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We have a blog. We've had it for a while. You should take a look, there is some great content. I'll wait here while you read it...

Good, no?

This is a call for regular contributors. You don't have to have an idea immediately, just a willingness to write coherently about English and EL&U. If you do have ideas that's even better, because that's bound to be more interesting.

The plan is simple in its elegance. We are aiming to publish an article every two weeks. To achieve this I will wrangle, cajole and encourage some willing contributors to write posts on the following (negotiable) topics:

  • English Language tools (online and offline)
  • Plurals involving groups
  • Plurals involving fractions
  • Possessive apostrophes
  • Subjunctive mood
  • Gender neutral pronouns
  • The journey of a word from being two (or more) words to being one.
  • The use of "that that"
  • Formulating good questions
  • Prepositions at the end of sentences
  • Me vs Myself vs I
  • That vs Which

There is no particular order to the topics. I think 12 is enough to get started so we can see if the blog still has legs. If you have more topics you'd like to add (or do instead), that is fantastic.

The schedule would be to get the first post up on 1st September and then post something new fortnightly. I am going to be holding a weekly chat in the blog's chat room to discuss what should be posted, catchup on progress and help with any issues. If you have questions about the blog, I will be there a lot of the time (I do sleep, though) and I will respond to pings when I get them.

If you don't want to contribute directly we can always use other help, as in copy editors, morale boosters and idea suppliers.

I'm not averse to someone wanting to contribute a one-off post, but at this point we're really looking for regulars.

So

A. who wants to contribute?
B. when is a good time for a weekly chat?

Come to chat to discuss the blog

We need more contributors.

  • Congratulations, this makes me very excited! I'd like assist in this 'venture' and would like to make a contribution for sharing English grammar with you; but, I noticed the absence of an outline of the editorial process involved in that blog.- – Elberich Schneider Aug 15 '12 at 22:54
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    I'd be excited to write for an audience like this. But these topics – aren't they pretty much nattered to death every week? What's left to say? What does the blog format offer, except an opportunity to express one's prejudices more frankly? – StoneyB on hiatus Aug 16 '12 at 2:26
  • @StoneyB — Feel free to suggest other topics, pretty much anything is acceptable so long as it's related to English or the site. I picked those because they are frequently asked questions, so posts on them would be most beneficial to our user base. – Matt E. Эллен Aug 16 '12 at 7:45
  • @StoneyB You should come to chat to discuss topics and such – Matt E. Эллен Aug 17 '12 at 17:32
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    "No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money." — Samuel Johnson, attr. by Boswell – Robusto Aug 23 '12 at 15:29
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    @Robusto — I don't write for free. I write for Freedom. – Matt E. Эллен Aug 23 '12 at 18:15
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    @MattЭллен: Doesn't matter. The pay is the same. – Robusto Aug 23 '12 at 18:16
  • @MattЭллен Is there any way to see how many people view a particular blog post? – American Luke Nov 6 '12 at 1:17
  • @Luke — There is, but only for the blog admins. I can tell you, you're performing on par with the other posts, if that's of any help? – Matt E. Эллен Nov 6 '12 at 7:40
  • It appears to be part of a different SE, since it wanted me to log in to comment, and then refused to recognize my ELU or Ling login. – John Lawler Dec 15 '12 at 0:16
  • @JohnLawler Yes, the blog sites are wordpress sites, so the logins have to be transfered, as if you were logging into a different SE site for the first time. Robusto is having a similar problem, so it might help if you report your problem too. – Matt E. Эллен Dec 15 '12 at 0:28
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    Is there a form to fill out? – John Lawler Dec 15 '12 at 0:50
  • @JohnLawler sorry, I mean just post an answer to the question with your problem symptoms – Matt E. Эллен Dec 15 '12 at 10:37
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    @JohnLawler I lunk to the question in my first reply to you. – Matt E. Эллен Dec 15 '12 at 18:07
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    Well, It's really GraceNote's question but asked on behalf of Robusto. – Matt E. Эллен Dec 15 '12 at 18:09
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OK! Kit's rallying got a lot more interested than is represented in the other answers.

