The use and abuse of dictionaries

Some folks scrutinize the dictionary for abstruse locutions to titillate the cerebral functions of those who peruse their literary endeavours. This sentence is sticky in a negative way. Most readers will get stuck before they reach the end. That doesn't matter, the sentence doesn't have much to say. But there are people who believe that … Continue reading The use and abuse of dictionaries

Thoughts on the craft of writing

Image by eroyka from Pixabay  Here are some reflections after reading books that were interesting and others that could have been interesting if the writer had known how to tell the story. Read books of the kind that you would like to write. You can’t be a writer if you are not a reader.Research thoroughly. What was the … Continue reading Thoughts on the craft of writing

Half-baked writing

If I remember correctly, this happened 40 years ago when we moved into our house in Fullarton, Ontario. This was before the days of 220 volt plugs, I had to hard-wire the kitchen stove. Then wed put a couple of frozen pizzas into the oven to feed those who helped us move. Pretty soon we … Continue reading Half-baked writing

But they don’t speak the same French!

I don’t know how many times I have been told that there is no point in trying to learn French. You see, they say, the French spoken in Québec is so different from the French spoken in France that they cannot understand one another. If you study Parisian French in school, people in Québec won’t … Continue reading But they don’t speak the same French!

Seeing French as a Bridge

Some languages are walls, some are artefacts, a few are bridges. A language used only by one tribe or ethnic group is useful for communication within that group, but it is also a wall that prevents communication with, and assimilation by, another group. Some languages are no longer in daily use but are studied as … Continue reading Seeing French as a Bridge

Not too young to learn

Do you think your little child is too young to be taught important lessons? She is learning all the time, even when she doesn't appear to be paying attention. Consider this item that appeared in the newspaper 25 years ago when we were living in Montreal. A diabetic mother was worried what would happen if … Continue reading Not too young to learn

You don’t know what you don’t know

There’s a deep meaning in that short statement, but if you’ve never heard it before it probably sounds like childish babbling. Let me unpack it for you. What this statement tells me is that if I don’t know something, I don’t even know that there is a gap in my knowledge. Like the time when … Continue reading You don’t know what you don’t know

The sad state of education in Canada in 1953

The bored "graduates" of elementary and high schools often are ignorant of things that they might be expected to know, and they do not care to learn. They lack an object in life, they are unaware of the joy of achievement. They cannot read, write or think. They can often type, but too often they … Continue reading The sad state of education in Canada in 1953

The writing comes first

Self-publishing platforms and print on demand services have made it possible for every one of us to write and publish a book. easily and inexpensively. There are more books being published today than ever before; most of them sell about 100 copies. Those of us who aspire to do better than that are told that … Continue reading The writing comes first

Fraudulent calls from the Service Canada legal department

If you live in Canada, you need no explanation of that headline. We get those calls several times a week, up to three times in one day. The call display on our phone shows a different number each time, often what appears to be a local number. When we answer, we hear a message that … Continue reading Fraudulent calls from the Service Canada legal department