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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...

Freudian Misquotes

It would be nice if Sigmund Freud really said “Everywhere I go, I find a poet has been there before me,” and the ailurophilic observation “Time spent with cats is never wasted.” However, according to researchers at the Freud...

Unusual Word for Ordinary Things

A teacher of English as a second language asks our Facebook group to name some unusual words for ordinary things. The group’s suggestions include winklehawk, which means an L-shaped tear in cloth, and diastema, which means a gap between...

Author Michael Sims

An observation about life and language from author Michael Sims: Every encounter with another human being is like being able to read half a page from the middle of a novel, isn’t it? And then someone grabs the book away. This is part of a...