On most Fridays, Evan Peterson rounds up five stories from across the Web that scribes of all stripes should check out.
There are several examples of accepted grammar rules that writers usually ignore. This week, Smithsonian
magazine highlights a couple examples, and explains how to determine what's a rule and what's not.
Also, the value of a writing buddy, reviews of tweets, and more.
Rules that aren't rules:
There's a new wave of language descriptivist lessons, or anti-lessons, popping up on the Internet with greater frequency. This week, Smithsonian
magazine published one such lesson, reminding readers that it's OK to end a sentence with a preposition or to split an infinitive. The bloggers’ lesson for testing the validity of a grammar rule: “If it makes your English stilted and unnatural, it’s probably a fraud.”
How the New York Review of Books survives:
This week, the Financial Times
interviewed New York Review of Books
editor Robert Silvers, who founded the iconic publication 50 years ago. What makes the interview worth reading is his discussion of whether there is a place for good reviews in online journalism and social media. He even hints that tweets should be reviewed in some way.
The value of a writing buddy:
Most writers are left to themselves throughout their workdays—maybe throughout their careers. Perhaps it’s time to find a buddy. On Poynter.org
, Roy Peter Clark writes about the value of a writing buddy, and the benefits of bouncing ideas off a writer you respect. Clark has a Pulitzer Prize-winning friend to fill that role for him: “My job is not to solve his problems. It is to give him the chance to think out loud and, as a result, gain momentum and confidence that he can escape the undertow of indecision and procrastination.”
An accidental writer:
Novelist Karen Bender started writing after a rock hit her in the head as a child. The difficulty of the situation, which required her to get stitches, forced her to examine how best to retell it. She writes in The New York Times
why difficult situations are a natural place to begin as a writer.
Was the Writer's Guild strike worth it for writers?
The Writer's Guild strike of 2008 occurred over the battle for digital residual payments for television shows. Cynthia Littleton has now authored a book about it called “TV On Strike: Why Hollywood Went to War over the Internet.” In this interview with TV Guide
, Littleton discusses why the strike wasn't worth it for most writers.
Evan Peterson is a writer based in Chicago, and the editor of OpenMarkets magazine at CME Group. He's on Twitter at @evanmpeterson.