Issue For July 18, 2007
Writing Question of the Week
This is usually a question submitted by an OWL user to the OWL Tutors. If you have a question you need answered quickly, ask one of our OWL Tutors or call the Writing Lab's Grammar Hotline at 765-494-3723. And remember, both services are free for everyone!
I am working on a sub-head for the title of a financial novel. The title is:
Walking with the Analysts(as in financial analysts)
The preferred sub-head would be:
A novel about growth -- personal and financial.
Is this an accepted way to say it?
We could say, "a novel about personal and financial growth," but that is less succinct.
Thanks for your comments.
As the author, you have the freedom to choose the format for your title in most cases. However, the way you suggested is like having a subtitle of a subtitle and may not be the most effective. I prefer your second option.
However, I also suggest talking to your editor to find out what advice and/or preferences he or she may have.
--OWL Mail Tutors
The OWL Help Nest
Each week we publish Purdue OWL News readers' requests for advice or information and the responses from other Purdue OWL News readers.
I am going to be teaching first-year writing for the first time this upcoming fall. What good activities for teaching invention and the writing process do you recommend? --Laura, Minnesota
Hi. I assume you will be teaching post-secondary classes. First, I'd make sure I had a good textbook; most good ones offer teacher resources and suggested activities. In lieu of that, the internet offers good grammar sites (I have found that most students need a review of basic grammar.) You can also use op-ed pieces, magazine articles and essays to help students determine how a piece is put together: thesis, body, conclusion and how successful the author was with support and research materials. Examples from literature abound, too -- I especially like many of Mark Twain's essays for their clarity and humor.
I've been teaching composition and writing (and I am a writer myself) for more than a dozen years. Each new class is a challenge to keep material fresh and relevant. But that's half the fun -- the other half is seeing your students develop skills they'll use the rest of their lives.
--Maria Murad, National American University
What is the usage difference of "convenient" and "convenience." The same with "patient" or "patience." They tend to confuse me. Thank you. --K. Barnes
This is fairly simple: Patient is an adjective, so "I believe I am a patient person" (patient describes the person).
But patience is an abstract noun, (a quality) therefore: "My sister has very little patience; I think she will find the job very tough" (patience is the personal quality.
--Moya Daly, West London UK
To respond to your inquiry, here are a few examples: It is convenient (descriptor) for me to write my response in a Microsoft word program which is well located on my desktop for my convenience (a noun that may be defined as a state of ease). My computer is a convenience (noun) and if it were to fail to function, that would inconvenience (verb) me and I would have to wait for my computer specialist to come to see the computer at his convenience (noun). So convenience is either a noun or a verb. Convenient is a descriptor of a noun or a verb.
Patient is a little more complex because there is such a thing as a patient patient (not many, but still a few do exist). So you are a patient (descriptor) person who may also be a patient of the local psychiatrist if your patience (noun) is too long tested. Except for the specific designation of an individualís relationship to a medical person or facility, patient (descriptor) is reserved for describing a personís response to a potentially frustrating event or situation in a calm and reserved manner. In the unlikely event that the patient (noun) is patient (descriptor) when informed that the Dr. has gone golfing we may respond that we appreciate the patientís (noun) patience (descriptor meaning patient behavior). I hope this makes it all clear and that it does not try your patience too severely.
--Betty Nye Lendway, Florida State University and Florida A&M University
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What's Happening on the OWL at Purdue
- OWL Eye On...Internet Literacy. Anticipating some of our upcoming new materials, we have opened up an "Internet Literacy" section on the OWL. You can find it in our navigation bar. Expect to see some exciting new resources in this section in the upcoming months!
- OWL Eye On...Further MLA Revisions. We have added an additional section to our MLA guidelines that deal with citing miscellaneous print sources. The new resource can be found here: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/557/13/
What's Happening in the Writing Lab
- OWL Eye On...In Class Workshops. There is still time to schedule an in-class writing workshop with your students. Contact the Writing Lab for more information.
This week's OWL News was edited by Dana Lynn Driscoll, OWL Webmaster.