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How to write well

I’m still in vacation mode, so here’s a link to a list of solecisms posted by Steven Pinker, who teaches at Harvard. Pinker’s a good guy, but I confess I’ve never run intosome of these goofs; perhaps I don’t hang around with Harvard types enough.

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

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I don’t know why I’m being so hard on comics lately. Usually comic artists are pretty careful about their use of language, and I have a lot of respect for them, what with having to not only draw, but also write, two very different skills, neurologically speaking. This one is from a comic I don’t read regularly. I saw a link to it on a website that I do read, and this was on the first page. I got locked onto the solecism and haven’t read anything else. It looks like it might be a nice adventure tale for those of you who like that sort of comic, PG rated, I suppose. The comic is called Valkyrie , by ByFernando Heinz Furukawaand I don’t know what the comic is about. Shame on me for generalizing after looking at only one page, but judging from the non-human sidekick and the cleavage, it looks like it’s aimed at boys in their early teens. The link is to the page where I got this cell.

The speaker might be in character to make the goof, and the artist actually knows better, right? After all, with a Spanish/German/Japanese name, he ought to be really good at English, right?

You know what the mistake is, right? We have a nominative being used as a direct object. Nominative is the general term for what my English teacher called the subjective case, because it was used for the subject of sentences. In every other Indo-European language (far as I know) they call it the nominative.

Remember your English teacher saying that with the imperative, you have an implied subject, “you”? So “Sit down” is really “(you) sit down.” Or in this case, (you) let Sandra and ME deal with your son’sabduction.”

I brought your attention to this example because this mistake most often happens with compound objects of prepositions (it was between him and I) and less often with a direct object. It often happens in the writing and speech of people who fancy themselves as edumacated. They picked it up from being corrected as children, when they started to say something like “Me and Tom went fishing” and the authority figure at hand said, ” ahem. Tom and I went fishing, and is that why you are so muddy?”

Excerpts from Teaching with Documents: Using Primary Sources from the National Archives National Archives and Records Administration and National Council for the Social Studies Washington, D.C. 1989

Maps Using Hachure and Contour Methods

Map makers have traditionally used various means to represent the three dimensions of the earth in two-dimensional images. Prior to the nineteenth century, for example, the most common device for indicating relief on a map was through variations of light and shade.

As the use of shading became systematized during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, French cartographers referred to these shading lines as "hachures." Hachures represent the slope of the land—the more gentle the slope, the fewer the lines—and the absence of line indicates flat terrain. The illustration on the right side of the document is an example of this system.

The use of contour lines to visually represent different elevations of land came into general use toward the end of the nineteenth century. An early version of a contour map is seen on the left. Simply speaking, a single contour line corresponds to a single elevation of the land. Because the contour line defines a curved surface (the earth), each line encloses a more or less circular area. The total effect is a pattern of concentric lines. The "base" line or datum for most contour maps is sea level, with each line on the map representing a standard distance above or below the base line. As each line signifies an increase or decrease in the land elevation (in this map, 3 feet), one can accurately calculate height by simply counting the lines from the base line (the water's edge in this instance). The slope of any change in the landscape relief can also be determined by noting the proximity of the contour lines to one another. A high concentration of lines tells the map user that the elevation changes sharply, while widely spaced lines indicate a gradual slope.

(Open Map in Separate Browser Window)

The two maps of Salem Neck, Massachusetts, surveyed by George W. Whistler (father of artist James A. McNeill Whistler) and William G. McNeill, topographical engineers for the United States Army, were created for a study conducted in 1822 of fortifications in the area. When the Office of Chief of Engineers decided in 1861 to study the feasibility of reconditioning the forts, they referred to these maps and the reports accompanying them.

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Cayce Garrison — March 20, 2018

Brand new Featured Artist, Stephen Egts, has brought his first ever coloring book, Babesville, to Pigment. Take a minute to learn what inspires Stephen to create.

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Stephen is an artist based in Washington, D.C.. When he’s not working at his day job, Stephen can be found doodling and creating art in his favorite coffee shops around town. He enjoys films from the late 60s/early 70s and is always game for anything campy.

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Cayce Garrison — March 14, 2018

We love learning about our colorists and hearing what they enjoy coloring the most, and how they like to use Pigment.

Bernardine Yantz is a grandmother living in North Carolina, and she says creativity runs in the family. Her mother and youngest daughter got the artist gene and Bernardine herself was awarded two scholarships at the age of 14 for a drawing she did of Michelangelo. She used to draw or paint anything and everything from billboards to boats.

Cayce Garrison — March 6, 2018

We would like to introduce to you our Featured Artist for this week, Madison Scott. In her book, Lost In Nature, Madison explores the intersection of mandalas and animals. Enjoy!

I am a young mandala artist that lives in the United States. I print my designs on a variety of products, such as stickers, tapestries, note cards and blankets. My stuff is sold in stores in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. I have also had the opportunity to draw designs for a variety of companies.

Cayce Garrison — February 28, 2018

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1. To download this weeks bonus coloring page, open this webpage on your phone or tablet.

2. Hold your finger down on the image above, until a menu pops up. Select Save Image .

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