You need social skills to have a conversation in real life — but they’re quite different from the skills you need to write good dialogue. Educator Nadia Kalman suggests a few “anti-social skills,” like eavesdropping and muttering to yourself, that can help you write an effective dialogue for your next story.
You’re in a movie theater, watching the new horror flick. The audience knows something that the main character does not. The audience sees the character’s actions are not in his best interest. What’s that feeling — the one that makes you want to shout at the screen? Christopher Warner identifies this storytelling device as dramatic irony.
Leaps and bounds separate that which is ironic and that which many people simply say is ironic. Christopher Warner wants to set the record straight: Something is ironic if and only if it is the exact opposite of what you would expect.
At face value, the lines between verbal irony, sarcasm, and compliments can be blurry. After all, the phrase ‘That looks nice’ could be all three depending on the circumstances. In the final of a three part series on irony, Christopher Warner gets into the irony you may use most often and most casually: verbal irony.
It may seem like the semicolon is struggling with an identity crisis. It looks like a comma crossed with a period. Maybe that’s why we toss these punctuation marks around like grammatical confetti; we’re confused about how to use them properly. Emma Bryce clarifies best practices for the semi-confusing semicolon.
If you read “Bob, a DJ and a clown” on a guest list, are three people coming to the party, or only one? That depends on whether you’re for or against the Oxford comma — perhaps the most hotly contested punctuation mark of all time. When do we use one? Can it really be optional, or is there a universal rule? TED-Ed explores both sides of this comma conundrum.