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The modern, and somewhat cynical line on poets is that they should not quit their day jobs. Poet pay is dismal or nonexistent; the opportunities for contemporary recognition, minuscule; and the chances for posthumous celebration, hardly to be taken seriously. We’re taking a contrarian view in the Lounge this month, as we dust off the Poetry Corner and pay a visit to a poet who never really had a day job, but who left an enduring imprint on the language, echoes of which can still be heard every day throughout the wide world of English.
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Before the beginning of the school year, we heard from Teachers At Work contributor Shannon Reed about a grant she had received to incorporate playwriting into a high-school science curriculum. Now Shannon returns with an update on this innovative cross-curricular program, which she has dubbed "SciPlay."
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Use this week's worksheet to give young students an opportunity to explore antonyms in the Visual Thesaurus. Antonyms, pairs of words expressing opposite concepts, are connected by dashed red lines in Visual Thesaurus word maps. Using the VT, students will find antonyms for eleven adjectives and then unscramble some mysterious letters to solve a puzzle. Click here
for the worksheet and here
for a related lesson plan, "It's Opposite Day."
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Sarah Palin's political opponents made hay out of her gaffe last Wednesday, when she said on Glenn Beck's radio show that "We gotta stand with our North Korean allies," when she meant "South Korean allies." Palin fought back with a Thanksgiving Facebook message that pointed to numerous slips of the tongue by President Obama. I don't find her "North Korean" error particularly remarkable (she was swiftly corrected by Beck, and she didn't confuse North and South Korea elsewhere in her remarks). I was more interested in what she said before that: "We're not having a lot of faith that the White House is going to come out with a strong enough policy to sanction
what it is that North Korea is going to do." Was her use of sanction
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A new book by Allan Metcalf, Professor of English at MacMurray College and Executive Secretary of the American Dialect Society, is all about the history of a single word: OK
. You can read a Q&A with Metcalf about OK: The Improbable Story of America’s Greatest Word
on the Oxford University Press blog here