Monthly Archives: September 2014

Using Twain’s “Very” Fine Advice

Mark Twain doled out the following writing advice: “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it, and the writing will be just as it should be.” For me, his droll quote contains two takeaways. … Continue reading

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Writing and The Emperor’s New Clothes

When you read something fairly impenetrable––or just too formal for your taste––do you ever feel like the innocent child in Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of the emperor and his elegant but “invisible” new clothes? The child proclaimed what was apparent … Continue reading

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Don’t Stumble at the Start

Seeing as this is my debut blog, let’s stick with the theme of beginnings and expose a false start to many sentences. “There is no there there,” the poet Gertrude Stein once famously sniped, referring to Oakland, California––probably only because … Continue reading

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