Monthly Archives: July 2020

H.L. Mencken on College Football

“College football would be more interesting if the faculty played instead of the students—there would be a great increase in broken arms, legs, and necks.”

H.L. Mencken

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

Rocky Marciano

This reading on Rocky Marciano and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet were of high interest to number of my students over the years.

Do you have students who are interested in the sweet science?

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.

Conjunction

“Conjunction: A word that joins words, phrases, clauses, or sentences. The coordinating conjunctions, and, but, or, not, yet, so, for, join grammatically equivalent elements. Correlative conjunctions (both, and; either, or; neither, nor) join the same kinds of elements.”

Excerpted from: Strunk, William Jr., and E.B. White. The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition. New York: Longman, 2000.

English Usage: Tenant and Tenet

Christopher Nolan, the director of numerous high-gloss speculative fiction (i.e. science fiction) movies has a new film called Tenet awaiting release, which is to say awaiting the day when people return to movie theaters.

So now seems like as good a time as any to offer this English usage worksheet on the nouns tenant and tenet.

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.

Deus Ex Machina

“Deus Ex Machina: (Lat, “god from the machine) A theatrical device used in Greek tragedy. In several plays of Euripides, a god appears at the last moment to provide the solution to the tangled problems of the main characters. The god is let down from the sky on a sort of crane. The phrase has come to refer to a playwright’s use of external means to solve the problems of his characters—a practice generally frowned upon.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

Cultural Literacy: Rasputin

If you can use it, here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Russian mystic Rasputin, the debauched monk who hastened the exit of the Romanov Dynasty from the stage of history.

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.

Write It Right: And so. And yet.

“And so. And yet. ‘And so they were married.’ ‘And yet a woman.’ Omit the conjunction.”

Excerpted from: Bierce, Ambrose. Write it Right: A Little Blacklist of Literary Faults. Mineola, NY: Dover, 2010.

Mesmerize (vt)

Because it’s the Word of the Day today at Merriam-Webster’s, here is context clues worksheet on the verb mesmerize. It’s used only transitively, so don’t forget your direct object.

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.

Cato the Elder with a Pithy Statement for Our Time

“I would much rather have men ask why I have no statue, than why I have one.”

Quoted in Plutarch, Parallel Lives

Excerpted from: Schapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

Independent Practice: Plato

Alright, last but not least today, here is an independent practice worksheet on Plato if you can use it.

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.