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For Writers - Book - Getting the Words Right

Getting the Words Right: How to Rewrite, Edit and Revise" by Theodore A. Rees Cheney
is a wonderful guide on frequently misused words and she tells us which ones to use depending on the meaning the author wishes to convey. Unpublished authors frequently use the wrong word because we use those words in everyday speech (such as nauseous).

Some examples on words that are misused include:
- anxious (with anxiety) vs eager
- bring (toward speaker) vs take
- continual (always going on with discernible intervals) vs continuous (without intervals)
- disinterested vs uninterested (lack of interest)
- enthuse is not a real word
- envy (discontented and want what someone else has) vs jealous (fear of rivalry)
- farther (distances you could imagine measuring) vs further (hard to measure)
- nauseous (making others feel nausea and creating their desire to vomit) vs nauseated (to feel nausea)
- utilize (make do with something not normally used for that purpose)
- whether (consideration of alternatives) vs if (setting up a condition of the future)

This is a wonderful guidebook for authors to clean up and improve their writing.

Also, check out WordDoctors.com

How Fedualism Worked

How Fedualism Worked:

A country's king divided all the land into portions, each called a "fief".

The King granted these fiefs to those who swore loyalty and service (Oath of Fealty) to him. He granted land to both barons and vassals (or knights) in exchange for services and taxes. The barons and vassals swore an Oath of Fealty to the king in exchange for land. So, when the king wanted to go to war or defend his country, he could call upon these barons and vassals to build up his army.

The barons also had the option of paying fines or hiring military men or professional knights to assist the king in their place. The number of soldiers sent in was directly proportional to the amount of land that the baron oversaw (ie, the larger the fief the more soldiers required).

Peasants and serfs lived in the fiefdom and worked for the overlord. A certain amount of product the serf grew or made was owed to the overlord in return for living on this land and for the overlord's protection. In harsh times, if the serf was not able to make enough surplus, his family would starve. In addition, the peasants were heavily taxed by the overlords (who in turn owed tax to the king).

For more information:

Spartacus.Schoolnet.Co.Uk - a nice overview starting with William the Conqueror

Knighthood and Chivalry in War and Peacetime Article

The Feudal System

Interactive Learner

Norman Social Organization and Feudalism