Phonics 101: The Shining Company

The trees began to thin, and we came out onto the edge of a clearing; and in the same moment the harvest moon, which had been veiled by thunder-rack, sailed out into a lake of clear sky. Ragged silver wings of cloud formed the shores of the lake, and beyond the fringe...

Phonics 101: Consonants (Part 2)

On Tuesday, I talked about stops. Today we’ll focus on the promised nasals, sibilants, and liquids. (And you thought you left all this behind after English 101!) Nasals—n, m, ng—are sounded in the nose. Say inning, and you’ll see what I mean. You can feel the n and ng...

Phonics 101: Consonants (Part 1)

Oh goody! Another word-geek fest today. In my last post, I talked about vowel sounds. Today, we’ll focus on consonants. Most consonants cannot actually be said without an accompanying vowel sound. (Try saying the sound for “d” and see what I mean: you can’t really say...

Phonics 101: Vowels

In honor of it being back-to-school month, my next few posts will be all about words—two weeks of bliss for anyone out there who loves the English language. So, let’s get down to business. Or back to basics. Or whatever. We all know that words are made up of letters....