26 May 2015

Tell Me a Story

I was twenty when the overwhelming urge to head to the Southwest struck. I was a junior in college, living on a tiny island off the coast of Maine, and I was hungry to explore the alien landscape of slickrock and sandstone, to see arches and mesas and unimaginable rock formations with my own eyes. The canyons were calling to me, so in the spring of 1998, I took a Greyhound bus from Maine to Utah.

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Q: What is the difference between “less than” and “fewer than?”

A: This distinction is one of those linguistic phenomena that is more a matter of style than actual, understandable meaning. No matter which form you use, you will be understood perfectly, but that won’t stop people from calling you a moron on social media forums if you don’t use the “correct” phrase. Well, the Ninja is all for jettisoning useless style rules, but she prefers doing so only after those style rules are learned and understood. It’s the difference between presenting yourself either as an intellectual maverick, or just sounding like a failed reality TV star.

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When the phrase “extinction” is inevitably brought up in polite conversation, there’s a good chance that the first topics that jump into people’s minds are the declining mountain gorilla population or the sorry lack of Mexican grizzly bears in today’s wilderness.

Well, those may not be the primary examples that normal people usually consider, but the sad truth is that extinctions are silently occurring on a level far removed from many people’s minds—the extinction of language!

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Disclaimer: I’ve never been skydiving.

The first step of blogging, like skydiving, is making the commitment to do it. Once you’ve decided you’re going to skydive, you’ve got to decide on a method for your jump. Are you going in tandem? How about an accelerated free fall? Or should you static line that bad boy?

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