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1. NY Artist Carves Books Into Beautiful Sculptures

New York-based artist Brian Dettmer uses old books to create beautiful sculptures. Dettmer uses knives, tweezers and surgical tools to carve up the pages of a book. He does not add or move around content from the book, he only removes items to create new meanings with the page.

Here is more about the book from his artist’s statement: “The richness and depth of the book is universally respected yet often undiscovered as the monopoly of the form and relevance of the information fades over time. The book’s intended function has decreased and the form remains linear in a non-linear world. By altering physical forms of information and shifting preconceived functions, new and unexpected roles emerge.”

Dettmer is not alone is using books as a medium for art. Julia Strand and Mike Stillkey also work with old books in their creations.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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2. Peek

peek001

This is a peek of a picture book I am working on. It is in the story development phase. I am hopeful that the story is to a point that it is ready for submission. I just need to let it simmer for a few days.

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3. Persol Honors Frances McDormand at the 2014 Venice International Film Festival

Frances McDormand
(Venice, Italy) Frances McDormand has had a diverse and distinguished career so far, and it's about to reach new heights. Instead of complaining that Hollywood doesn't provide great roles for women -- especially older women -- she did something about it herself. McDormand optioned the Pulitzer Prize winning novel Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, and is playing the title character in an HBO mini-series by the same name, which she also executive-produced, along with Tom Hanks, Gary Goeztman and Jane Anderson, who wrote the screenplay. Directed by Lisa Cholodenko,  Olive Kitteridge will air in on HBO starting this November. The official site is here.

I've always loved Frances McDormand's work, and admire her as an actress. When she was here during the Venice Film Festival in 2008 to promote Burn After Reading, she was witty, intelligent and funny. This year she will be honored with the Persol Tribute to Visionary Talent Award 2014 on September 1st, and then Olive Kitteridge will have its world premiere here in Venice.

Frances McDormand
Alberto Barbera, the Director of the Venice Film Festival said, “The originality and immensity of Frances McDormand’s talent is well reflected in Olive Kitteridge, a project which she herself initiated, optioning the novel by Elizabeth Strout, and of which she is also executive producer -- another great manifestation of her vision, which we honor today with this award. Thanks to her long-standing experience in theatre, film and TV, dedicated to the search for truth, the career of Frances McDormandis not only that of an extraordinary actress, but also reflects her consistent vision of art and of the world that is positive and aware, often in contrast with today’s prevailing value system”.





It always surprises my Hollywood friends to learn that the Venice Film Festival is the oldest international film festival in the world. Founded in 1932 by Count Giuseppe Volpi, the first festival brought celebrities flocking to Venice from all around the world. Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Fredric March, Wallace Beery, Norma Shearer, James Cagney, Ronald Colman, Loretta Young, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Vittorio De Sica and Boris Karloff were all on hand to add dazzle to the event.


The first film to be screened in 1932 was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Rouben Mamoulian. Back then, the Venice Film Festival was not yet a competition, but it presented such films as It happened one night by Frank Capra, Grand Hotel by Edmund Goulding, The Champ by King Vidor, Frankenstein by James Whale, Zemlja (Earth) by Aleksandr Dovzenko, Gli uomini che mascalzoni… (What Scoundrels Men Are!) by Mario Camerini and  A nous la liberté by René Clair. The audience selected what they liked best: Helen Hayes won favorite actress; Fredric March, favorite actor; best director was the Soviet Nikolaj Ekk for Putjovka v zizn, while the best film was René Clair's A nous la liberté.

By creating a new cinema division within La Biennale, Venice's international art festival, the Venice Film Festival helped to raise cinema to an art form. The official name of the festival is the Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica della Biennale di Venezia or the "International Exhibition of Cinematographic Art of the Venice Biennale."



Nowadays the public can attend screenings for the 71st Venice International Film Festival by buying tickets with a click of the mouse. Visit La Biennale's website for the films that are screening, how to by tickets, and everything else you need to know by clicking here.

The 2014 71st Venice International Film Festival runs from August 27, 2014 to September 6, 2014. See you at the movies!

