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Applause with Mucus and Salt

In a lovely essay on the shared experience of theater audiences, Wesley Morris, critic at large for The New York Times, memorably describes weeping in the dark with fellow audience members as offering “applause with mucus and salt.” This...

“But” at the Beginning of Sentences

Every elementary school student is taught never to start a sentence with but. But why? Teachers of young students often warn against beginning with but or and simply as a way of avoiding a verbal crutch. All mature writers develop an instinct for...

scatter ad

scatter ad  n.— «Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves said on a conference call yesterday that CBS’s larger audience is countering the slightly lower prices per viewer for advanced ad sales, keeping revenue about even for the so...

cutty

cutty  adj.— «In striking that balance between spontaneity and propulsion, most editors strive to leave no fingerprints, content to create an emotional experience for the audience that’s at once seamless and immersive. Editors have a word...

feathered fish

feathered fish  n.— «Yet a number of Hollywood observers believed that no amount of marketing could save “W.” from being a “feathered fish”—a film whose target audience thinks it’s for someone else.» —“The Cobra” by Tad...

shit the bed

shit the bed  v. phr.— Note: Used in professional wrestling to mean “have stage fright” or “to be unable to go through with a plan.” «A: It is the total package, yes. It is the charisma. It the ability to take the...