[The manuscript dismissed below is The Silence of History by James T. Farrell]
“Although these manuscripts are physically a mess, they are also lousy.”
Excerpted from: Bernard, Andre, and Bill Henderson, eds. Pushcart’s Complete Rotten Reviews and Rejections. Wainscott, NY: Pushcart Press, 1998.
Because it was Merriam-Webster’s word of the day yesterday, here is a context clues worksheet on the adjective ritzy today. While this is adjective is arguably vernacular, it is part of the grain of American English vernacular; ergo, I suppose, there is an argument to be made for teaching it as such, particularly to English Language Learners, for whom a teacher might want to make the connection to the Ritz Hotels.
If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.
“Mannerism (noun): An author’s marked or habitual peculiarity of style; characteristically individual locution or stylistic idiosyncrasy; artificiality. Adjective: mannered; manneristic.
‘Much of what struck foreign observers as bizarre in American description was ta new linguistic confusion of present and future, fact and hope. This became a mannerism, or even a mode of American speech. Statements which foreigners took for lies or braggadocio, American speakers intended to be vaguely clairvoyant.’”
Daniel Boorstin, The Americans
Excerpted from: Grambs, David. The Random House Dictionary for Writers and Readers. New York: Random House, 1990.
“The German term for the style known elsewhere as Art Nouveau. Named after the unofficial organ of the movement in Germany, Jugend, founded in 1896.”
Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.
[Said of one fence-straddling radio commentator]
“His mind is so open that the wind whistles through it.”
Excerpted from: Drennan, Robert E., ed. The Algonquin Wits. New York: Kensington, 1985.