Slang for the Ages

EVERYONE knows that slang is informal speech, usually invented by reckless young people, who are ruining proper English. These obnoxious upstart words are vapid and worthless, say the guardians of good usage, and lexicographers like me should be preserving language that has a lineage, well-bred words with wholesome backgrounds, rather than recording the modish vulgarities […]

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Sequoias And Coastal Redwoods Appear To Flourish Despite Climate Change

23 Fascinating Words With No Direct English Translations

The claim that Eskimos have about a trillion words for snow may be a false one — actually, Eskimo languages have about as many synonyms for snow as English does — but it remains true that the language of a culture can be fascinating and illustrative. It makes sense that Italians, whose meals typically last longer than American’s, would […]

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Photograph: Steve Schofield

Stephen King has named his most hated expressions. What are yours?

The Atlantic’s fantastic interview on teaching, writing and reading with Stephen King is well worth reading in full. “It’s such a horrible idea to try teaching Moby-Dick or Dubliners to high school juniors. Even the bright ones lose heart. But it’s good to make them reach a little. They’ve got to see there are brighter literary worlds […]

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AP Photo/Sigmund Freud Museum

The Lasting Legacy of Freud

It is difficult to realize, from a distance of nearly a century, quite the impact that Sigmund Freud and his theories had upon polite society of the 1920s and ’30s. The novelist D.H. Lawrence wrote that ‘the Oedipus complex was a household word, the incest motive a commonplace of tea-time chat,’ and popular guides to psychoanalysis proliferated, with titles […]

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