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LinguaPhile, July 2005

An e-mail newsletter nurturing the development and enjoyment of English language arts at home and at school.

We welcome new subscribers from the Christian Home Educators Fellowship (MO) Conference.


Watch for The World's Greatest Fair on Your PBS Station

The World's Greatest Fair, high definition documentary about the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, will be shown on PBS stations around the country beginning this summer. Of the shows offered by American Public Television, The World's Greatest Fair was the most frequently requested. It was picked up by the 23 largest markets in the country.

The documentary employed the efforts of many volunteers. Fran contributed the story about the Observation Wheel, commonly known as the Ferris Wheel.

For an introduction to the 1904 World's Fair, see the January 2004 LinguaPhile:

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Back to School

Which use of Hands-On English would best suit your needs?

• A resource for teachers at all levels

• A handbook for students fourth grade and older

• A curriculum for homeschoolers fourth grade and older

• A home reference for the entire family

• A reference for the office

Near the bottom of Web pages for Hands-On English and the Activity Book you'll find links to a complete table of contents and a few sample pages for each book.

Many people have said that Hands-On English is the clearest English book they've found, and it makes grammar visual with symbols to represent parts of speech. When grammar is concrete,
it is much easier to understand.

Practice pages, a card game, and visual aids promote mastery of the concepts presented in the handbook.

Substantial discounts are available on volume purchases.

You can order by phone, fax, snail mail, or on the Internet. MasterCard and Visa are accepted, and purchase orders are accepted from institutions.

If you have questions, contact or (toll free) 1-888-641-5353. This number will also accept fax orders.

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MO Residents, Take Advantage of the Sales Tax Holiday Aug. 5-7

School clothes and school supplies (including textbooks) will be exempt from Missouri state sales tax from 12:01 a.m. Friday, August 5, through midnight Sunday, August 7. (In counties that are not participating in the holiday, you would still be charged local tax.)

St. Louis County, home of Portico Books, is participating in the sales tax holiday, so if you order Hands-On English products during this window, you will be charged no sales tax (even though it will show on orders placed at

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Quote of the Month: Writing

Planning to write is not writing. Outlining . . . researching . . . talking to people about what you're doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.
 --E. L. Doctorow, American writer, b. 1931

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Expand Your Vocabulary:  Visual Thesaurus

A thesaurus often helps us find a word we can't retrieve -- or perhaps one we haven't yet met. Now the Visual Thesaurus, with some elements of a thesaurus and some of a dictionary, can help generate interest in language.

With 145,000 English words, the Visual Thesaurus is available in a desktop or an online edition. Both editions are available for Windows and for Macintosh (OS X).

When a word is entered, its entry bursts onto the screen like a cascading firework. The search word appears in the center, much as if you were building a web or a map. Synonyms and other related words appear around it on branches. Different parts of speech are represented by different colors. Pronunciations are available, as are definitions, example sentences, and sixteen different word relationships. Clicking on a sub-entry creates a brand new "web" with that word at its center.

The Visual Thesaurus is recommended for anyone 8 years of age and older, including people learning English as an additional language. The online edition includes words in Dutch, French, German, Italian, and Spanish for native speakers of those languages.

The Visual Thesaurus is modestly priced: $29.95 for the desktop edition and $19.95 for a year's subscription to the online edition. A workbook and teacher's guide are available as free downloads. You can learn more about this innovative tool at .

Hands-On English includes more than 200 morphemes, along with their meanings and examples. Knowing the meanings of morphemes can help you unlock hundreds of words the first time you encounter them. Reviewers of Hands-On English have said that the vocabulary section alone is worth the book's modest purchase price. Learn more -- and place your order -- at

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Q and A:  Pronouncing cc

Question: I hear so many people pronounce cc as /s/, as in accede (/uh SEED/) and accessory (/uh SES er ee/). I always used to hear the first c pronounced /k/ and the second /s/. Have these pronunciations changed? Have I been wrong all these years?  

Answer: No, the pronunciations haven't changed, and you are not wrong. The words you cited should be pronounced /ak SEED/ and /ak SES er ee/. Notice that these words follow the general rule for pronouncing c: /k/ before a consonant or a, o, or u; /s/ before e, i, or y. The first c in accede and accessory is followed by a consonant, so it says /k/. The second c in each of these words is followed by e, so it says /s/. It might help to think of words with similar beginnings that are usually pronounced correctly: accent, accident, access.

When the second c is followed by a consonant or by a, o, or u, the cc makes one sound: /k/. Examples are acclimate, accommodate, and accumulate.

The same rule applies when the initial letter of the word is o: /ks/ in occidental and occipital; /k/ in occasion, occur, and occlude.

This rule is extremely reliable -- and can help with spelling as well as pronunciation. At the moment I can think of no exceptions. However, I wouldn't guarantee that there are none.

