Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch: Let Verbs Power Your Writingby Constance Hale
A writing handbook that celebrates the infinite pizzazz of verbs.Writers know it instinctively: Verbs make a sentence zing. Grammar gurus agree: Drama in writing emerges from the interplay of a subject (noun) and a predicate (verb). Constance Hale, the best-selling author of Sin and Syntax, zooms in on the colorful world of verbs. Synthesizing the/em>/p>
A writing handbook that celebrates the infinite pizzazz of verbs.Writers know it instinctively: Verbs make a sentence zing. Grammar gurus agree: Drama in writing emerges from the interplay of a subject (noun) and a predicate (verb). Constance Hale, the best-selling author of Sin and Syntax, zooms in on the colorful world of verbs. Synthesizing the pedagogical and the popular, the scholarly and the scandalous, Hale combines the wit of Bill Bryson with the practical wisdom of William Zinsser. She marches through linguistic history to paint a layered picture of our language—from before it really existed to the quirky usages we see online today. She warns about habits to avoid and inspires with samples of brilliant writing. A veteran teacher, Hale gives writing prompts along the way, helping readers “try, do, write, play.” Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch guides us to more powerful writing by demonstrating how to use great verbs with style.
- Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
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Meet the Author
Constance Hale is the author of Wired Style and Sin and Syntax. She has taught at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University and UC Berkeley Extension. She is based in San Francisco, California.
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Preface: this is a 100% true autobiography. It was published before as Seashanty's Trials, and has been modified from its original story format to a biography format for this contest. All characters featured in this story have had their names altered, and any relationship to other events, real or fictional, is purely coincedental. All SeaShanty merchandise and stories are owned and distributed by SSCF incorporated. Enjoy! SeaShanty sat in the shade with some of the Waterclan kits. "Tell us a story, SeaShanty!", Pearlkit shouted enthusiasticly. But SeaShanty shook her head, saying,"I've already told them all." Just then, Saltpaw padded over. "Tell them about CrossedFlame, Mama," she said to SeaShanty. Then, addressing the kits, she said "CrossedFlame was my father." She then walked off, leaving SeaShanty to the mercy of the little kits. "Please tell us," they begged. Finally, SeaShanty gave in. "I met CrossedFlame as a kit, not much older than you," she said. "It was my first time in the woods, and I got startled by a large black she-cat. As I ran out, I smacked into a orange-furred, brown-eyed tomkit. As we recovered-." "Was that CrossedFlame?", interupted Sharkkit. "Yes, it was," said SeaShanty, laughing, "and please don't interupt. As I was saying, I recovered and realized that I didn't know this kit. After warning him about the black shecat in the woods, i proceeded to walk home." "But Mama, don't forget what you told me," said Saltpaw as she walked past, "you looked back. You should've never looked back." SeaShanty nodded and said, " Youre right. I almost forgot that part. I saw CrossedFlame many more times in the woods. He insisted he was a Waterclan kit, and I let myself believe him. One day he told me he was in love with me. I realized loved him too. We had Saltpaw. But another Waterclan cat, Largeclaw, wounded CrossedFlame. I spent years thinking he was dead. But then I found him hiding in the woods. I also found out that he was Fireclan. I loved him anyway. When I found him, I immedialty began to ask questions, but he stopped me and said, 'My love, all things will be answered in the stars.' then he fell over, dead. His wound, uncleaned, had become infected and poisoned his whole body." SeaShanty, now finished her story, padded away, leaving the kits with their mouths open in shock. Epilogue: Now, dear Reader, do not sit there and cry for poor CrossedFlame. But if you happen to see me, or Saltpaw, show respect. We have had many trials.