links for 2010-08-06

  • "If you find yourself using a word of whose meaning you are unsure, do look it up in the dictionary. When we get a word wrong it is embarrassing. It demeans us as professional writers and shakes our readers’ confidence in us. In recent weeks we have confused endocrinology – the study of the body’s endocrine system – with dendrochronology, which is the study of dating trees. More embarrassing still, we accused the eminent broadcaster Sir David Attenborough of being a naturist – someone who chooses not to wear clothes – when in fact he is a naturalist…"

    Not at all; he might be a naturist in his spare time. In any case, this is a good overview of the kinds of careless mistakes often made in writing. I take issue, however, with the Telegraph's ukase against splitting the infinitive.

  • Literary critic, novelist, and One-Minute Book Reviews editor Janice Harayda tweeted the "5 Most Overused Put-Downs in Book Reviews" yesterday.

    –I thought they were cardboard, stilted, and just fell apart at the end! An evocatively lyrical tour de force! Wait, now I'm getting my positive cliches mixed up with my negative ones…

  • 'When horror writer Elizabeth Massie took on the novelization of the "The Tudors," the critically acclaimed series on Showtime, she found herself in familiar territory. "Coming from a background of writing a lot of horror, I actually slipped into that well," Massie, a Waynesboro resident, said. "Because those were extremely treacherous times, full of violence and bloodshed." She was recently recognized with a Scribe Award for best adaptation by the International Association of Tie-In Writers for her novelization of the third season, "The Tudors: Thy Will Be Done.""

    Cool!

  • "The following are suggestions for the best magazine articles (in English) ever. Stars denote how many times a correspondent has suggested it. Submitter comments are in italics. For a great way to read long-form magazine articles on a tablet device see my review of LongForm and Instapaper here."

    I'm not the first to re-post this, and hopefully not the last. The great thing about this list is it includes articles from way back. It's getting harder to find the classic stuff online.

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