An interview at Grammarist

October 7, 2014

I’ve been interviewed by Grammarist, a website specialising in words and language use. Among the topics addressed are the origins of Sentence first, whether blogging has changed language use, common mistakes, and how I would change the way people use language.

Here’s one Q&A item:

What is so interesting about language/grammar to you?

I’ve always been drawn to nature and biology, and language is one of its more compelling phenomena – not least because we use it to think and communicate with. As the Modest Mouse song goes, it’s the liquid that we’re all dissolved in. Once you start looking closely at language it opens up worlds of wonder, be it the complex choreography of speech or syntax or the transporting effects of a novel or poem. Sometimes language gets in our way, but it’s hard to imagine human life without it.

You can read the rest here. Despite my tendency to ramble I kept things fairly short and light. Comments are welcome at either location.

Grammarist has a good series of these interviews, with some names that I’m sure will be familiar to you. Anyone in the mood for even more can read earlier interviews I did for Copyediting newsletter and the WM Freelance Writers Connection.


Fleeting greetings

December 22, 2013
[click to enlarge]

 New Yorker cartoon 3 - William Steig - either cheer up or take off the hat

New Yorker cartoon 1 - George Price - Between the ho ho hos and the bah humbugs

Cartoons by William Steig and George Price, from The New Yorker Album of Drawings 1925–1975. “Cheer up or take off the hat” is a good motto for the winter, wouldn’t you say?

In the meantime, thanks for your visits and comments to Sentence first this year – the blog wouldn’t happen without you. Have a peaceful Christmas and a happy new year, and see you on the other side.


Sentence First shop – where grammar is glamorous

September 10, 2013

If you read this blog on its web page (as opposed to via email, say), you may have noticed a new image in the sidebar, and a new page, linking to the Sentence First shop. It now has a .com address only; I closed the .ie page for simplicity’s sake.

The shop has bags, T-shirts, hoodies and other clothes, badges, mugs, and more. Its general themes are wordplay, language, and bad puns. Omit needles swords, for example, is a spin on Strunk and White’s popular dictum Omit needless words. Less cryptic ones include:

Grammar is glamorous (etymologically speaking)

and

Recursive hipsters were into being into things before they were hip before it was hip

stan carey - sentence first shop - Grammar is glamorous (etymologically speaking) purple t-shirt I’ll be adding more from time to time.

If you want some item that isn’t shown, email or tweet me or leave a comment below, and I’ll see what I can do when time allows. Other feedback will be happily received; cries of “capitalist sell-out” are also permitted.

Spreadshirt, the shop’s host, has a special offer from today, Tuesday 10 September, till a week from now – free standard shipping when you buy two or more items. Just use the voucher code FALL2013.


Winter sunset and a seasonal note

December 21, 2012

A scene from Salthill, Galway, a few weeks ago. It was a bitterly cold evening but the Prom was full of people, many of them like me unable to take their eyes off the changing sky and its play of light on the bay.

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s

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To regular readers and occasional passers-by: Happy Christmas and a peaceful new year, and thanks for your visits and comments during 2012 – there’d be no Sentence first without them. See you in a couple of weeks, or sooner if you’re on Twitter and I pop in over the break.

Stan

P.S. Feel free to use the comment form to pose queries, suggest ideas for future posts, tell me what you’re reading, and so on.


Interview at Copyediting newsletter

November 27, 2012

I realise that my exciting career as a freelance writer and editor is of little interest to the world at large. But if you have a few minutes to kill and you take a notion, here is an informal Q&A I did with the good people at Copyediting newsletter.

Online editor Dawn McIlvain Stahl asked me about job satisfaction, the influence of science, who would play me in a Hollywood film, and other things. I’m told I make the lifestyle sound serene, and I guess I do, but only because (being a glass-quarter-full sort) I left out the stressful parts.

Copyediting have a whole series of these interviews with editors, which you’ll enjoy browsing if the subject interests you.


Plus another thing

October 27, 2011

I joined Google+ recently, and after a few private posts to suss it out, I’ve been posting everything publicly. The service hasn’t exactly taken off yet – a lot of people I initially followed have dormant accounts – but I see plenty of potential there, and some people are making excellent and busy use of it.

So far I’ve been using Google+ to share (and find) links, commentary, bits from books, poetry, photos and miscellany. Some of this overlaps with my Twitter account, but Google+ enables longer quotes and thoughts. It’s also another way to chat to people online. (Just as well I’m not on Facebook.)

I don’t expect it to affect my blogging time, which is constrained anyway by the demands of freelancing, among other commitments. But if I go a while without blogging, you’ll have one more place to find me. For convenience, there’s a new link in the “Elsewhere” box at the top right of this blog.

Feel free to visit, follow, offer tips, point and laugh, or disregard.


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