Major-General

(it starts at about the 1:10 mark.)

But have you seen
The very model of an amateur grammarian « The Stroppy Editor?

Here Is Some Writing Advice

Whenever I’m in the mood for a chuckle or two, which generally falls somewhere between the first and fourth student draft, I check on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and am rarely disappointed. I was rewarded today with some advice for writers, and I thought I would share some wisdom for handling writer’s block with you:


The blank white page. El Diablo Blanco. El Pollo Loco. Whatever you choose to call it, staring into the abyss in search of an idea can be terrifying. But ask yourself this; was Picasso intimidated by the blank canvas? Was Mozart intimidated by the blank sheet music? Was Edison intimidated by the blank lightbulb? If you’re still blocked up, ask yourself more questions, like; Why did I quit my job at TJ Maxx to write full-time? Can/should I eat this entire box of Apple Jacks? Is The Price is Right on at 10 or 11?

You can see all the advice at the “Ultimate Guide for Writing Better Than You Normally Do.” In the meantime, you’re welcome.

Blog Prompt #8

Draft a body paragraph or two of your research project. The passage must contain an example from your primary text, your analysis, and a secondary source that supports your analysis in some way.

The Secret Life of Pronouns–Blog Prompt #7

At some point over the weekend, I stumbled across a discussion of James W. Pennebacker, the author of The Secret Life of Pronouns. I didn’t get the whole interview, but Pennebaker’s theory seems to be that how we use language reflects a lot about our personality and how we see the world.

I didn’t get the entire interview, but they mentioned the exercises on the web site. Give them a look-see. I couldn’t get it to check my twitter feed for some reason but did have it analyze Chad Ochocinco’s twitter feed–why so angry and worried, Chad? I did take the Perceptual Style test. My results are below.


What the heck?! Let’s go ahead and make this Blog Post #7 for March 29. Complete at least one the of the exercises from the web site above, post your results, and reflect on the experience and the results. Please do not complete the LIFE Survey; it does not include any text and, according to Stephanie, it will say mean things about you. I also suggest that you do not complete the “Language Style Matching” test; the results aren’t very enlightening.

Of course, spend some time with the format of your results; do not just copy and paste and expect much. I’m not sure why some people think the computer can read their minds . . . :heh:


Visual Dimension Your data The average response
Words on the label: Verbal thinking 0.78 1.74
Colors and text: Visual sensitivity 3.10 3.74
Bottle contents: Functional thinking 6.20 1.67
The bottle itself: Tactile sensitivity 2.33 2.91
Light and shadow: Contextual thinking 1.55 0.79

Blog Prompt #6

Complete #1 for Exercise 23 on page 154 of Rhetorical Grammar (our book).

Never be an investor in something you don’t understand or in the dream of an artful salesperson of some product. Be a buyer, not a sellee. Figure out for yourself what you want to buy (be it life insurance, mutual funds or a vacuum cleaner for the home) and then shop for a good buy before making up your mind. Don’t let someone else tell you what the necessities of life are–at least not if he happens to be the salesman who wants to sell it to you.