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In Next Month's TVR



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Valerie Collins

Valerie Collins
We had a plague of lobsters the other day. We also had a store selling truly delicious wrapping paper, a bar in which candles with decoratively dripping wax mix with modern seats, and a team of designers who amalgamate people around them. Welcome to the twilight world of tourist brochures and coffee table books, advertorials and assorted bumf and blurb. Where nightlife boils, the beaches are bang in the center of the city and the boulevards are fringed with bananas. Surreal, isn't it? Salvador Dalí must be turning in his mausoleum.


Richard Mitchell

Richard Mitchell
I have been given this assignment: To write on the question, Why good grammar? I have not been explicitly asked to answer the question, however, and for that I am grateful. It is a strange question, after all, something like Why clean hands? And its best answer is really, Well, why not? If there is anything to be proved here, it ought to be left to those who support the cause of "bad grammar."


David R. Williams

David R. Williams
"There is," said Vice President Dick Cheney the other day, "no doubt that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction." He went on: "There is also no doubt that he intends to use them on his neighbors, on our allies, and on us." Having long objected to the promiscuous use of the intransitive phrase "there is" in student papers, I looked twice at this one to ask what it was that so rankled. The waste of words was the least of the sins committed here. My example for most students is to compare "There is a dog running down the road" to "A dog is running down the road" and to ask which is the better sentence. The students always agree with the latter as more precise and can see that the former is unnecessarily wordy.


Brenda Townsend Hall

Brenda Townsend Hall
Have you asked anyone if they would like a cup of tea recently? The next time you do, make a note of the replies. Hardly anyone seems to say simply "Yes, please." I collected the following responses:

I don't mind if I do.
I wouldn't say no.
Not if it's any trouble.



The September issue of The Vocabula Review is due online September 15.


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