Posts for the Topic words

May flowers: some poems that survived the winter

potted flowers by a window

Spring is here. The birds are singing, the snow has melted, and flowers are poking up through the dirt, both where they are expected and where they are not. At the beginning of winter term, I wrote a blog post on freewriting with a focus on my notebook as an agent of the writing process. I’d like to come back to this general topic, but from a slightly different perspective: spring.

Words that changed their meaning

Cartoon man studying a word in a large book

Suppose you were in 16th century England and someone asked you if you wanted to eat meat for dinner. If you were expecting some steak, you might be surprised to receive only some potatoes and vegetables. Back then, meat meant any solid food, not just meat. Quite a considerable distinction from our modern definition!

Revisiting Google Ngram: What we can learn from Corpora

Ancient inscription captioned "It doesn't mean a thing, but boy, will it drive them crazy a thousand years from now?"

So I’ve been thinking about Google’s Ngram Viewer and how it applies as a teaching tool. Although it doesn’t directly translate, Ngram reminded me of a really handy tool that we use regularly at the Writing Centre. I’ve also realized that many people may not have encountered it before. So, I present to you: the Now Corpus.

Choosing Effective Transition Words: A DIY Guide

Matrix meme captioned "What if I told you not all transition words don't mean the same thing"

Seeing as I tend to write a lot of blogs focused on process/approaches to sustainable writing practices, it may be a good time to write something more applied (and plug some of the resources from the website). This post is inspired by a common experience throughout the semester; quite often, I find myself directing students to the Transition Phrase bank in our Resources section.

What's the Word

Often when I listen to podcasts, I find myself unfamiliar with some of the terminology being used. Even more often, I find myself forgetting them after I’ve looked them up in the dictionary.

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I’m probably not the only one with this problem, so how do I retain this information?

New! Improved?

During my undergraduate years at the University of Toronto, I took a class on a Roman poet named Catullus. For a long semester I laboured over his poetry, trying to wrestle his sophisticated Latin phrases into easy English.  From all the hundreds of lines of his poetry that I worked on, one word stands out in my memory: palmulas.

How Clickbait Applies to Essays

When American TV show ratings start to plummet, characters with British accents get added; when websites need more views, one solution is the use of clickbait.

In summary

I was standing next to someone at the crosswalk out in front of South Campus Hall and I noticed the word “Forward” tattooed across her ankle. Single words inked on skin are a huge trend right now, and a quick search shows that the words people choose represent summary of life goals, belief systems, or ideals.  

Ten Websites to Improve Your Writing

One of the things we do at the Writing Centre is show you the tools available online that can help you develop your writing skills. Here are ten of my favourites.

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