Ciao from Venezia,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog 

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4. Absolutely Almost (2014)

Absolutely Almost. Lisa Graff. 2014. Penguin. 304 pages [Source: Library]

I loved Absolutely Almost. I think I loved it at least as much as Umbrella Summer. Maybe even a little bit more. I don't know. Time will tell. I don't actually have to choose between the two, right?! I can LOVE two GREAT books by one very talented middle grade author, can't I?!

Albie is the protagonist of Absolutely Almost. His narration gives the book a just right feel. It's a satisfying read about a boy who struggles with meeting expectations: his parents, his grandparents, his teachers, his own. He's never good or great, he's always only almost. Almost good at this or that. Almost ready for this or that. And this oppressive almost gets him down now and then. Not always, mind you. I don't want to give the impression that Albie is sad and depressed and unable to cope with life. Albie is more than capable of having a good time, of enjoying life, of appreciating the world around him.

I really appreciated Graff's characterization. Not only do readers come to love (in some cases I imagine love, love, love) Albie, but, all the characters are well written or well developed. Albie's parents at times seem to be disconnected, out of touch with who their son is, what life is like for him, what he wants, what he needs. But just when I get ready to dismiss them as neglectful or clueless, something would happen that would make me pause and reconsider. Readers also get to know several other characters: his nanny, Calista, his math teacher, Mr. Clifton, and his friend, Betsy. For the record, he does have more than one friend. But Betsy is his new friend, his first friend that he makes at his new school. It is their friendship that is put to the test in the novel. It is his relationship with Betsy that allows for him to progress a bit emotionally. If that makes sense. (So yes, I know that his best-best friend is Erlan. But Erlan has been his friend for as long as he can remember, probably since they were toddlers. He's completely comfortable in that friendship. Their friendship does come into the novel here and there. But for me, it wasn't the most interesting aspect of the novel.)

I loved the setting of Absolutely Almost. I loved how we get to spend time with Albie in school and out of school. I loved how we get to see him in and out of his comfort zone. I loved that we got to see his home life. We got to see for ourselves how he interacts with parents. I love how Albie is able to love his parents even if they don't really make him top priority. Especially his Dad. Albie's need for his Dad's attention, the right kind of attention, can be FELT. Albie held onto hope that one day his Dad would find time to spend with him, that one day his Dad would see him--really see him. There were moments that hope lessened a bit as Albie gave into his emotions-of-the-moment. But Albie's love for his dad always won out at the end. His hope would return.

The writing. I loved it. I did. I think the quality of the writing was amazing. There were chapters that just got to me. Their were paragraphs that just resonated with me. The writing just felt TRUE.

Absolutely, Almost is set in New York City.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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5. "I’m not used to seeing people’s faces," he said. "There’s too much information there. Aren’t you..."

“"I’m not used to seeing people’s faces," he said. "There’s too much information there. Aren’t you aware of it? Too much, too fast."

-

The Strange Tale of the North Pond Hermit

Wow. This is an incredible story of a man who lived in the woods of Maine for nearly three decades, surviving almost entirely on things he stole from summer homes. He was finally caught, and reporter Micheal Finkel struck up a sort of friendship with him, visiting him in prison and learning about the years he spent silent and alone. 

(via chels)


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6. Guardians Of The Galaxy & Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Review + Guardi...

Well, I was going to post another one of Comicgirl19s videos BUT as I was about to post it I saw that Subzero over at Tales From The Kryptonian was intending on doing so.

Anyhoo, expect a few expletives but a few interesting insights!

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7. Bill Nye the Science Guy app review

bill nye desk Bill Nye the Science Guy app review2013 was an anniversary year for the live-action educational TV program Bill Nye the Science Guy. In honor of that occasion, developer Disney Education created the Bill Nye the Science Guy 20th Anniversary App.

Welcome to Nye Labs, where you’ll discover on the main screen (a.k.a. Bill’s retro-looking desk) an assortment of objects that when tapped lead you to different sections of the app, all narrated by Bill himself.