Hands-On English will put a wealth of information at your fingertips so that you can quickly find what you need to know about grammar, usage, capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and more. Get details -- and place your order -- at

We invite your questions for this feature:

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Review: The Organized Writer: 30 Days to More Time, More Money and Less Frustration by Julie Hood

Although aimed specifically at the freelance writer, the majority of The Organized Writer: 30 Days to More Time, More Money and Less Frustration would help anyone who wants to become more efficient in realizing goals.

Author Julie Hood begins with six Organized Writer Rules. My favorite is Rule 6: Work Forward. Hood says, "Organize for your work ahead. Don't organize what's already finished. You want to save time going forward not just reorganize what you already have."

The preceding paragraph illustrates Hood's style. She makes her point clearly and concisely, but she doesn't waste the reader's time with embellishment and restatement. She identifies the task for each day, usually offers checklists and/or forms to expedite accomplishment, and includes cross-referencing for related topics that are developed on another day.

Hood helps people organize their time, their space, their computer, their projects, and their records. She recognizes that people have different organizational styles, and she encourages people to identify and implement the ideas that work for them. She breaks tasks into manageable steps and regularly assures us that we can do this. She even dares to reveal the aspects of organization that still challenge her -- a very effective means of encouragement.

One of the most helpful tools for writers is the Idea Grabber Form, a comprehensive worksheet for a project. It includes a place for recording the main idea, various topics or ideas that might make up the body of the article, and many possibilities: for title, markets, experts (with contact information), beginnings, and endings. Hood also offers guides to help writers analyze a publication, compose query letters, and keep track of submissions and payment.

The Organized Writer includes many tips to help you save time or money: streamlining household tasks, buying the book you want at the lowest price, even finding pens that write the fastest (for important interviews). After all, any time saved can be reallocated to writing.

The perfect conclusion to The Organized Writer is a detailed index that will help you find any of the book's wonderful content that you may have misplaced. All forms are listed together as are recommended websites and daily tasks. The Organized Writer, with the index as its microcosm, is indeed a model of the organization that Julie Hood advocates in this valuable resource.

The Organized Writer (© 2002) is available as a 204-page e-book from .
The website includes many other helpful resources for writers, some of them free.

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Poem: "Je Mets Mes Affaires en Ordre."

The persona in this poem is the apparent antithesis of Julie Hood's Organized Writer. Although she manages to reap a reward from her chaos, this poem is in no way intended to disparage the order that Hood proposes.

The title, a staple from introductory French courses, means "I put my things in order."

                "Je Mets Mes Affaires en Ordre."
                    by Fran Santoro Hamilton         

       "Fall in!"

       If I could command the papers in my den,
       They'd promptly fly into the appropriate cubbyhole,        
       Or file folder, or drawer.

       But these subversive creatures
       Conspire to defy classification.
       Instead they tempt with "Savor me,"
       "Solve me," "Remember me," "Revise me."
       They create a maze through which I love to wander.
       They propagate --

       Voilą their latest offspring.

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Puzzler: Anagrams

An anagram is a word that includes the same letters as another word. For example, time and mite are anagrams of each other. Each of these phrases has an anagram that is closely related to it in meaning. For example, dormitory is an anagram of dirty room. (Note: New anagrams will not include the punctuation marks. Each new anagram is one word unless the number in parentheses indicates a different number of words.)

 1. Voices rant on
 2. Interpret one amiss
 3. A cent tip
 4. Nine thumps
 5. I form unity
 6. A stew, Sir?
 7. A rich Tory caste (2)
 8. Actual crime isn't evinced (2)
 9. Ah, not a smile (3)
10. Here come dots (3)
11. Cash lost in 'em (2)

April Puzzler

List as many expressions as you can that are rooted in baseball but now have a broader application (example: "batting a thousand").

Possible Answers

strike out
three strikes and you're out
on the ball
in the big leagues
in the ball park
a whole new ball game
right off the bat
a pitch
take a swing
play the field
get to first base
cover your bases
come out swinging
go down swinging
good call
on deck
off base
touch base
hit a home run
ball park estimate
Who's on first?

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Thank you for reading. If you find LinguaPhile helpful and interesting, don't keep it a secret! Consider which of your friends would also enjoy it, and send them information about subscribing. Those receiving this forwarded message can subscribe at

We welcome your comments and suggestions:

The index to LinguaPhile, which is updated regularly, is now available in either a text or .doc format on the GrammarAndMore Web site:
This makes the information from previous issues readily accessible. You are encouraged to print the index for your convenience or to share it with friends. Why not send them the URL of the text version?
It's a gift you can give, yet still have for yourself!

© 2005 Fran Santoro Hamilton


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