CNN’s Chris Cillizza on Trump’s definition of “Fake News”

Here’s some excellent analysis of Trump’s latest attack on journalism (I blogged a bit about this in “More Evidence That, to Trump, ‘Fake News’ Means Critical News“). Trump either doesn’t understand or ignores the difference between a story he doesn’t like and one that is not true. He conflates the two for his own political purposes — knowing his base hates the media and is more than ready to believe…

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If You Think You Hate Puns, You’re Wrong

I wrote my college application essay on how I negotiated social situations by storing up an array of dumb puns on a random general topic. At a social gathering, I would sit around awkwardly until a certain topic came up — shoes (“lace be serious”), or cameras (“lens be serious”) or astronomy (“let’s be Sirius) or entomology (“let’s bee serious”), and I would try to give the impression I was…

Thesis Critique Activity: Another Use of a Class-edited Google Doc

A few weeks ago, I had students in my upper-level media class collaborate on a Google Docs study guide for The Name of the Rose. In my freshman writing class yesterday, I did something else with Google Docs… I created a page with three columns, and asked students to type their preliminary thesis statements on the left, and give their peers affirming comments and constructive criticism in the other boxes.The…

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Affect (v. “to change”) vs. Effect (n. “the result”)

I ran into this problem several times in the last set of student papers, so it’s time for another illustration. When you’re talking about making a change, you mean the verb “affect,” and when you’re talking about something that results from a cause, you mean the noun “effect.” It’s rare to encounter “effect” as a verb (meaning “bring about”) and even rarer to encounter “affect” as a noun (used in…