Verbal Energy

While the Word Spy site is great in theory, there hasn’t been a new word posted to it since I integrated the RSS feed into the englishrules.com Writing Resources page a few months ago. So, I’m stripping it from the page to make way for my new favorite grammar blog, Verbal Energy, which appears as a column written by Ruth Walker in the Christian Science Monitor. Now, whenever a new article from Verbal Energy is posted, its title will automatically appear in the right-hand column of my writing resources page.

According to the Christian Science Monitor‘s web site, Verbal Energy is a “blog about words and grammar from the Monitor’s copy editor extraordinaire.” So visit it, bookmark it, and read it with glee. It’s fun and witty and perceptive.

Here is an excerpt from one of her recent articles, The Other “L” Word:

An observation during the closing weeks of this current presidential campaign: What a rich vocabulary the English language has for suggesting — without explicitly saying — that someone is lying.
That’s “lying” as in “fibbing.” Saying things that aren’t so. Telling falsehoods with the intent to deceive. Practicing mendacity. Indulging in willful obfuscation. Prevarication. See what I mean?
…A liar is what we are taught early on not to be. It’s also a word we’re taught to be very careful with in applying to others. And yet so many in the public square are being so selective with so-called “facts” that we’re all starting to develop elaborate vocabularies to hold politicians and their spinmeisters to account without using the “L” word.

See what I mean?

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5 Responses to Verbal Energy

  1. Aunt Ginny says:

    Testing to see if this comment link is still active…

  2. Aunt Ginny says:

    Wonder if it’s really active, or if the computer is lying to me!

  3. Peter Dreyer says:

    Hi Ruth,
    In your last column (on games and play) you track “play” down through the ages, as we like to say, but when you arrive at the 1650s, you seem to run out of energy and drop back to the 14th century. Or is that a misprint? The “And” at the beginning of that sentence seems to indicate that, as does the sense of work vs. play.
    Please advise. Or let the editor tell us next week.
    Best,
    Peter Dreyer
    P.S.: I think you know my sister, Dora Lohman, who lives in Sweden and attends Mrs. Price’s association in London.

    • Karl Swedberg says:

      Hi Peter,

      I think you stumbled into the wrong blog. There is no “Ruth” here.

      Oh, wait! I see. You’re writing to the author I quoted. She wrote for the Christian Science Monitor, so you’ll need to check there if you want to get in touch with her.

  4. William Livingston says:

    Ms Ruth Walker,
    Enjoyed your comments on Griffith Observatory. I worked there maybe 5 years part time starting in 1945. My job was setting up pins in the pendulum (re La La Land), cleaning glass on the many exhibits in the halls, helping Cleminshaw with the music in the shows, etc. The famous sign was originally “Hollywood Land”. Not sure when Land was dropped.

    Regards, Bill Livingston (Astronomer Emeritus)

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