Learn about telling time with a sundial on Mars versus on Earth (Martian minutes are longer) or enter the “Whorl of Illusion!” to learn about different types of optical illusions. When you tap the Bill Nye bobblehead on the desk, he provides science trivia (e.g., “Humpback whales can go without eating for six months”). In the TV portion of the app, you can watch episodes of the show in which Bill teaches you about chemical reactions, the heart, the planets and sun, gravity, earthquakes, magnetism, friction, light optics, and mammals. NB: Each video costs an additional $1.99 in the app store. “The Book of Do-It-Yourself Experiments” provides instructions for hands-on projects, such as testing eggshell strength and cleaning pennies, to try at home.

bill nye book Bill Nye the Science Guy app review

Two games are included in the app. One is an “Archeology Dig of Science” with robot Diggity and his dog Rocky in the yard behind the lab. Complete three levels (crust, mantle, core) by having the robot dig down into the earth to discover artifacts worth points. You need to earn a certain number of points within the time limit to advance to the next level. In the other game you are looking for signs of life on the Plutoid Pluto — but you have to travel there from Earth in a rocket ship. Along the way you’ll pass other planets and learn facts about each one. You must figure out how to use each planet’s orbit to move you forward in space when you launch your rocket; timing is everything here. You also must complete missions along the way, such as photographing each planet and launching satellites. Engaging in missions will earn you “money,” which you need to continue playing the game (launching rockets is expensive!). But remember to save some missions for the end so you can drop a probe on Pluto and get back to Earth. And don’t get lost in space!

bill nye space Bill Nye the Science Guy app review

Both games were a bit tricky to master and certainly not designed for the youngest users, but with a little practice they were fairly enjoyable.

Inside the desk drawer on the main page, you’ll find a few little extras, including a step-by-step guide on “How to Tie a Bow Tie” — so you can wear one like Bill Nye — and a copy of the Periodic Table of Elements with facts about some of the elements. There’s no way turn off the sound effects or Bill’s narration in any of the sections, so they got repetitive after a while.

This app contains a random assortment of science facts and experiments… but it’s just that sort of variety that made the show so interesting to watch when it aired on PBS Kids in the 1990s and that makes the app, with its impressive and responsive graphics, an informative and entertaining e-introduction to Bill Nye’s approach for making basic science concepts accessible to kids.

Available for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch (requires iOS 6.0 or later); free with in-app purchases. Recommended for primary and intermediate users.

share save 171 16 Bill Nye the Science Guy app review

The post Bill Nye the Science Guy app review appeared first on The Horn Book.

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8. Brendan Reichs: Confessions of a Dynamic YA Author

Brendan Reichs, co-writer of the YA Fiction Virals series, shares with us some insights, favorites, and confessions of his dynamic author life.

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9. my favourite books

These are taken from an interview with the amazing Zoe Toft

page-six[1]

page-seven[1]


Filed under: children's illustration, dances, flying, journeys, snow, songs

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10. Cate Blanchett & Christian Bale Sign on To Jungle Book Adaptation

Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale are the latest actors to sign on to star in Warner Bros.’ live action film adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.

The two actors will star alongside Naomie Harris, Tom Hollander, Eddie Marsan and Peter Mullan in the Andy Serkis-directed film.

The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop: “Bale will voice Bagheera, a fearsome panther, both of whom save Mowgli from the killer tiger Shere Khan (Cumberbatch) and teach him the law of the jungle. Blanchett will voice Kaa, a sinister python who is also a friend to Mowgli, while Hollander will play Tabaqui, the jackal who is an underling of Shere Khan.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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11. A Few Sips Off

You take a sip from your drink and feel different. That may be because your torso has an extra arm protruding from it. Another sip, another arm. Then a wing. What happens if you finish the drink?

writing-promptsWant more creative writing prompts?

Pick up a copy of A Year of Writing Prompts: 365 Story Ideas for Honing Your Craft and Eliminating Writer’s Block. There’s a prompt for every day of the year and you can start on any day.

Order now from our shop.

