Writing

Logophile Tuesday – Verbal Irony

Logophile Tuesday – Verbal Irony

Perhaps my favorite form of wordplay is clever verbal irony. That is, simple phrases that are internally contradictory in delightfully evocative ways. Douglas Adams introduced me to the joy of this in the »

Logophile Tuesday – Contronyms

Logophile Tuesday – Contronyms

A few weeks ago, I complained that “literally” had lost its original meaning and was now its own antonym. Thanks to fellow language lovers, I learned there is a word for that: contronym. A contronym is a word that is its own opposite. While I was aware of “literally,” and it annoyed me, there were many more that I had not considered. Here for your pondering pleasure, a shor... »

Logophile Tuesday – Proofreading

Logophile Tuesday – Proofreading

Anne passed me a little poetic performance Taylor Mali that belongs in our collection of linguistic ruminations. It is a careful reflection on the impotence of proofreading. Enjoy. »

Sofia Kovalevskaya: Love Makes All the Partial Difference

Sofia Kovalevskaya: Love Makes All the Partial Difference

Everybody needs love, but for some the striving after it so dominates their every action and decision that it becomes impossible to ever truly find. Veering between professions, friendships, and lovers, their desire for perfect love driving away by its intensity anybody who might have offered it, those possessed by such a need rarely live happily or end well, but their lives dazzle as against the ... »

Logophile Tuesdays: Could you care less?

Logophile Tuesdays: Could you care less?

Language is a fluid and evolving thing with meaning and usage changing at the merciless whims of fashion, culture, and time. There are some words and phrases, though, that have mutated into hideous monstrosoties and should be culled from the collective consciousness. “Literally” has been abused so violently in big fish stories that it almost unusable for its original purpose. Once valu... »

Logophile Tuesday: A Skulk of Trolls

Logophile Tuesday: A Skulk of Trolls

I am a fan of the absurdities contained within the English language. Collective nouns, for example, are delightfully entertaining and almost entirely pointless. The serve nearly no linguistic use, and there is certainly no need to have a different one for every countable noun that might bother to gather in numbers exceeding two. Some favorites: An observance of hermits A mess of iguanas An exaltat... »

Zita the Spacegirl, Amelia Cole, And the Exciting Growth Of Girl Adventure Comics

Zita the Spacegirl, Amelia Cole, And the Exciting Growth Of Girl Adventure Comics

Last month saw the much anticipated release of sequel volumes to two of indie comics’ most imaginative titles: Amelia Cole and the Hidden War and The Return of Zita the Spacegirl. The success of these independent comics, along with more mainstream titles like Marvel’s Ms. Marvel, Black Widow, and Captain Marvel, DC’s Harley Quinn, and Image’s Rat Queens, is rapidly disproving everything we thought... »

A Web, Not a Road: The Anthropology of Margaret Mead

A Web, Not a Road: The Anthropology of Margaret Mead

There is hardly a name in science more encrusted with bad faith generalizations and well-meaning but ahistorical hagiography than that of anthropologist Margaret Mead. In her time, she was to anthropology what Carl Sagan was to astronomy – a brilliant and irreverent popularizer who inspired a new generation of scientists even as she earned the undying enmity of the passing one. Praised as the most... »

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