Category Archives: Recommended Reads

The Great Typo Hunt

Recommended Read Deck, Jeff and Benjamin D. Herson. The Great Typo Hunt: Two Friends Changing the World One Correction at a Time. New York: Broadway Paperbacks, 2010. [ISBN-13: 978-0-307-59108-1] So what do you do if you want to change the … Continue reading

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Grammar Matters: The Social Significance of How We Use Language

Recommended Read Ghomeshi, Jila. Grammar Matters: The Social Significance of How We Use Language. Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring, 2010. [ISBN-13: 978-1894037-44-0] If English is going to hell in a hand basket, how is it that there are so many rigidly prescriptive grammar guides … Continue reading

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The Man Who Loved Books Too Much

Recommended Read Bartlett, Allison Hoover. The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession. Toronto: Penguin Canada, 2009. [ISBN-13: 978-0-14-3116824-9] The Man Who Loved Books Too Much is the … Continue reading

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Proust and the Squid

Recommended Read Wolf, Maryanne. Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain. New York: Harper Perennial, 2007. [ISBN-13: 978-0-06-093384-5] The argument that grounds Proust and the Squid is that the human mind isn’t hardwired for reading the … Continue reading

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Txtng: The gr8 db8

Recommended Read Crystal, David. Txtng: The gr8 db8. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2008. [ISBN-13: 978-0-19-957133-8] One of the most notable things about texting is the impressive furor that has accompanied its meteoric rise in popularity over the past ten years … Continue reading

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The Prodigal Tongue

Recommended Read Abley, Mark. The Prodigal Tongue: Dispatches from the Future of English. Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2008. [ISBN-13: 978-0-679-31366-3] Take a moment to be astonished at how much English has changed in the 600-odd years since Langland wrote Peirs Plowman: In … Continue reading

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Reading Like a Writer

Recommended Read Prose, Francine. Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them New York: Harper Perennial, 2007. [ISBN-13: 978-0-06-077705-0] Seeing Francine Prose speak last week galvanized me into finally … Continue reading

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The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language

Recommended Read Kenneally, Christine. The First Word. Toronto: Viking, 2007. [ISBN-13: 978-0-670-03490-1] Who spoke the first word of human language? When was that first word uttered? What did that speaker say and why? Linguists outlawed these questions in 1866 when … Continue reading

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Plastic Words

Recommended Read Poerksen, Uwe. Jutta Mason and David Cayley, trans. Plastic Words. University Park, PA: Penn State UP, 1995. [ISBN-10: 0-271-01476-8] Plastic words are words so pliable that their use in almost any context tends to sound authoritative and important. … Continue reading

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