 

 

 

 

 

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12. The State of the University Press

intelligent-books-to-read

Recently, a spate of articles appeared surrounding the future of the university press. Many of these, of course, focused on the roles institutional library sales, e-books, and shifting concerns around tenure play in determining the strictures and limitations to be overcome as scholarly publishing moves forward in an increasingly digital age. Last week, Book Business published an profile on what goes on behind the scenes as discussions about these issues shape, abet, and occasionally undermine the relationships between the university press, its supporting institution, its constituents, and the consumers and scholars for whom it markets its books. Including commentary from directors at the University of North Carolina Press, the University of California Press, and Johns Hopkins University Press, the piece also included a conversation with our own director, Garrett Kiely:

From Dan Eldridge’s “The State of the University Presses” at Book Business:

Talk to University of Chicago Press director Garrett Kiely, who also sits on the board of the Association of American University Presses (AAUP), and he’ll tell you that many of the presses that are struggling today — financially or otherwise — are dealing with the same sort of headaches being suffered by their colleagues in the commercial world. And yet there is one major difference: “The commercial imperative,” says Kiely, “has never been a requirement for many of these [university] presses.”

Historically, Kiely explains, an understanding has existed between university presses and their affiliated schools that the presses are publishing primarily to disseminate scholarly information. That’s a valuable service, you might say, that feeds the public good, regardless of profit. “But at the same time,” he adds, “as everything gets tight [regarding] the universities and the amount of money they spend on supporting their presses, those things get looked at very carefully.”

As a result, Kiely says, there’s an increasingly strong push today to align the interests of a press with its university. At the University of Chicago, for instance, both the institution and its press are well known for their strong sociology offerings. But because more and more library budgets today are going toward the scientific fields, a catalog filled with even the strongest of humanities titles isn’t necessarily the best thing for a press’ bottom line.

 The shift the digital, in particular, was a pivot point for much of Kiely’s discussion, which went on to consider some of the more successful—as well as awkward—endeavors embraced by the press as part of a publishing culture blatantly faced with the need to experiment via new modalities in order to meet the interlinked demands of expanding scholarship and changing technology. Today, the formerly comfortable terrain once tackled by academic publishing is ever-changing, and with an increasing rapidity, which as the article asserts, may leave “more questions than answers.” As Kiely put it:

“I think the speed with which new ideas can be tested, and either pursued or abandoned is very different than it was five years ago. . . . We’ve found you can very quickly go down the rabbit hole. And then you start wondering, ‘Is there a market for this? Is this really the way we should be going?’”

To read more from “The State of the University Press,” click here.

 

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13. Honoring Greg Djanikian in the pages of the Pennsylvania Gazette

I felt blessed when Pennsylvania Gazette editor John Prendergast invited me to write a 3,000 word story about Greg Djanikian, who trusted me to teach at Penn, who talks with  me many spring-semester Tuesdays when I arrive early to teach, who inspired a key character in my forthcoming Florence novel One Thing Stolen, and who writes some of the most gorgeous poetry anywhere. I wrote of his most recent book, Dear Gravity, here.

To write this story I spent an afternoon in Greg's beautiful home (filled with the artistry of his wife), interviewed Stephen Dunn, Julia Alvarez, Al Filreis, and others, and returned to a dear student, Eric Xu, who brought valuable insights to the Greg's beloved teaching.

The story can be found here.


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14. New Sherlock BBC Fan Fiction: “Promise”

I’m not one for Johnlock. (I’m an Irene Adler/Sherlock Holmes sort of girl. As Benedict Cumberbatch would say, “I like to be the dominant one.”) That said, I think the Sherlock/John Watson friendship is incredible. Here’s a short little ditty about what happens when Sherlock takes a bullet for John and John demands Sherlock make a promise he can never keep.

Promise
by Sara Dobie Bauer

I race around a back alley corner, Sherlock behind me. It’s rare that he’s behind me, but Lestrade held him back to shout a warning as I took off running after our man. The suspect may have murdered two women. He got away from us once; he will not get away again.

I feel my gun in the pocket of my coat, but I don’t take it out—not yet. Having something in my hand will only slow me down, and I like being in front for once. I can hear Sherlock behind me, the tap of his dress shoes on pavement. I’ve often wondered how the man runs with such speed in dress shoes. Then again, he does everything like a cat: jump, perch, sprint. He’s the human equivalent of a cheetah.

The sun has almost set, but my eyes are quick to adjust to dim light. I acquired quite a few things in the war, the least of which was a bullet wound. My reflexes are faster, my vision, keener. I hear things other people don’t—like the sound of fumbling footsteps ahead, for instance.

