Tagged With writing

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English is a weird language. None of our grammatical rules ever seem to be evenly applied without exceptions, and irregular verbs are no different. For most verbs in the English language, changing to past tense is as simple as adding 'ed' on the end. But then there's a whole host of words that don't conform to that rule. What gives?

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Listen to me, a professional writer: School and university teach you bad writing habits. One of those bad habits is padding out your work to reach a minimum page count. Anything you do to “cheat” at your page count, by making less text look like more, is an act of noble rebellion. And the new font Times Newer Roman is an excellent, hard-to-detect tool for padding.

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Video: Comedian, author and Last Week Tonight writer Josh Gondelman knows how to be funny in any context. Like any comedian, Josh’s second (or third or fourth) job is being good at Twitter. In 2012 he co-created the novelty account Modern Seinfeld, and he tweets regularly on his own account. In this video he explains how — or how not — to tweet.

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In her new memoir Now My Heart Is Full, Laura June writes about how becoming a parent has helped her make peace with the memory of her own mother, her mother’s alcoholism, and their difficult relationship. Here, she talks about life with her daughter Zelda, from her belief that babies sometimes need to be left alone to the way motherhood has made her more creative than ever.

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One of the things I constantly heard when I worked in the business world was that some people are good writers and others simply don't have that gift. When I was at school, there was a similar statement, often supported by teachers, with maths and science students "forgiven" for weaker writing skills. But it doesn't have to be that way. And while not everyone can be a Hemingway, it is possible to become a good writer.

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This week we have someone who desperately wants to escape his soulless career and become a writer, but he's too busy to write. Should he leave his job so he can finally find the time to put pen to paper? Or will he realise that it's possible to make time for his passion if he's willing to dig deep?

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Whether you like to draw, paint, write, choreograph, or play music, you're probably familiar with the creative block, where you just can't seem to do anything despite your motivation. To escape that rut, try doing what you do best, only terribly.

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Nell Scovell is a comedy writer and the author of Just the Funny Parts: And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking Into the Hollywood Boy's Club. Nell's written for The Simpsons, Newhart, The Late Show with David Letterman, and a ton of other shows. We talk to Nell about how she excels as a woman in a field that's so male-dominated.

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Sometimes the hardest part about writing isn't finding ideas or knowing how to begin, it's maintaining a flow so you actually finish what you started. It's not quite total writer's block since you're already on the move, but a writer's road block, if you will. This trick that Star Trek: The Next Generation staff writers used can help you keep on truckin'.

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In the fallout of comedian Hari Kondabolu's documentary The Problem With Apu, and the weirdly defensive response from The Simpsons, producer Adi Shankar wants to make a woke Simpsons episode about Apu. To get the script, he's running a screenwriting contest.

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Of all the tricky grammar topics, who versus whom ranks right up there: get it wrong, and you risk looking like a rube. Get it right and you risk looking pretentious. Get it wrong in a different way and you risk looking like a pretentious rube. So we at Lifehacker, who want to be both right and non-pretentious (but only sometimes succeed), thought we'd do a little research and break down the whole who/whom thing once and for all.