TheEdWire: 73% of Teachers Think Social Media and Texting is Bad for Grammar and Spelling. “According to a study released today by Dictionary.com, the leading online and mobile English-language resource, a vast majority (73%) of teachers think social media and texting are bad for grammar and spelling but half (50%) use it to better understand their students. Perhaps the online world is making both teachers and students apathetic to these skills because one-third (32%) of teachers say they see their students struggle with grammar, yet admit they care very little about it (15%) in comparison to other skills, like meaning and comprehension (64%).”
Lifehacker: Detect Plagiarism With the Help of This Friendly AI Bot. “The next literary hit to bear the same name as Jane Austen’s 200-year-old masterpiece Emma isn’t a book at all, but a thoroughly modern AI. This Emma — formally Emma Identity — the creation of computer science professor Aleksandr Marchenko, is the world’s first publicly available authorship identification web app. Give her at least 5,000 words of a written piece, and she’ll use more than 50 math parameters to figure out who wrote the lines.”
New-to-me, from Boing Boing: Free on the Internet Archive: 255 issues of Galaxy Magazines, 1950-1976. “The Internet Archive has nearly the entire run of Galaxy for your perusal, with classic stories by Le Guin, Cherryh, Heinlein, Bradbury, Asimov, Bester, and other pioneers. Also available is most of IF, Galaxy’s sister magazine.”
Quartz: The US government’s websites are so unreadable they actually break their own laws. “Federal agencies must use plain language. It’s the law. Yet the new 2017 US Government Website Clarity Index (pdf), put together by the content analysis company Visible Thread, shows that many sites defy the Plain Writing Act with puzzling prose.”
PRNewswire: 200+ Free Literature Study Guides Now Available on Course Hero (PRESS RELEASE). ” Course Hero, an online learning platform that empowers millions of students and educators to succeed, has developed more than 200 ‘Literature Study Guides and Infographics’ with detailed analyses on some of the most taught literature books in high school and college. Each study guide includes a visually stunning infographic, a character and plot diagram, a timeline highlighting key events, and more. The comprehensive and practical guides also feature historical and literary context to help students recognize the complex themes and symbolism in each work. “
Skyword: How to (Actually) Use Twitter for Freelance Writing Jobs. “You probably had that one friend in college. Someone you didn’t like all that much, but kept around because they always seemed to know about the best parties. For those looking for freelance writing jobs, social media can feel akin to that friend—in other words, a necessary evil. It is no longer enough to be able to dissect complicated concepts into digestible and relatable copy or find witty and original ways to subversively spotlight a client’s product without ever mentioning its given name—you also have to be able to help share that content with the world.” This article is also a decent discussion of online community — focused on Twitter — in general.
I love this article from Atlas Obscura: Library Hand, the Fastidiously Neat Penmanship Style Made for Card Catalogs. “In September 1885, a bunch of librarians spent four days holed up in scenic Lake George, just over 200 miles north of New York City. In the presence of such library-world luminaries as Melvil Dewey—the well-organized chap whose Dewey Decimal System keeps shelves orderly to this day—they discussed a range of issues, from the significance of the term ‘bookworm’ to the question of whether libraries ought to have a separate reference-room for ladies. They then turned their attention to another crucial issue: handwriting.”