Broken Rule Broke My Heart

Funny piece showing how difficult to master English is where the rules are often more like guidelines!



By Pat Brunson

The grammar rule: ‘I’ before ‘e’, except after ‘c’ is so weird, so deceiving, so leisurely caffeinated, so feisty, so counterfeiting and so seismic that I surprised my foreign neighbor’s Rottweiler.

Pat Brunson cartoons his blog.

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Poem: Irrelevant as a Blockbuster Store

Black and white sign says Sorry We're Closed, title text reads poem: Irrelevant as a Blockbuster store

Have your ever felt as irrelevant as a Blockbuster store

Or maybe Woolworths or BHS

One of those chain stores that folded

And people who once shopped there

Say things like “Oh, that’s so sad”

And “I’ll miss it”

Not because they still shopped there

But because they did, in times past

They liked the familiarity of a store

The idea of it

The notion that it would always be there

Without them having to actually visit

Or make purchases

Buying stationery elsewhere

Choosing other clothes shops

Prioritising other retailers

Have you ever wondered how long it would be

For anyone to truly notice if you disappeared

Or if they’d care

How long they’d miss you for – how long you’d miss someone else

It’s no use shedding tears over a store you don’t shop in closing down

Or a show you’ve never watched getting cancelled

Or a musician you never listen to quitting show business

Or someone you don’t seem to care about dying.

Notes: in the UK Blockbuster placed its UK subsidiaries in administration 2013. Today the Blockbuster brand has mostly been retired, with one remaining US store open, and a few in Australia.Blockbuster continues as a video on demand service in some Nordic countries (

Woolworths Group was a listed British company that owned the high-street retail chain Woolworths. It entered administration in 2009,and was officially dissolved in October 2015. (
Woolworths Limited, the largest retail company in Australia and New Zealand; named after the American F.W. Woolworth brand, is unrelated (

British Home Stores, commonly abbreviated to BHS and latterly legally styled BHS Ltd, was a British department store chain. It entered administration during and was dissolved by the end of 2016. (

While Blockbuster fell victim to new technology and streaming services, other stores have fallen out of popularity for other reasons. There’s often a nostalgic outpouring when something familiar disappears, sometimes by those who did nothing to support the business. If you like a business, a television show, a musician (or any other artist) or care about a person, you should probably show your appreciation in some way.

Maybe You Don’t Need to Write Every Day

So many articles pile on the guilt if you don’t or can’t write for a day, a week, longer. But guilt doesn’t help and can in fact make things worse. This article is a much needed rebuttal to the “you must write every single day or you’re not a writer” mindset

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

zAnnie_Scholl_Mug.jpgBy Annie L. Scholl

I’m not sure how I got the message that I had to write every day to be a “real” writer, but I’ll blame it on Julia Cameron and her book, The Artist’s Way. I read it when it came out in 1992. Cameron suggests a daily practice of “Morning Pages:” Three pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness writing you do first thing in the morning.

To be fair, Cameron makes it clear that your Morning Pages don’t have to be “high art.” You can rant, write your shopping list over and over, whatever you want. She does insist, though, that you fill three pages—every day.

I did Morning Pages religiously—for about a week-and-a-half. Over the years, I’ve tried again and again. Although the daily practice of Morning Pages didn’t stick, the idea that I had to write every day to be successful did. After all, Ernest Hemingway…

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