Our ridiculous English spelling




Ridiculous English spelling confuses everyone. Even dictionaries and language experts get tripped up. Do you like to eat ghoti? In case you’re wondering what that means, consider gh as in enough o as in women ti as in nation To spell it a more normal way, fish. Fish and chips is fried ghoti and fried ghoughghteighpteaux. … Continue reading






A tour of the library blogosphere




To the best of my knowledge, Reading, Writing, Research is the only blog written by a librarian intended to be read by the general public. All the others are written either to other librarians or to patrons at whatever library the author works for. That is not to say that other library blogs have nothing of interest to the general public. Today’s post links to posts on other blogs that you might enjoy. If you like this one, it will become the first of an occasional series. … Continue reading






Write Good Online Content and Reuse It (Without Making It Dizzy)




You can get my latest ebook, Write Good Online Content and Reuse It (Without Making It Dizzy), free for the next five days (May 29 through June 2, 2013). If you’re reading this post after that time is over, it costs only $2.99. My regular readers know that I am a stickler for proper word usage, good grammar and correct spelling. While all good writing requires clarity, reading online is enough different from print that writers must achieve clarity a little differently. Writers of print content seek a publisher, who handles all of the marketing and distribution of its books, … Continue reading






Notice to online writers: proofread!




When I was first starting out in this writing business, I read a lot about how to make money from writing. One person in particular kept stressing over and over that writing online is a business, and must be taken seriously as a business. Great advice, but all of her articles were riddled with typos and simple grammatical errors. I tried to make allowances; English is not her first language. But then it wasn’t Vladimir Nabokov’s first language, either. Lolita may be a disgusting story, but he tells it with gorgeous prose. Perhaps you’re saying that his publisher provided a … Continue reading






Wrong word rant, or, misused pears




I had a chat on Facebook not long ago where my friend was enthusiastically explaining a new school he had started. His writing was atrocious. He never capitalized anything. Punctuation seemed entirely random. Faced with homonyms (words that sound similar but are spelled differently), he used the wrong one more often than not. He took great offense when I expressed the hope that he was more careful in corresponding with parents. I think I know why he misused words with so little concern. Listening to radio news about 30 years ago, I heard about someone who had just gotten a … Continue reading