TEC Blog

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My Three Summer Book Picks

Book Reviews

The Queen of the Night Alexander Chee Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. I was given this novel by someone who thought that since I had a background in opera I might get a kick out of it, the titular Queen being one of Mozart’s most famous antagonists.   The book turned out to be an enjoyable romp of a period piece – historical fiction with a vivid, but not overwhelming, operatic theme. ...

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A Traveller's (Short) Reading List

Book Reviews

The Question of Mitbringsel Part of the preparation for my latest trip to Germany involved shopping for Canadian Mitbringsel (small presents): for my colleagues in the horn section, little boxes of maple sugar candies; for my friend Peter, chef extraordinaire, a pair of oven mitts decorated with an Inuit raven motif; and for my high-spirited French friend, Delphine, a red LCBO wine cooler with a black moose printed on it....

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The Language of the Olympics

Usage

Even the most sports-illiterate word nerds (I include myself in this category) will have been paying some attention to this month's Olympic Games — even if only because of some interesting linguistic phenomena. For instance, you may have heard the word "podium" used as a verb, or wondered if "Olympics" takes a singular or a plural verb.   Let's take a look at some Olympic terminology, where it came...

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Mysteries & Murders Make for a Chilling Summer

Book Reviews

In my most recent Kobo shopping spree, I was on the hunt for some great titles to carry me through the summer. I often find that I read certain genres in phases, and this summer has been no different – I seem to be going through mysteries of various kinds at a fast pace! So if you're looking for something a little creepier than your average beach read, I've...

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Editing Business Writing for Precision and Clarity

Business

Good business writing is clear and succinct. There are no unwanted words. The meaning is delivered with precision. The right tone, correct usage, and elimination of jargon strengthen the message.  Rene Cappon, former managing editor of the Associated Press, provides three main rules for business and news writing:   Don’t waste words and space Don’t use abstract, vague words ...

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