Blog and Writing Samples

Equity, Equality, Social Responsibility

Equity In the process of preparing to help a remarkably intelligent high school senior with his essay on “a word” (he chose “equity” - because I told him to!), I have done a complete about-face on the concept of equity. To reference “The Sound of Music” (for no reason...

Let Freedom Ring – Please!

Have you seen the ad (force-fed to your iPhone messages) that says next to a picture of The Statue of Liberty "She Doesn't Stand Here So you Can Sit on Your Couch. Do your Civic Duty. Vote..." When was the assumption made and accepted as a legit concern that all...

Placing Modifiers Where They Best Represent Your Intended Meaning

Of course, a life’s partner could just say “I love you” and leave it at that; but we do like to add dramatic emphasis to our declarations of devotion, so, have at it! Move this modifier (“only”) down the line (placing it in each blank), and explain its new meaning or...

“On Language”

By William Safire Nov. 4, 1979 Not long ago, I advertised for perverse rules of grammar, along the lines of “Remember to never split an infinitive” and “The passive voice should never be used.” The notion of making a mistake while laying down rules (“Thimk,” “We...

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From a Voracious Reader: For the Scholar’s Idle Times

A voracious reader, I see the virus restrictions not as a punishment but as an opportunity.  Kids have a chance to read – not for a grade or to write an essay but to savor the reality a good writer has created just for them. I remember as a kid being squired from...

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For Standardized Testing: Grammar, Usage, Mechanics

CONCEPTS TO REVIEW: RedundancySubject-verb AgreementPronoun-antecedent AgreementFaulty ParallelismDangling ModifiersPunctuation, particularly colons and semicolonsComma SplicesPossessivesPronoun Usage (each, every, any)Verb TensesPossessives Faulty Parallelism We must...

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Mom

Today marked the 40th anniversary of the day my mom took her own life, mirroring to a shuddering degree what my dad, her husband, had done exactly 12 years prior. I spent today in reverent remembrance of the amazing, loving woman my mother was – even as she was, as we...

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Rootee

            It was springtime, May of 1982, a season full of capricious breezes, mounds of hope, and heaps of mindless anticipation.  She was a scraggly goofball thing, a frenzied ball of fur, the little...

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Punctuation Matters

Whether writing an essay or a personal statement for college admissions consideration, a cover letter when applying for a job, or perhaps a letter or email of a less formal, more personal nature…precision of expression is crucial. After all, you won’t be looking over...

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Ambition

I was an avid dreamer When I was very young: Aspiring to pierce fantasy, To sing songs yet unsung. I longed to sail mighty ships On stormy, ancient seas; To pioneer the Wild Unknown, To penetrate God's mysteries. I thought myself a dauntless soul, An enemy to fear;...

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