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Hidden Treasures

A new online archive of Civil War letters offers a vivid portrait of the everyday lives of enlisted men. These soldiers lacked formal education so they wrote and spelled by ear. The letters show us how ordinary people spoke then. • Is there a single...

Origin of “Flea Market”

A flea market is a type of bazaar, usually outdoors, where vendors of secondhand and discount goods sell their wares. But why flea market? The term probably reflects the influence of two linguistic strains: In 18th-century New York City, the Fly...

transclusion

transclusion  n.— «These components are then included by reference within documents, which is a practice often called “transclusion.” Transclusion does away with reuse via copy-and-paste, an insidious practice that results in a...

deconstruction

deconstruction  n.—Gloss: the re-use of discarded or dismantled building materials in home construction. «Instead of having her 1,300-square-foot house bulldozed, she hired Jon Alexander, a contractor who shared her environmentalism and...

trashion

trashion  n.— «Old seatbelts. Newspapers. Recycled magazines. Fashion inspiration comes from strange places. Eco-chic bloggers even have a name for it: trashion. The handbags you see on this page are icons of reuse, transforming mundane...

African flower

African flower  n.— «Their delicate nature makes reuse impossible and leads to their frequent introduction into nature, where experts say they tend to remain without breaking down for somewhere around 1,000 years. The bags are so pervasive...

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