Reblogging: A Harvard linguist [Steven Pinker] reveals the most misused words in English

A Harvard linguist [Steven Pinker] reveals the most misused words in English
from INC., by Jessica Stillman, Inc., Dec. 17, 2015

An excellent list for writers/authors, readers, speakers, anyone who loves English and wants to use it correctly. Thanks, Jessica and Steven!

http://www.businessinsider.com/a-harvard-linguist-reveals-the-most-misused-words-in-english-2015-12

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“What We Bring to the Table”: Guest Post by Colette Black

I am delighted to welcome dance-, art- and music-lover, author, and previous guest on CHANGES conversations between authors (Episode 16; see below for more info and URL), Colette Black, as a guest blogger today! Please enjoy her post as much as I did, comment, visit her sites, check out her series.

“What We Bring to the Table”
by Colette Black

piano-pinkies
Piano Pinkies: by Deanna Roberts

Art, like most information, is diverse and subject to interpretation. I grew up listening to my oldest brother’s piano skills. He could play almost anything by ear, read and juxtapose most pieces of music, and composed according to his fingers’ whims. My brother never seemed to get rattled, always even keel, but his music told a different story. Sometimes, it told me he was happy, contemplative, angry, annoyed, or a myriad of different emotions. When he was going through a divorce, it spoke of profound loss, confusion, anger, and pain. That is what art does: it speaks to us in a deeper language.

I started to understand art’s language when I saw my first ballet performance, in lower elementary school, on the small stage of our cafeteria/rec center.

1024px-Ballet-Ballerina-1853
Ballerina: Wikimedia Loadmaster (David R. Tribble)

I was amazed, entranced, dumbfounded. And I began to seek. Dancing was out of the question. My sister had told me I had the coordination of a clown from the time I could walk. As a side note, I now love to dance and my coordination is much improved. Unsure what this inner yearning meant, I attended plays, participated in plays, failed at orchestra, did pretty well in high school choir, developed a love for Shakespeare and poetry, melted in bliss as I walked the halls of the Louvre, and even dabbled in cake decorating. I learned a few things. One, is that I never want a career as a cake decorator; too much stress. The other, that art’s language is broad and powerful.

For example, the Mona Lisa. I’d seen replicas and art prints of the Mona Lisa more than once. Eh; no big deal. What’s all the fuss? Then I saw the real deal in the Louvre. Wow. It touched me on a deep and profound level: the “mystery,” the “humanity”: all of the adjectives I’d heard to describe her finally came together. Other paintings and sculptures within that gorgeous museum had similar effects, but some didn’t. Some expressed an appreciation for the human body while others seemed to only suggest lust and base emotions.

Mona_Lisa,_by_Leonardo_da_Vinci,_from_C2RMF_retouched

Some brought a smile to my face while others brought only darkness and discomfort. Now, I’m not making a judgment on the value of art, but I made a personal decision.

Whatever I bring to the table, I want it to make a positive difference in people’s lives, even if subtly. So, when I started to write with hopes of publication, I tried to come up with nice, Christian stories….and failed.

As a devout Christian, this was difficult for me to accept. Was I not good enough? Was my faith lacking? It took time to realize that my muse just didn’t roll in that direction. I wanted to observe and recreate human nature from the viewpoint of alternate worlds, realities and circumstances. We all live in the real world, but it’s when we put ourselves in another world, with other possibilities, that I feel we are able to look at our biases and our beliefs with the most clarity: there are fewer preconceptions to stand in our way. And so, after seeking for decades, I found my medium and I knew exactly how I wanted to use it.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00038]
Desolation: Cover art by Suzanne Helmigh

Words placed in the strategic organization of sentence structure, as an art, is both limiting and unlimited. Like other media, there are rules, but just as the rules of dimension, line, and color can be dabbled with by an artist, the rules of grammar and vocabulary are the author’s palette. Many have at least painted a room or a piece of furniture, taken pictures with their cell phone, or at least watched one episode of Dancing with the Stars or The Voice? But some people haven’t. Words, whether spoken, signed, or read, are something that resonates with everyone, regardless of race, socioeconomic class, or age. As authors, we arrange that familiar-to-all medium so it evokes the same deep message that comes from other forms of art. Each sentence and each page are asking our reader to look at life from another angle, under different lighting and with a different knowledge set. When readers are done, we hope they can set the book down and see their own world, even themselves, from another perspective, under different lighting and with more knowledge.

That is what I hope to bring to the table. In the end, I hope it makes for a brighter, better world.
#Art #cmbvyawrite #Words


Colette

Colette Black lives in the far outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona, USA, with her family, 2 dogs, a mischievous cat and the occasional unwanted scorpion. She loves learning new things, vacations, and the color purple. She writes New Adult and Young Adult sci-fi and fantasy novels with kick-butt characters, lots of action, and always a touch of romance. You can find her at: http://www.coletteblack.net/ or http://www.fictorians.com/

You can find her series, Mankind’s Redemption, in ebook and paperback formats:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Noble-Ark-Mankinds-Redemption-1/dp/1497456207
Barnes&Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Colette-Black?store=allproducts&keyword=Colette+Black
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/search?Query=Mankind%27s+Redemption
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Mankind%27s+Redemption
and other major retailers.


Colette Black was my guest on Episode 16 of CHANGES conversations between authors. Watch conversations with my previous CHANGES guests any time:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPbfKicwk4dFdeVSAY1tfhtjaEY_clmfq

Learn more about and get yourself or recommend someone to be scheduled as a guest:    https://sallyember.com/changes-videocasts-by-sally-ember-ed-d/


Want to be a guest blogger on my site? Visit my “Guest Bloggers Hall of Fame” to review other guest posts, read my guidelines and then contact me if you’re interested: http://www.sallyember.com/guest-bloggers-hall-of-fame/