Tag Archives: diction/grammar/style/usage

Posthumous (adj)

It was the Word of the Day at Merriam-Webster a few days back, and I was surprised to find that I didn’t already possess a context clues worksheet on the adjective posthumous. This word is really a staple word in English, and one our students ought to know before they walk off the state at graduation.

Just sayin’.

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.

Term of Art: Accent

“accent: A variety of speech differing phonetically from other varieties: thus, as in ordinary usage, ‘a Southern accent.’ ‘Scottish accent,’ ‘Scottish accents.” Normally restricted by linguists to cases where the differences are at most in phonology: further differences, e.g. in syntax, are said to be between dialects.”

Excerpted from: Matthews, P.H., ed. The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Linguistics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Musical Genres

To finish up on this sunny November morning, here is a reading on musical genres along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. Nota bene, please, that this material deals with genres in classical music only; if you’re looking for readings on popular forms of music, use a search term at the home page. Over the years, and in the years to come, I have posted and will post a lot of material on music and musical artists.

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.

Mogul (n)

It’s the Word of the Day at Merriam-Webster, and I was surprised to find I hadn’t already prepared work on it. So here, belatedly, I guess, is a context clues worksheet on the noun mogul. I’ve written the sentences in this document to reflect the meaning of this noun as “a person of rank, power, or influence.”

Don’t forget that this word comes to us from the noun Mughal, which means “an Indian Muslim of or descended from one of several conquering groups of Mongol, Turkish, and Persian origin.” In other words, if you’re teaching globals studies, world history, or whatever your school district names this area of study, this is a word students might need to know.

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.

Word Root Exercise: Clud, Clus

Here is a worksheet on the Latin word roots clud and clus, which mean “to close.” You’ll find these roots at the base of words like include, exclude, and preclude, as well as recluse, among many others. This can be a tough root for students to define, which is why I should probably, eventually, write it into a lesson plan. The definitions of the words on the worksheet, as students find and record them, don’t show a clear pattern that concludes in “to close.” So, some Socratic question is de rigueur to bring this worksheet to conclusion.

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.

The Devil’s Dictionary: Abridgement

“Abridgement, n. A brief summary of some person’s literary work, in which those parts that tell against the convictions of the abridger are omitted for want of space.” 

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

Cultural Literacy: Hoi Polloi

Monday morning, raining, while Ishmael Reed reads “Judas.”

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the noun hoi polloi, from the ancient Greek meaning “the many.” This noun phrase isn’t much used anymore, perhaps because it has negative or even contemptuous connotations. Still, if we want to produce educated citizens who are capable of sustaining a civil society, this might be a word and concept for them to understand.

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.

The Weekly Text, November 20, 2020: A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on Walt Disney

This week’s Text is a simple one, to wit this reading on Walt Disney and its attendant vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. This is relatively high-interest material for students, at least many I’ve served. There are relatively few children in our society (and arguably in any society) whose imagination Walt Disney and his characters haven’t colonized.

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.

English Usage: Shrunk (pp), Shrank (vi/vt)

If you’re a stickler for usage, or want to give your students a chance to become sticklers in their own right, then this English usage worksheet on the past participle shrunk and the simple past tense verb shrank might be one avenue to bring that endeavor to fruition. For the record, shrunk is the past participle, so it must be used with the helping verbs had and have. Shrank, on the other hand, is the simple past tense of the verb shrink.

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.

Cultural Literacy: Hobbits

If you seek to interest students in J.R.R. Tolkien’s work, this Cultural Literacy worksheet on Hobbits might be a good place to start. It’s a short exercise–a half-page–with only three questions. I’ve used this to good effect with alienated students who I know had an interest in mythology, and fantasy literature.

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.