Wayward Words

“Words matter” is a buzz phrase tossed around frequently these days, and remarks yesterday by our clueless, callous, boorish and shockingly unpresidential president shined neon lights on the phrase when he referred to Haiti and African nations as “sh*thole countries.”...

Levying the syntax

The Grammar Grouch has been so busy lately venting his spleen on our sorry excuse for a president and a GOP Congress afraid to counter him that the grousing over grammar has been put on the back burner to simmer. Alas, a spate of miscues in the Grouch’s local news...

Adverbial Conundrum

Before my novel Murder in Palm Beach: The Homicide That Never Died was published, the outside editor for the publisher evaluated my work in six categories. She said I was a good story teller and praised me in five of them, but found fault in the sixth: adverbs. Too...

Books, Etcetera

An ancillary benefit from doing book signings is the opportunity to meet the most interesting people. I’ve been signing my novel Murder in Palm Beach: The Homicide That Never Died on weekends at the artisanal market in Manalapan. It’s a small, upscale community near...

It’s elementary, my dear Watson.

The Grammar Grouch is more dyspeptic than usual today. The thing which has him in high dudgeon is that totally, woefully, abysmally wrong pairing of the prepositions “between” and “to” in expressing the distance in whatever context from one item to another. Please...

The English Connection

Have I become a more astute writer in the past decade or so, or has the writing community become more sloppy? Did I in decades past make the same mistakes that I continually see these days in newspapers and other media? I hope not, but maybe 10 years of copyediting...