Education: Writing about Writing

Him kerosene b'long Jesus Christ by'm-by all done, b—r up, finish.

It would appear, however, that in the conditions prevailing, this contention would hardly be regarded as justifiable.

The first sentence is in the vivid pidgin of a West African tribesman, means "The sun is due for a total eclipse." The second is officialese for "We disagree."

Between the two lies the vast, changeable, luxuriant expanse of the English tongue. Out last week was a lively approach to that area: The Reader over Your Shoulder—A Handbook for Writers of English Prose, by Robert Graves &...

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