Bringing a Sentence to Life

21 Apr

Farnsworth's Classical English MetaphorWho hasn’t had his or her enjoyment of a great story ruined in English class by the assignment of having to identify metaphors and similes — as many as you can find?

 Not only is your engagement with a piece of literature interrupted (maybe even corrupted) by this assignment, but your appreciation of metaphors and similes can quickly be stunted in the process.  Continue reading

Darwin’s Brilliant Choice of Language

17 Apr
Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin

It goes without saying: Word choice is so important, for capturing with precision an idea we are trying to express, and for creating a desired effect on the reader’s imagination.

Here, from Nautilus, is the story of Charles Darwin’s choice of the term “natural selection” to describe his theory of evolution.  Why was it better than “evolution?”


Darwin’s theory of evolution is often credited with removing the notion of intentional design from biology. But perhaps its genius was in doing so gently: The language in which it’s couched allowed readers to hold onto the idea for just a little while longer.


See the full article here. It’s interesting and short.




Prof. Trump’s Writing Lesson

3 Apr

Today, a lesson in powerful writing from Donald Trump.

Donald Trump









It surely wasn’t his intent to instruct anyone about anything in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel on ABC.  But look at this analysis from of Trump’s answer to Kimmel’s question, “Isn’t it un-American and wrong to discriminate against people based on their religion?” Continue reading

Essays on the NY State ELA Tests

3 Apr

NY State Ed Dept. logo

Click the Education Department logo for info about essay questions on this week’s New York State ELA tests.

Don’t forget to slow down: There is no clock this year!

April 3, 2016