Tag: writing

One thing I've heard pretty consistently when talking to fans of the Weird series of books is that they love the cover design. I can't take credit for it, unfortunately, but I agree. It's simple, clean and eye-catching, just the way a book cover should be.

Sadly — no, thankfully — for every cover design that's great there are a dozen that are, well, not. And Nathan Shumate has assumed the task of compiling the best of the worst at Lousy Book Covers.

I have always been skeptical of the "taking businesses from red to black ink" explanation for the term Black Friday, since the phrase as it's used any other time holds a derogatory connotation.

Turns out I was right in that said explanation is a PR spin on what is, and should be, a derisive reference for a horrible, horrible day.

Ben Zimmer and Kevin Drum will explain.

It's been quite a while since the release of my last book, Weird Arizona, but the time has finally come. Weird Oklahoma is officially on the shelves!

Weeks on the road, months at the keyboard, hundreds of gallons of gas and nearly as much beer, and it's finally here. Head on over to the Souvenir Shop and find out all the bizarre stuff I've dug up across the Sooner State.

Stay tuned for excerpts, bonus photos and videos from my myriad research trips!

A few days after I discovered the horrifying error on the QuickStudy cover, I sent an e-mail to both the publishing company's customer service department and the company's president:

Mr. Gabbard;

While I was at my local Kinko's recently, I plucked a copy of your QuickStudy English guide from a nearby rack, hoping to amuse myself a few minutes while waiting in line. Unfortunately, upon reviewing the book's cover, I was less amused than I was saddened.

Among your list of selling points for the book at hand was a list of "commonly mispelled words." I would hope I needn't point out the pathetic irony here, but seeing as an untold number of people involved in the design and creation of your book missed it, I'm compelled to do so: you misspelled the word "misspell," which incidentally is one of the English language's most misspelled words. If the absurdity of the mistake weren't so laughable, I probably would've slit my wrists with paper cuts from the very book I was holding.

... Continued

I don't know if I've become a grammarian because I'm a writer, or if I've taken to writing because I like studying the rules of the English language. Either way, I've acquired somewhat of a superpower (it's a blessing and a curse) for spotting English mistakes.

That's why, when I stopped by Kinko's today and noticed a rack of QuickStudy pocket guides on various school subjects, my spidey spelling sense started to tingle, compelling me to pick up a copy of The QuickStudy for English.

Among other things, as you can see, it boasted a list of "commonly mispelled words."

If you don't get what I'm after here, then I recommend you pick up such a list yourself — just not this one.