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Beanplating the Bard


"It was bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen." In this week's episode of "A Way with Words," we share favorite first lines. Also, beanplating, meeting cute, looking like "a tree full of owls," and "another thing coming" versus "another think." Listen:


In an earlier show, we discussed efforts to avoid linguistic anachronisms on TV's "Mad Men." Some folks are similarly compulsive about fonts. Oh, the pain of seeing a document in Snell Roundhand Bold in a World War II movie, when the font was invented in 1972!

More in an excerpt from the British bestseller "Just My Type," by Simon Garfield:


The London Telegraph reviews "Just My Type":


Was Shakespeare gay? Poet Don Paterson, author of "Reading Shakespeare's Sonnets: A New Commentary," says the question is "so daft as to be barely worth answering. Of course he was." Regardless of whether you agree, Paterson's essay is by turns instructive, bracing, and often quite amusing:


Last week we mentioned Anne Trubek, author of "A Skeptic's Guide to Writers' Houses," who contends that preserving famous writers' homes is dubious at best. Salon's Laura Miller has written a delicious response. It's called "I Want to See Emily Dickinson's Chamber Pot":


Jane Austen's crystalline prose may not have been so polished. Oxford prof Kathryn Sutherland finds that in her original manuscripts, Austen uses dashes liberally, along with "capital letters and underlining to emphasize the words she thinks important, in a manner that takes us closer to the speaking voice than the printed page."

More in The Guardian:


Have a capital week,

Martha and Grant

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