Monthly Archives: September 2019

Devil’s Dictionary: Actor

“Actor, n. One who peddles ready-made emotion, and who, despising us for the qualities on which he feeds, is by us despised for the unwholesome character of his diet.”

Excerpted from: Bierce, Ambrose. David E. Schultz and S.J. Joshi, eds. The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary. Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 2000. 

Born (adj) and Borne (adj)

While I sit her waiting for a Time Machine backup to finish, here is a set of five homophone worksheets on the adjectives born and borne.

If you find typos in these documents, 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.

Annus Mirabilis

“A long poem (1997) by John Dryden (1631-1700). The annus mirabilis (wonderful year) was 1666, the year of the Fire of London and of continuing war with the Dutch. Queen Elizabeth II alluded to the phrase in a speech at the Guildhall, London, when she referred to 1992 and ‘annus horribilis’ (a coinage that had been suggested to her by a ‘sympathetic correspondent’); this was the year when fire caused extensive damage to the royal residence at Windsor Castle, Princess Anne was divorced, and the Duke of York separated from the Duchess of York, topless photos of whom appeared in the tabloids.”

Excerpted from: Crofton, Ian, ed. Brewer’s Curious Titles. London: Cassell, 2002.

A Learning Support on Equivalent Fractions

Wrapping up on a very productive Friday, here is a learning support on equivalent fractions if you can use it. I’m compiling an inventory of materials to teach kids who–like me–struggle with the subject. If you find these useful, be on the lookout for more in the next couple of weeks.

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.

Lord Russell on Patriotism

“Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.”

Bertrand Russell

Excerpted from: Winokur, Jon, ed. The Big Curmudgeon. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal, 2007.

Birthmarks

Health teacher, here is a reading on birthmarks and its attendant vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. These documents have been of surprisingly high interest to most of the kids I’ve had the privilege to teach over all these years.

If you find typos in these documents, 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.

Double Negative

“Double Negative: The use of two negatives in a sentence where one will suffice, e..g., ‘It doesn’t mean nothing’; reiterated denial that is tantamount to an affirmative of positive statement.

In substandard speech, however, double negatives often reinforce a strongly negative color in an assertion. ‘I don’t want nothing from nobody is a threefold declaration of independence, not a logical seesaw.” G.W. Turner, Stylistics

Excerpted from: Grambs, David. The Random House Dictionary for Writers and Readers. New York: Random House, 1990.