I have scheduled a regular chat to be every Thursday at 15:00 GMT. This is not set in stone, but it is the easiest time for me!

We have several topics in the pipeline now.

  • How to write good questions — Mahnax
  • Typography part 1 — cornbread ninja
  • Prescriptivism vs Descriptivism — Cameron
  • Possessive apostrophes' — KitFox♦
  • English words with Nordic roots — Luke
  • That vs Which — StoneyB
  • Explain to new users what they should do if their question is closed as General Reference — StoneyB
  • EL&U chat — me
  • Subjunctive — tchrist
  • A few, Some, Several, etc. — TBD
  • Pirate English — TBD
  • A review of Strunk & White's EoS — TBD
  • Use and misuse of Google Ngrams — TBD
  • English language tools — TBD
  • Typography part 2 — cornbread ninja
  • Gender neutral pronouns — TBD
  • What constitutes a word in English — TBD
  • Something about ELL — J.R.

Other than Mahnax being first, there isn't a particular order to the posts.

  • I'll update this as I hear more from other potential contributers – Matt E. Эллен Aug 17 '12 at 19:17
  • Do the above topics include coverage of subject-verb number agreement, forming plurals, and (so to speak) tense ? – James Waldby - jwpat7 Aug 24 '12 at 18:59
  • Subjunctive YES! Same for typography. Yay @cornbread ninja Only issue with typography is that I don't know if it on-topic for EL&U, there was a question about that matter a long time ago. Regardless, I want to see typography as an EL&U blog post topic, very much. I think typography can be appropriate content for EL&U, and it is beautiful and a favorite hobby interest of mine, and many other people. – Ellie Kesselman Aug 27 '12 at 7:26
  • @jwpat7 if you have a post in mind, come to the chat room and pitch it. We can see how it compares to Mitch's. – Matt E. Эллен Oct 26 '12 at 15:45
  • @MattЭллен, the items I mentioned are among those that appear so often in elementary questions that ELU might benefit from authoritative articles discussing them. However, I don't know how such posts should be organized. – James Waldby - jwpat7 Oct 26 '12 at 16:30
  • @jwpat7 - you should give it a go anyway! I can help with organisation, if you like. – Matt E. Эллен Oct 26 '12 at 16:44
  • We need that apostrophe in " Possessive apostrophes' — KitFox♦ " ? – Kris Apr 10 '13 at 6:13
  • English words with Nordic roots. Yes! You'll find them in everything known and common up until the 16th century. Merriam touched on why several goose are geese and not 'gooses' or 'goose'. Smith is from the Danish 'smed', 'iron' and 'järn' are sound-alikes, and so on. Category words like 'bird' (ancient word fugol/fågel) are genuine English inventions, and the reasons are obvious. You'll find most of them come from Danish and Swedish, not so much Norway. An Englishmen hearing Danish spoken today may think he's hearing English until he catches on, the manner of speaking is similar to this day. – Henrik Erlandsson Apr 21 '13 at 17:15
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Yay, Matt! I'm on board for moral support and copy editing. Also, coffee and donuts.

I can hang out in chat most days anywhere from 0800 - 1500 Eastern Time (UTC-5).

Thank you for volunteering to step up and try to get our blog jumpstarted.

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Would you accept posts recycled from my own blog?

2

This is a great idea! A blog holds the site together and keeps users in touch and interested. I'd love to help in my spare time.

However, I don't know if I'm a loner, but I don't feel qualified to write about the English language in a blog read by 21,000+ users every other week.

I am fine with copy-editing, though.

1

Good idea. Blogs and forums are a good idea, but they have one weak point. There are a lot of interesting questions, answers and ideas in forums and in blogger sites, but they vanish in the course of time and you can't find things one has read some time ago. It's almost impossible to find such things again. There should be ways to make the contents of forums and blogger sites transparent and there should be index-lists and registers so one can find things one is interested in.

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Will they have to be solid hard and fast rules, or is there room to talk about the evolution of the language, and areas of ambiguity, or looser rules? I'd love to contribute some thoughts on elements of style.

  • I'm not sure which rules you're referring too. I'd be very happy to have a post on Elements of Style. – Matt E. Эллен Feb 18 '14 at 11:49

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