We’ve got him. He won’t shoot another woman dead. As I rush past a dumpster, only now do I pull my weapon. Best to be careful. We know the suspect is armed.

I round another corner. There is a dark shape ten feet ahead of me, frozen in place, blocked by a tall chain link fence. I move to aim, but the suspect already has me in his sights. The world slows.

In Afghanistan, I had no time to prepare for being shot. The bullet hit me in the shoulder like a heavy raindrop. There was no pain, only a dull knowledge that something was wrong. I have time now to prepare. I have time to wince at the sound of the gun going off. I have time to pull my own trigger, but I’m seconds too late. I know that.

Instead of the expected thud and ache of a bullet wound, I see black. I wonder if I’ve been killed. Is this death? No, I don’t suppose death has weight, but there is a weight against me: a heavy, long-limbed weight in a black coat. Only when I hear him moan, softly, do I realize I have Sherlock pressed against me. He slouches until my arms hold him around the chest.

“Sherlock.”

“Nice shot.”

I take steps back until I have Sherlock on the ground. He’s talking about my shot. The suspect is dead, ten feet in front of us. Sherlock’s eyes stare at the sky. His breath puffs out in labored wheezes, and this is not due to our chase. I have a horrible fear that Sherlock Holmes just took a bullet for me.

Read the rest at FanFiction.net.

tumblr_n5etjlI53i1rrux9go1_1280

(Amazing fan art credit: sheWolf294)


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15. Virals, by Kathy and Brendan Reichs | Series Review

In Virals, acclaimed mother and son writing duo Kathy and Brendan Reichs have created a captivating and enthralling series by incorporating science fiction and crime with a contemporary perspective, via 4 teens who are navigating an unusually adventurous adolescence.

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16. My friend Flurry saw this while he was out and about in San...



My friend Flurry saw this while he was out and about in San Francisco today. He wrote, “Title page of novel? Contents of package? Taped to teacher’s back?”

I really hope it’s the first. “Now I’d like to read a short section from my novel entitled … ,” etc.



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17. smarter than a super genius

Question: Okay, so I am writing a story where my main character is a holmesian-style detective, who often relies on his cunning wit and superior intelligence

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18. sfilzen: Jukebox last updated in 1980 (at Delta Lodge...



sfilzen:

Jukebox last updated in 1980 (at Delta Lodge Wisconsin)



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19. Over the River and Through the Woods

Doodles

Over the River and Through the Woods is the first page in a new sketch book. I need to get better at drawing directly into the computer and I want a non threatening page to sketch on once a day.

Rules: one page a day analogue or digital, only black and white, 15 minutes drawing and 15 minutes writing.

What if?

I am surprised and pleased at how much this looks like a child’s drawing. When examining the work of Paul Klee he seems to show no fear in his expression. His images are filled with “What if?” explorations. This is a place where “What if?” can exist.

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20. London and LonCon

Well, here I am, back from London and Loncon, with much to tell.  I combined my third foray to Worldcon (and my first as a Hugo nominee) with a family vacation, both of which were delightful if a little tiring--a classic "I need a vacation after this vacation" situation.  The experiences of both convention and city are already swirling in my head, so I'd better get them down while it's still

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21. British Justice Ministers Defend Prison Book Ban

British justice ministers have defended their push to prevent prisoners in England and Wales from having family and friends send them books.

They argue that prisoners can earn the right to buy books through the prison’s book selling program through a new ”incentives and earned privileges” regime.

The Guardian has more: “Justice ministry officials say lifting the ban on sending in books would undermine the basis of the new regime. The prisons minister, Jeremy Wright, said: ‘The notion that we are banning books in prisons is complete nonsense. All prisoners can have up to 12 books in their cells at any one time, and all prisoners have access to the prison library. ‘Under the incentives and earned privileges scheme, if prisoners engage with their rehabilitation and comply with the regime, they can have greater access to funds to buy items, including books.’”

Writers have called the move barbaric, stressing the importance of reading as part of a prisoner’s rehabilitation.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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22. Poetry Friday - A review of On the Wing

Douglas Florian is a poet and artist who has created poetry picture books that explore a wide variety of subjects. Over the years I have greatly enjoyed reading these books, and it is interesting to see how he applies his considerable talent to take on a new topic that interests him.

