The notes and emails from my former students are truly heartbreaking, encouraging and affirming. Thank you all for reminding me why I do what I do and that I do it damn well. Yes, that is a curse word. Yes, I curse. Why? Because once you are a master of the English language you know when and where and how foul language can be just as beautiful and impactful as the more baroque terms people search for when trying to impress others.
As I was reminiscing on my wonderful fall, winter and spring terms I came up with some universals that everyone -- not just students but all of us in the world -- need to be mindful of. So, below are just a few of the important things you may or may not recall (with joy and/or some hatred):
1. it is the text, not the author, doing the action of the words. you are studying, critiquing and analyzing the behavior of the language not the choices the author made.
2. You do not sound intelligent when you say "obviously" and "clearly", rather all you have succeeded in doing is raising your bar of proof.
3. "Interesting" is one of the most boring words in the English language. Be more intentional (I know you guys remember this one): if something strikes you, then say it strikes you!
4. If it can be then do it. This is a rule for writing and for life.
just some things usually on my mind....