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"Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch"


On this installment of our show, better living through savvy verb deployment. Our guest is Constance Hale, the bestselling author of "Sin and Syntax" and other books on language, writing, and word choice. A veteran journalist and teacher, Hale has a new book out called "Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch: Let Verbs Power Your Writing." It's a work in four chapters, each as informative as it is entertaining, and it's that rare example of a "how to" book on English usage that's genuinely accessible from start to finish. The "Vex" chapter addresses confusing areas of syntax; the "Hex" part covers (and clarifies) various myths (and misunderstandings) about verbs; "Smash" looks at common bad habits in writing; and "Smooch" identifies prose that's "so good you'll want to kiss its creator." This is a book on writing well, then, that cites examples from Shakespeare, Hemingway, Susan Orlean, Junot Díaz, Gay Talese, and Garrison Keillor --- but also from pithy Twitter "tweets," advertising slogans, and Facebook status updates. It's also a work that is, as one critic for Kirkus Reviews has noted, "bubbling with energy and conviction."

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government. Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.
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