Category Archives: clear thinking

A Quiet Cigarette

I am a great fan of murder mysteries, and in one that I read several months ago, I came across this sentence: The steward was outside the laundry, enjoying a quiet cigarette. My mind promptly seized on a quiet cigarette, … Continue reading

Posted in clear thinking, syntax | 2 Comments

Clear Writing (what a difference a word makes!)

I read a terrific mystery novel last week. I was so caught up in  the action, and the characters were so alive for me, that I hoped (and still do) that the author managed to retain movie rights. Imagine how … Continue reading

Posted in clear thinking, word usage | 4 Comments

Voter Caging (word study)

After hearing reports of widespread voter caging (voter suppression) across the United States, I grew curious about the derivation of the term and looked up “caging” in Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Here is the salient part of the definition: caging (1556).   … Continue reading

Posted in clear thinking, word usage | Leave a comment

Grammar Contest Winner

Tim Dougherty, an English teacher at a Catholic school in Delaware, is the third winner of a March 2008 grammar contest on this blog. Here is the sentence that I invited readers to correct: Dr. Gonstead was a pioneer in … Continue reading

Posted in clear thinking, parts of speech | Leave a comment

Prepositional Phrase, Adverbial Phrase

Heard on the radio: In a startling announcement, the New York Mint plans to release a limited number of $100 union silver coins to the public. There’s only one thing wrong with this sentence: it doesn’t make sense. The opening  … Continue reading

Posted in clear thinking, parts of speech, preposition | Leave a comment

I or me?

Last week, I heard this on the radio: We wonder how it’s going to impact you and I. Oops. Wrong choice. The sentence should read like this: We wonder how it’s going to impact you and me. Why? Because “me” … Continue reading

Posted in clear thinking, word usage | Leave a comment

Words + Actions Tell All

As a young woman, I was ill-prepared to distinguish between relationships with real potential and the other kind. My favorite therapist, Dr. Ed Wortz—who was also my dreamwork mentor—gave me a hint: If you listen and watch carefully, people will … Continue reading

Posted in clear thinking, word usage | 3 Comments