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 Mastery of language

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W. Lane Rogers
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Location : Arizona

PostSubject: Mastery of language   Thu May 07, 2009 6:20 pm

As director of UCLA Library, the late Lawrence Clark Powell collected 1.5-million volumes. Along the way he authored 23 books, a fat pile of monographs, and countless articles.

Powell wrote, "What I seek in a book is information, imagination, and a mastery of the language."

His dictum applied to scholarly and popular works; nonfiction and fiction. It was Powell's contention that writers are obligated to know what writing is about, and to be highly conversant in the language.

No doubt, Powell would have reacted badly to a sloppy writer who excused slop by suggesting it was an editors function to wade through it and make it coherent.

Put simply, sloppy writing is inexcusable--the very reason no reputable publisher puts it to print.
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Mastery of language   Thu May 07, 2009 6:42 pm

Good point, Lane.
Too many folks write who shouldn't bother.
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Sue
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PostSubject: Re: Mastery of language   Thu May 07, 2009 7:58 pm

I concur with both of you.
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zadaconnaway
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PostSubject: Re: Mastery of language   Thu May 21, 2009 11:48 am

All good points. My worst sin (of many) is the over use of 'had'. I go through and use the 'find' function to see how many of them can be deleted.
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Carol Troestler
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PostSubject: Re: Mastery of language   Thu May 21, 2009 12:58 pm

Lane,

Good advice.

Carol
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