Sholeh Patrick

Research: Safire’s superb rules for writers

January 09, 2019 at 5:00 am

Not bad for a college dropout.William Lewis Safire (1929-2009) was an American novelist, foreign correspondent, columnist, speechwriter for President Nixon, and the guy who set up the famous Nixon-Khrushchev “kitchen debate.”President G.W. ...

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Research: MLP: Reflexive pronoun, spare thyself

January 08, 2019 at 5:00 am

Editor’s note: While Sholeh is recovering from a broken wrist, we revisit some of her favorite Mrs. Language Person columns.Please, oh please Dear Reader, practice pretention prevention. You know the type: The snooty-tootys (please pardon M...

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Research: Resolve to just let it go

January 01, 2019 at 5:00 am

In most cultures, new year resolutions encourage fresh starts which are meant to last. Yet somehow, New Year’s Resolutions starting with a bang have a way of fizzling out after a month or two. Maybe the trick is to keep it general. Otherwis...

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Research: Shakespeare the king of insults

December 27, 2018 at 5:00 am

They say the pen is mightier than the sword. It must be true, because when it comes to insults, modern man has nothing on the bard, who literally made up many words still in today’s English dictionaries. So if you’re going to let someone h...

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Research: Shakespeare the king of insults

December 27, 2018 at 5:00 am

They say the pen is mightier than the sword. It must be true, because when it comes to insults, modern man has nothing on the bard, who literally made up many words still in today’s English dictionaries. So if you’re going to let someone h...

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Research: Xmas’s ancient traditio(n)s

December 20, 2018 at 5:00 am

Modern Christmas is a mish-mash of customs — a merging of traditions that evolve as cultures and families blend. The word “tradition” derives from the Latin “traditio” — a delivery, an instruction. America’s Christmas traditions were delive...

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Research: Perfection is a false holiday prophet

December 18, 2018 at 5:00 am

Is incessant Christmas music driving you batty? Holiday cheer getting you down? You’re not alone. All this festive imagery of family, friends, gift-giving, feasts — so uplifting. Unless you’re lonely. Grieving. Seriously ill. For some this ...

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Research: Need some gift ideas? We can help

December 13, 2018 at 5:00 am

With less than two weeks left, that gift-buying clock is ticking louder. Desperate for ideas? Got someone on your list who swears they want nothing? Don’t panic. We’ve got this. Check out our two holiday gift guides for some unusual and cre...

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Merry Christmas (whenever it is)

December 13, 2018 at 5:00 am

Merry Christmas, even if technically it isn’t. To be more precise, “Christmas,” or “Christ’s mass” (Christes maesse) is an old English phrase referring to the Lord’s Supper. According to the Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs, the wor...

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Research: Check out Scrabble’s newest additions

December 11, 2018 at 5:00 am

I had one of those moms. Whenever I asked, “What does ‘X’ mean?” I got the same answer: Look it up. Naturally, we were a Scrabble family. So are one-third of American, and half of British, families. Nearly a century after its invention in 1...

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