Did you miss our recent brand-new episode in which we talked about the game rock-paper-scissors, Band-Aids vs. plasters, Yiddish proverbs, jonesing, and more? Listen to it on our website or download the MP3.
We aired a rebroadcast last weekend (rerun, encore edition, in-case-you-missed-it, etc.). Listen online or get that MP3, too. A lot of people had opinions on why a $100 bill might be called a croaker and others really appreciated the dictionary recommendations.
A Change in Site
We’re working on a brand-new website!
When we first built the one we have now, social media wasn’t a big thing yet and mobile phones accounted for less than 1% of a typical website’s traffic.
Now, however, both are hugely important and we’ve got a lot of ideas about how the site can be better. But what do you think our website needs? Drop us a line and tell us by replying to this newsletter or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tidbits and Titbits
• The New York Times has a new blog series called “Draft,” which is about the craft of writing. So far:
- Jhumpa Lahiri on the sentence as a unit of writing. “The best sentences orient us, like stars in the sky, like landmarks on a trail.”
- Constance Hale has a mini-series of writing lessons, including the sentence as a mini-narrative, its follow-up of reader-contributed favorite sentences, and the nebulousness of parts of speech.
- Kitty Burns Florey digs into sentence diagramming: where did it come from and where did it go?
• Is elegant variation annoying over-embellishment or a necessary lightening of ponderous repetition? “Elegant variation” is when, to avoid repeating oneself, a writer comes up with synonyms, such as “fleet-footed second-sacker” instead of “fast second baseman.” Lane Green at The Economist and Ben Yagoda at The Chronicle of Higher Education “Lingua Franca” blog opine.
• The blog LessWrong has compiled a list of the best core textbooks in all major subjects, at least according to its contributors. The linguistic ones are indeed good choices.
Peace and love,
Martha and Grant