Matthew T. Phillips

Language is worth learning

I accidentally became a professional writer.  As a nearly-perpetual student, I wrote things all the time, though usually for relatively narrow consumption.  As a practicing lawyer, it was the essence of my job to interpret and use language in order to help clients achieve their goals.  As a college administrator, I wrote incidental letters and speeches until those duties overtook the rest of my job.

Love of language was no accident, though.  Language is at the core of both theology and law, my two fields of academic training.  The professional writing I do has given me the excuse to invest time learning (or re-learning, my secondary school teachers would want me to say) the rules of grammar and construction.  Robert Lane Greene, a correspondent for the Economist, has recently reviewed three mainstream books that inform someone who loves language enough to strive to use it correctly… and beautifully.

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