Oxford Literary Festival: George Orwell's son speaks for the first time about his father

What would it have been like to be brought up by George Orwell? Pretty grim, you might think. But you would be wrong. In June 1944, Orwell and his wife Eileen adopted a three-week-old boy whom they named Richard Horatio Blair (Eric Blair being Orwell’s real name). Now a retired engineer living happily in an immaculate house in a picture-book Warwickshire village, Blair has never publicised the fact that he…

TinEye Reverse Image Search

I generally discourage my students from delivering PowerPoint presentations, in part because they typically grab images from everywhere and anywhere, which is a practice I don’t want them to retain if they should start working for the student paper.  I prefer instead for students to post a richly linked blog entry (with links pointing directly to online sources, rather than copying chunks of online material into their own presentations).  My…

Dallas Police Department dropping police code for plain English

A minor disturbance is a 6, while a major disturbance is a 6X. A major accident is a 7X. An officer wanting to grab something to eat? That’s a 50. Got that? 10-4. (Understood.) Dallas police acknowledge there could be a slight learning curve for some officers and dispatchers. But they don’t anticipate issues, especially because the department already has practice using plain language. When Dallas housed Hurricane Katrina evacuees,…

How to Write a Great Blog Comment

I don’t know any bloggers who don’t crave comments, but there are many more places than blogs that you can leave comments these days: on news articles, photos, videos, comment walls, and more. Comment writing is something of a new art form, and as many people who get comments will tell you, some are great and some are horrible.– Grammar Girl I’m not sure writing a comment is much different…