Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Around the Word

The Worst Sentence of 2011: The revolting votes are in, and University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh professor Sue Fondrie has been officially declared the writer of the worst sentence of 2011. She won this year's Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, named after Edward George Earle Bulwer-Lytton, the author famous for having written the opening line "It was a dark and stormy night." The good professor's very bad sentence was this: "Cheryl's mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories." Check out the website for the runners-up in this year's battle of the bad-inage. (h/t GalleyCat).

Kvetch session, part 2: The timing of the worst sentence award was quite apt, what with the epidemic of rhetoric rage we seem to be experiencing these days. We've documented several of these gripe sessions about lazy language and clanging cliches here on the BloGG, from our discussion of vampire words to a poll Ragan is conducting on the worst writing pet-peeves. Now, our friend David Meadvin at Inkwell Strategies has weighed in with his team's least-favorite words as well. From the incorrect ("irregardless") to the overused ("basically"), this list will surely inspire you to come up with your own list of cringe-worthy words. Let us know which words you can't stand in the comments below.

Promotion, plus: Many of our friends in the publishing world are touting the potential of Google+ as a promotional tool for writers, and this week GalleyCat is out with some particularly useful tips on how to make the most of your new Google network. Check out their post to add your name to their Writers on Google+ directory and for links to tools for organizing, posting and networking. So far, how have you used Google+?

Read you like a book: Are you an introspective Salinger? Or a life of the party Vonnegut? Maybe a romantic Austen or macabre Shelley. As most bibliophiles know, the tomes on your bookshelf say a lot about you. Check out the Huffington Post's slideshow on what your favorite writer says about your personality.

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