Week 14 Lab: Advice to Writers

Grammar and Usage

This page offered insightful quotes from authors about different nuances related to grammar. The split infinitive came up in several quotes, and as I had never heard of this concept, I looked it up. The best example I found was a line from Star Trek that began "to boldly go..." All of the quotes related to this concept seemed to agree that infinitive splitting was absolutely alright despite notions that it is grammatically clumsy and/or incorrect. As Lederer states, it can add just the right "shade of meaning" in some cases. Many of the quotes also seemed to recommend against the use of adjectives, which I found very interesting, as I grew up in a school environment where lavish descriptions were encouraged. I particularly liked Fadiman's quote on the topic: "The adjective is the banana peel of the parts of speech."

Give it the First Energy of the Day

This snippet of advice offered by Salman Rushdie was wonderful and very relatable for me. He talks about how the first thing he does when he wakes up is write. Before anything else, he will sit down with a fresh page and harness that special "little package of creative energy" that sleep provides. Besides the fact that it can be fun to work in your pajamas, I agree that the time when you wake up is an opportune moment to set a productive tone for the day. I myself have trouble working late into the night and find that I get crankier and less productive as the night goes on. I will therefore sometimes stop working and wake up early to write, much in the same fashion that Rushdie suggests: jumping out of bed and heading straight to my computer, where I can get words on a page and still have breakfast to look forward to.

A sleek pencil. Source: Flickr


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