Monday, August 12, 2013
A recent book offers some good hints for enlivening prose. Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch: Let Verbs Power Your Writing, by Constance Hale, urges writers to use strong verbs. It also covers other topics, including the subjunctive mood and baseless grammar “rules,” like the canard about not ending a sentence with a preposition. The book is written for a general audience, and I find its tone a little too breezy for use as a textbook, so I wouldn’t assign it to my legal writing students. But professors can get some good ideas from it, and I may recommend it to a few students as supplemental reading.
Hale is a writer and critic who says she’s been compared to “E.B. White on acid."