Thursday, March 13, 2014


It's great to get our information from real experts in their fields. We've talked about books with author Cory Doctorow. We've talked about the Internet with Howard Rheingold, who Forbes Magazine called a "digital elder," and Bryan Alexander, a leading authority on the use of technology in liberal arts education.  We've talked music with 2011 Guitar Center Drum-Off Champion J.P. Bouvet (who is made of awesome), and U2 keyboardist Terry Lawless (live in class; notes and eventually video here).  Sadly, neither the best router nor a personal invitation can put us in touch with the most insightful linguist of my lifetime. I know: other people would call him a comedian.  They might even sniff and start in on Chomsky or Pinker. Or David Foster Wallace.  But to me, George Carlin was the best at teaching us about using our own words and considering whether they really mean what we intend.  Here he saves the best for last.  And the lesson is clear: if you want to make yourself understood you will need to become fluent in the vocabulary and terms of art AP readers understand.  Time to think more intentionally about the language you use when you write.


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