After being given many examples of commonly misused words in the English language by retired college professor, Dolly Withrow, Writers’ Guild members admitted, that’s with a double “t,” that it is a wonder anyone outside the United States ever learns English. With today’s tweets and texts, the correct usage of many words is at risk of being lost forever. Regardless, not “irregardless,” writers must be true to their calling and continue to use good grammar and the correct word for the sake of us all.
One quotation from Eddy Peters Withrow is fond of using reads, “Not only does the English language borrow words from other languages; it sometime chases them down dark alleys, hits them over the head, and goes through their pockets.”
The following is taken from her essay, “Casting Spells in a College Classroom” and it reads, “I read somewhere that wars have been started and innocent persons executed because of breakdowns in communication. This (My class), then, is about improving our communication skills so we can effectively express our ideas and feelings to others.”
Withrow was 42 when she enrolled at West Virginia State College in Institute. She taught two summers at the University of Iowa and spent 15 years teaching English at her Alma Mater and occasionally at West Virginia University. She breathed new life into her classes with her love of the English language and her ability to make it interesting to her students.
Once, in her “History of the English Language” class, she distributed handouts which were meant to read, “The Great Vowel Shift.” However, the word “vowel” was a mistype of “bowel” instead. She and her students got a big laugh out of that.
When it comes to verbs, one problem people seem to have is not knowing when to add a second letter in making a verb change. For example, “traveled” from “travel” keeps only the one “l” at the end, while “transmitted” from “transmit” adds a second “t”. It depends which syllable in the word is emphasized. If the first syllable is accented, then the ending does not contain a double letter. If the accent is on the second syllable, it does. As another example, “cancel” becomes “canceled,” again, the accent is on the first syllable.
Present at a recent Point Pleasant Writers’Guild meeting to meet and hear Withrow speak were the following members: Patrecia Gray, Carol Newberry, Marilyn Clarke, Sue Underwood, Max Price, and April Pyles. Guests included Mona Leach and Connie Price.
Guild Leader Patrecia Gray gifted Withrow with a floral basket and a card in appreciation for her presentation.
The Guild meets at the Mason County Library in Point Pleasant on the first and third Wednesdays of the month, beginning at 1 p.m. All writers are welcome to attend.
Submitted by April Pyles.