Words and concepts – a personal thing?

From Stephen Downs’ OLDaily:

When I was a child I learned that there were six colours in the spectrum. I even learned a little rhyme to help me remember. Red and orange, green and blue, shining yellow, purple too, all the colours that we know, live up in the rainbow. Somewhere along the line, someone added a colour: indigo. Ask me today what colour something is and I’ll probably use one of the words in my rhyme. Indigo? Never use it, never even see it. Do I need the word for the colour to exist? Do I need to have learned the concept to distinguish indigo objects from others? This short article, unattributed but reading a lot like George Lakoff, suggests that concepts can exist even if the words don’t.

Further versus farther

The quick and dirty tip here is that you use farther to talk about physical distance and further to talk about metaphorical, or figurative, distance. It’s easy to remember because farther has the word far in it, and farobviously relates to physical distance.

For example  >>>

Top Ten Topics for Writers

Since its beginning in 1970, Poets & Writers has served as an information clearinghouse of all matters related to writing. While the range of inquiries has been broad, common themes have emerged over time. Their Top Ten Topics for Writers addresses the most popular and pressing issues.

Frank McCourt and the American Memoir


When Frank McCourt died last weekend at age 78, we were momentarily transported, it seemed, to a more innocent age of the American memoir.

Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press

MEMOIR MAN Frank McCourt wrote of his miserable Irish childhood in his first book, which set in motion a boom in memoirs, including some fakes.

For once, public discussion of a best-selling memoirist didn’t involve the words “fabrication,” “apologize” or “James Frey.” Instead, publishing insiders and ordinary readers alike recalled being captivated by the poetic intensity and rueful humanity of Mr. McCourt’s “Angela’s Ashes,” while former students fondly recalled the brilliant New York City public school teacher who waited until his mid-60s to finally grow up into a world-famous, Pulitzer Prize-winning author by writing down the amazing stories of his hardscrabble Irish childhood he’d been spinning out loud for years.

… read more

Red 5 Hits with iPhone App

With digital downloads of comics for various desktop and handheld devices getting more and more attention, several comics publishers are getting additional sales through iPhone downloads. One of the surprise success stories has been Red 5.
more » » »

Amazon, Archaia to release Kindle Graphic novel

  • Although Amazon.com has published prose works exclusively on the Kindle before, in a first the online retailer has teamed with graphic novel publisher Archaia to publish Tumor, an original graphic novel by writer Joshua Fialkov and artist Noel Tuazon, initially in a digital edition formatted specifically for the Kindle; Tumor will be released serially on the Kindle before a hardcover print edition is published.
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  • Do they or don’t they write like this any more? As far as I’m concerned this is one of the greats and always worth a re-read

    To Kill a Mockingbird

    by Harper Lee

    “When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow…. When enough years had gone by to enable us to look back on them, we sometimes discussed the events leading to his accident. I maintain that the Ewells started it all, but Jem, who was four years my senior, said it started long before that. He said it began the summer Dill came to us, when Dill first gave us the idea of making Boo Radley come out.”


    Authors boycott schools over sex-offence register

      • Respected British children's authors Anthony Horowitz, Philip Pullman and Michael Morpurgo object to a new government scheme that requires them to register their names on a database in case they pose a danger to children


    Respected British children’s authors Anthony Horowitz, Philip Pullman and Michael Morpurgo object to a new government scheme that requires them to register their names on a database in case they pose a danger to children

    • A group of respected British children’s authors and illustrators will stop visiting schools from the start of the next academic year, in protest at a new government scheme that requires them to register on a database in case they pose a danger to children.  … more

    Creating imaginary languages and words in fantasy for children and young people

    Creating languages and words is one of the most fun parts of writing fantasy. Careful, though! Incomprehensible gobbledygook can really put off readers, especially younger readers, but properly used, exotic names and fragments of other languages can really add to the rich and convincing texture of your book’s world. Here’s some tips based on my own experience.

    Psst! Secrets of a Best-Selling Hack: Basic Rules for Writing Fiction

    Thanks to Guy Kawasaki for this one ..
    • Steve Hely needed to know how to write very well in order to write as miserably as he does in “How I Became a Famous Novelist.” In a satirical novel that is a gag-packed assault on fictitious best-selling fiction, Mr. Hely, who has been a writer for David Letterman and “American Dad,” takes aim at genre after genre and manages to savage them all. You are invited to trawl the mass-market fiction in your local bookstore if you think Mr. Hely is making much up.