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gram·ma·ry /ˈɡramərē/

noun: A blog of thoughts, news, and everything insightful! #Hello1HP

The Working-Class Writer: John Steinbeck

Jul 11, 2019

Abruptly following the overindulgent era of the Roaring Twenties, the United States experienced the harshest of economic downturns, and its citizens soon felt the humbling blow of the Great Depression. As a laborer-turned-writer, John Steinbeck perfectly captured the diminished spirit of the American working class through his sobering stories of survival, camaraderie, and hope in the midst of poverty. Steinbeck was born on February 2, 1902, in Salinas, California. His father worked several jobs to support his family, mainly as a flour mill manager, while his mother was a schoolteacher. Young Steinbeck and his two elder sisters enjoyed reading, fast becoming avid fans of Thomas Mal......

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The Glitz and Gamble of the Jazz Age: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Jul 04, 2019

For nearly a century, he has been renowned for his colorful works of fiction, his celebrity presence in the Roaring Twenties, his indulgent lifestyle, and, of course, his creation of the “Great American Novel." No other American author truly embodies the fancies and follies of the Jazz Age than Francis Scott Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald was born on September 24, 1896, in St. Paul, Minnesota, to Catholic parents—an aristocrat father and a provincial mother. He was named after a distant relative on his father’s side, Francis Scott Key, the lyricist of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” Fitzgerald attended St. Paul Academy and, at the age of 13, published his first piece of fiction, a short detec......

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Sarah Kane: A Candid and Daring Playwright

Jun 13, 2019

The year is 1995. The Royal Court Theatre in London is all set up for a production written by a debuting playwright. The British audiences, always excited to see grand productions from their favorite theaters, have just settled in their seats. Lights are turned off, and the curtains finally open. No one in the theater knows exactly what to expect, but apparently, Blasted by Sarah Kane is not what they’re prepared for. A series of physical violence, sexual harassment—and even cannibalism—Blasted is a play that presented sex and war in its most raw and most natural form. It was described by the British press as “disgusting,” “scandalizing,” and “nightmarish,” but that didn’t stop Sa......

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The Scribe of Stage and Screen: Tom Stoppard

Jun 07, 2019

“We are tied down to a language which makes up in obscurity what it lacks in style,” so says the Player in Tom Stoppard’s renowned play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Uninhibited by circumstance and convention, Stoppard, an immigrant playwright, breaks free from this line as he pens well-reputed works that showcase not only his mastery of the English language but also his eccentric manipulation of both fiction and canon to create timeless narratives for both the stage and the screen. Stoppard was born Tomáš Straussler in 1937 in Zlín, Czechoslovakia, where he and his Jewish family experienced the ravages of World War II, during which all four of his grandparents perished i......

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Wartime and Wilderness in the West: Ernest Hemingway

May 16, 2019

As a man disillusioned by the ravages of war and lost love, Ernest Hemingway penned male-centric fictional works that spoke brusquely of the unpredictable American psyche and, as a result, has been considered a notable trailblazer in 20th-century naturalist literature in the United States. Born on July 21, 1899, in Cicero, Illinois, Hemingway was raised conservatively in the suburbs yet enjoyed frequent vacations with his family at their cabin in Northern Michigan, where he became skilled in such outdoor activities as hunting and fishing. In high school, Hemingway was highly active as a writer in the school newspaper, Trapeze and Tabula, and his early experience as a journalist ca......

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Much Obliged: Here’s What Makes Obligated Different from Obliged

May 15, 2019

Learning English? Then you’re obligated to read this article. We have learned over the course of this series that two words that sound alike don’t always have the same meaning. Once in a while, we get word pairs that sound so alike and have meanings that are pretty similar that differentiating one from the other can be pretty tricky. The words obliged and obligated are only two of many examples. Both obligated and obliged are what we call transitive verbs in the English language. This means that it is an action word that is always paired with a direct object. As we dive into the details of their difference, make sure to pay attention to the details because they make a whole world of......

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Ten Must-Read Blogs for Language Lovers and Learners

May 14, 2019

From looking up grammar guides to losing ourselves in vocabulary vortices, we’ve scoured the cyber woods of words to bring you a select list of blogs that discuss the many facets of the English language. Equal parts educational, engrossing, and entertaining, these influential blogs should be a friend to every avid reader, aspiring writer, public speaker, English learner, and word lover out there. Grammar Girl Grammar Girl has covered—and continues to cover—a vast number of grammar queries and, indeed, is often the first site that comes up for whatever grammar problem you type into your search engine. As a subsection of Quick and Dirty Tips, this blog’s appeal is its simple,......

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The One Who Writes and Dreams: Laini Taylor

May 09, 2019

Laini Taylor spins tales of strange lands, forbidden romances, and hope as the everlasting game changer for young adult readers. As a recent favorite in the genre of YA literature, she lives the fantasy she creates for her audience, whether young or old, and has fun doing it. Taylor was born on December 11, 1971, in Chico, California. She is a self-proclaimed “navy brat,” having moved along with her family during her childhood to several states and countries, such as Hawaii, Virginia, California, Italy, and Belgium. She graduated from Fountain Valley High School in Orange County in 1989 and from UC Berkeley in 1994 with an English degree. She also took three semesters at the Calif......

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