Douglas Florian
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Harcourt, 1996, 978-0152023669
Birds truly are remarkable animals. They come in a dazzling array of colors, live on every continent, and make their homes in all kinds of places. In this wonderful picture book Douglas Florian pairs short poems with his artwork to give readers a true celebration of birds.
   Over the millennia birds have evolved to suit many kinds of environments. Some birds, like the egret, sail on water and then rest on the beach making it seem as if there is a “feathered hat” lying on the sand. Dippers love to dip and dive in waterfalls. They are so aquatic that one wonders if they would be happy to “trade / Their oily wings for flippers.” They are such good swimmers that it is possible that the little birds might “think that they are fish.”
   Birds come in all shapes and sizes. The spoonbill is tall and thin with a beak that does indeed look like a long-handled spoon. In his poem about this rather odd looking species, Douglas Florian wonders if the spoonbill uses its bill “for stirring tea” or does it “use it as a scoop / For eating peas and drinking soup.”
   The stork has a bill that is perfectly suited for the environment it lives in. Wading through shallow water, the bird uses it rapier like bill to stab frogs and other creatures. Woodpeckers also have beaks that are perfectly adapted so that they can get to their chosen food - insects that live in wood and sap that runs through wood. Not only are these beaks perfect for creating holes, but woodpeckers also use them to communicate.
   With clever touches of humor and insightful descriptions, this collection of poems will give young readers a colorful picture of twenty-one bird speci

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23. Photo













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24. There's Always One...


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25. Are Subjects Joined by And Singular or Plural?

subjects-joined-by-and-singular-or-pluralQ: I’m writing a letter and am uncertain which sentence is correct: Your passion and commitment to my company HAVE inspired many, or, Your passion and commitment to my company HAS inspired many? —Carrie G.

This kind of thing used to trip me up, too, as a subject with multiple nouns in it seems like it should always be plural. But that isn’t always the case. The way you group the items determines whether it’s a singular subject or a plural subject (and whether you’d use the plural verb have or the singular has). Let me explain.

Sentence subjects that have independent nouns connected by and are plural, thus requiring plural verbs (such as have). One trick to tell if the nouns are independent from each other is to divide the sentence into two sentences and see if the meaning stays the same. For example: The baseball players and the manager were disappointed after losing the big game. When divided, the sentences read: The baseball players were disappointed after losing the big game. The manager was disappointed after losing the game. The meaning is the same and these nouns are thus independent of each other, making the original sentence a plural sentence and requiring a plural verb (were).

Let’s apply this trick to the sentence in question, Your passion and commitment to my company have inspired many. It can be divided into two sentences and keep the same meaning (Your passion to my company has inspired many; your commitment to my company has inspired many), therefore it’s plural and requires the plural verb have.

Not all subjects using and to connect nouns are plural, though. Sentence subjects that have multiple nouns connected by and that refer to a singular thing require singular verbs. Consider, Green eggs and ham was Sam-I-Am’s favorite dish. In this sentence, green eggs and ham is one specific dish in and of itself, so you use the singular verb was. If you divide this sentence (Green eggs was his favorite dish/Ham was his favorite dish) you change the meaning—and Sam-I-Am would be pretty disappointed if you had him over for dinner and served only half of his favorite meal.

When in doubt, divide the sentence to see which verb you need. It will help you on your grammatical quest toward subject/verb agreement.

Want other Grammar Rules? Check out:
Sneaked vs. Snuck
Who vs. Whom
Lay vs. Lie vs. Laid 
Which vs. That
Since vs. Because
Ensure vs. Insure
Home in vs. Hone in
Leaped vs. Leapt

Thanks for visiting The Writer’s Dig blog. For more great writing advice, click here.

*********************************************************************************************************************************

brian-klems-2013Brian A. Klems is the online editor of Writer’s Digest and author of the popular gift book Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl: A Dad’s Survival Guide to Raising Daughters.

Follow Brian on Twitter: @BrianKlems
Sign up for Brian’s free Writer’s Digest eNewsletter: WD Newsletter

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