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Special Reports on  " English"

      Click on a title below to access the article in this Special Report.

Special Reports

The Love of Language

The words we know define the world we inhabit. Thus, whatever shortocomings our world may have can be connected with a lack, in our general society, of the right words. Perhaps we just do not love language enough and suppose that inarticulate violence, or brute force can take its place. Nor do we relaize the fundamental role of language in establishing and maintaining social control.

The words we know define the world we inhabit. When we are speechless--at a loss for words--we are facing the incomprehensible, some ...

The Unity of the Language Arts
"In the beginning was the Word." Whether or not we believe with Saint John that the Word is the origin of all creation, there can be ...

Plato's Republic
When Plato died, the opening words of the Republic were found on a wax tablet, written several different ways. Presumably, the way in ...

Madeleine l'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time
Although almost everyone recognizes "It was a dark and stormy night" as a famous opening line, virtually no one remembers the Victorian ...

Joyce's First (Dub)liner
It takes more than a good first sentence to make a good writer, but one cannot be a good writer without knowing how to write a good first ...

Walt Whitman's 'Song of Myself'
I celebrate myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. These ...

Shakespeare's Sonnets
From fairest creatures we desire increase, That thereby beauty's Rose might never die, But as the riper should by time ...

Madeleine l'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time
It was a dark and stormy night ... A familiar phrase to many of us. A phrase also used by many authors of the past and present. ...

Stephen Crane's Red Badge of Courage
The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting. At first ...

Plato's Republic
The Greek philosopher Plato was an important and creative thinker of the ancient world, and he ranks among the greatest philosophers of ...

Walt Whitman's 'Song of Myself'
I celebrate myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to ...

How Our Children Use Language: A Case Study
The fact that communication occurs at all is remarkable, but that it occurs in the form of language is miraculous. Language communication relies on common systems of signs and symbols, called grammars. The capacity of human beings to acquire language systems, or grammars, is astonishing, particularly in the first years of life. After about age six, the capacity to understand and internalize grammars diminishes. Small children may command several grammars, which will remain with them into adulthood, but it is unlikely that an older child or an adult will ever master a grammar not introduced at an early age. ...

The Discipline of Language
The notion that the first sentence of a good piece of prose contains, like a strand of DNA, the essence of the complete work to follow is immensely appealing to writers and readers alike. Unsurprisingly, it is particularly dear to literary critics. For it rests upon an organic understanding of language that affirms the essential unity between substance and form, between what we want to say and the way in which we choose to say it. ...

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