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Blog Excerpts

Slang-orama!

In Sunday's New York Times Book Review, Visual Thesaurus editor Ben Zimmer has the back-page essay on the latest in slang dictionaries. You can read it online here, and you can listen to Ben's discussion with Book Review editor Sam Tanenhaus in the weekly podcast here. Also check out Ben's Artsbeat blog post on a 1699 slang dictionary.
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Today, March 23, 2011, is the first annual OK Day, celebrating America's greatest word (or expression?) and most successful export.

It's not the first birthday of OK, of course. OK was born 172 years ago, in the Boston Morning Post of March 23, 1839. But it's the first celebration.  Continue reading...
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Last week we presented an excerpt from Robert Lane Greene's fascinating new book, You Are What You Speak, tracing the origins of "language sticklers" back to the early days of English. In this second excerpt, Greene concludes his history of sticklerism with the recent success of the book Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss.  Continue reading...
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"I love your idea of reading 52 books a year," said a colleague last week. But the modifier  "theoretically" hung in the air. "How do you ever manage it?" she added.

In truth, I adore reading so much I don't find it difficult. I was the kind of kid who read the backs of cereal boxes at breakfast.  Continue reading...
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Robert Lane Greene, a correspondent for The Economist, has just published a thoroughly engaging book sure to fascinate all linguaphiles: You Are What You Speak: Grammar Grouches, Language Laws, and the Politics of Identity. In this excerpt, Greene argues that there has never been a "golden age" for English: fears of the language's demise have been with us for centuries, stoked by "sticklers" castigating the usage around them.  Continue reading...
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Last month a new edition of Mark Twain's classic novels was published: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in one volume, edited by Auburn University professor Alan Gribben. The book has attracted some press attention for the editor's decision to systematically change two words that occur in both of Twain's books.  Continue reading...
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Delta Girls is a book born from rejection. When Ballantine Books bought my novel Self Storage, they offered me a two-book deal, which of course was thrilling and affirming to me as a writer. I wrote a novel with a 12-year-old narrator, My Life with the Lincolns, and turned it in, thinking I had fulfilled my contract and would have a new book in the world soon.  Continue reading...
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9 10 11 12 13 Displaying 71-77 of 359 Articles