Theory Trading Cards

This set of 21 Theory Trading Cards, published by AltaMira Press, is based upon the online trading cards which have been so popular at David Gauntletts website Being actual cards, these are two-sided and contain more information; and whereas the online cards were only an official set of 12, for the published version, 21 new cards have been created based on a careful selection of top figures in cultural, media…

When my kid says ‘I’m bored,’ I pretend to hear ‘give me more chores.’

“I’m bored,” is something my daughter knows NOT to say around me. If she does, I will look into her big brown eyes with my most sincere fake paternal concern, and say, “Honey, you are a talented, intelligent, wonderful kid with so many opportunities. You have no reason to think people find you boring.” She has leearned not to roll her eyes and sass me with “I said I’m bored,…

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 11.28.21 PM

12 Mistakes Nearly Everyone Who Writes About Grammar Mistakes Makes

Descriptive grammarians rejoice. Formal written English is not the only legitimate form of the language, and the rules of formal written English don’t apply in all situations. Sure, it’s useful to know when to use who and whom, but it’s probably more useful to know that saying To whom did you give the book? in casual conversation will make you sound like a pompous twit. via Arrant Pedantry


‘Because’ has become a preposition, because grammar

The construction is more versatile than “because+noun” suggests. Prepositional because can be yoked to verbs (Can’t talk now because cooking), adjectives (making up examples because lazy), interjections (Because yay!), and maybe adverbs too, though in strings like Because honestly., the adverb is functioning more as an exclamation. The resulting phrases are all similarly succinct and expressive. –Sentence first.


Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

Neil Gaiman tells us why books matter: When you watch TV or see a film, you are looking at things happening to other people. Prose fiction is something you build up from 26 letters and a handful of punctuation marks, and you, and you alone, using your imagination, create a world and people it and look out through other eyes. You get to feel things, visit places and worlds you…


SAT essay section: Problems with grading, instruction, and prompts.

In my freshman writing courses I work hard to convince students that many of the strategies that helped them get by in high school simply won’t lead to college-level work. For instance, I actually read their drafts, ask probing questions about their goals, options, and strategic choices, and then expect their revisions to follow up on that feedback. I had high school English teachers who worked some drafting and revision…


In Which The Geekiness of My Kids Surpasses My Own

A former student of mine who often wore a Star Trek VI T-shirt was trying to make an annoying person go away, so when he spoke to her, she said “Servant, attention!” in Goa’uld. When I paraphrased this story to my son, he immediately said, “Jaffa, kree!” Then he said something in Goa’uld that he translated as “You have come here to destroy me” (from the movie, he said). My…