This week, the sistertraveller began a book club compiled of about half a dozen of us. We're meeting every week and we'll be reading about one book every two weeks. I've never joined a book club before, so I'm incredibly excited to be a part of a group of women who are equally passionate about reading a variety of books as I am!
A few of the reading suggestions tossed out include:
- "The Lover" by Duras (this is our first book that we're reading)
- "Freedom" by Frazen
- Graham Greene
- Evelyn Waugh
We want to explore a wide range of books, from literature to poetry to short stories to non-fiction. In our book club, we have English majors and rhetoricians and political theorists, so there's sure to be some fantastic discussions.
Are you part of a book club? What kind of books have you read and what would you recommend that we read?
I just finished reading Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss this past weekend. It is wonderful. If you're reading this blog, you likely have some interest in rhetoric, editing, and communication, so from that I'm going to go along with the assumption that you also are interested in how you can improve your rhetoric, editing, and communication skills.
No matter how good we are at any of those three things, there is always room for improvement and always something new to learn. That is the beauty of rhetoric.
Lynne Truss makes me want to stand up and start parading down the street, handing out copies of her book to everyone I see. She makes me want to fly to Britain to hug her. Eats, Shoots and Leaves is the kind of book that I kept thinking over and over, "I could have written that. And that. And that!" as I read it.
Parts of it, lamenting the decline of literacy and the written word in today's society, made me laugh. Every page had new tips and tricks from which to learn new ways of handling grammar and punctuation. Every time you wonder if you should use a comma or a semi-colon, or where the exact position for an apostrophe should be, or how to properly word a sentence, you can flip through the pages of Eats, Shoots and Leaves to find the answer to your problem.
Please do yourself a favour and go out now to the bookstore or the library. Find this book. Read it cover to cover. Cherish it. It is wonderful.
What is one of your favourite grammar/editing books? Have you read Eats, Shoots and Leaves before? What did you think of it?
I feel sorry for the word "literally". It is overused and misused to a horrifying extent in our society, to the point that I've started cringing every time I hear someone use the word.
As seen in the Canadian Oxford English Dictionary, literal means to take words in their usual or primary sense without metaphor or allegory. To use it is to be without metaphor, exaggeration, or inaccuracy.
The way I see it, there are two rules when it comes to the word "literally":
1) You cannot use it unless you mean it in actuality or unless it is factual. For example, you cannot say "I'm literally sitting on that fence" when discussing a metaphoric issue. That's the point of the word "literal". It's literal, not metaphoric. Unless you physically are sitting on a fence, do not use the word "literally".
2) You need to use it in context. This word is often thrown around haphazardly without appropriate context, and it is often unnecessarily overused. Although the phrase "That store is literally right across the street" is technically correct, it's also a little redundant (literally and right essentially mean the same thing in this context) and it also isn't necessary in the sentence to convey specific meaning.
The word "literally" is sadly misused and maltreated. Please treat words with the care that they deserve.
For anyone who still wonders what exactly "rhetoric" means...
1. The art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing.
2. Language designed to persuade or impress (often with an implication of insincerity or exaggeration etc.)
I'd like to point out here that rhetoric is the art of effective speaking and writing - while it may be used "for evil", it is not always.
1. An orator.
2. A teacher of rhetoric.
3. A rhetorical speaker or writer.
Rhetoric is a go!