The Two Gentlemen of Lebowski: What If The Bard Wrote The Big Lebowski?

≡ Category: Comedy, English Language, Literature |3 Comments

We live in an age of mash ups. A few years ago some malcontent came up with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Our cities are teeming with food trucks hawking Korean tacos and ramen burgers. And chess boxing is apparently a thing.

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George Orwell Blasts American Fashion Magazines (1946)

≡ Category: English Language, Magazines |3 Comments

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While the print magazine industry as a whole has seen better days, publications dedicated to women’s fashion still go surprisingly strong. Perhaps as a result, they’ve continued to attract criticism, not least for their highly specific, often highly altered visions of the supposedly ideal body image emblazoned across their covers.

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Artist Turns 24-Volume Encyclopedia Britannica Set into a Beautifully Carved Landscape

≡ Category: Art, Books, English Language, History |Leave a Comment

Not too long ago, an older relative tried to donate the Funk & Wagnalls encyclopedia he’d owned since boyhood to a local charity shop, but they refused to take it.
What an ignominious end to an institution that had followed him for seven decades and twice as many moves.

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F. Scott Fitzgerald Conjugates “to Cocktail,” the Ultimate Jazz-Age Verb (1928)

≡ Category: English Language, Food & Drink |5 Comments

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I regularly meet up with speaking partners who help me learn their languages in exchange for my helping them learn English. Even though they usually speak much better English already than I speak Korean, Spanish, Japanese, or what have you, I often feel like I’ve got the heavier end of the job.

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Young T.S. Eliot Writes “The Triumph of Bullsh*t” and Gives the English Language a New Expletive (1910)

≡ Category: English Language, Poetry |1 Comment

Every period of literary history has its share of bawdy, satirical poetry, from Mesopotamia, to Rome, to the age of Jonathan Swift. Every period, it often seems, but one: The late Victorian era in England and America often appears to us like a dry, humorless time for English poetry.

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A Creepy Cut Out Animation of Samuel Beckett’s 1953 Novel, The Unnamable

≡ Category: Animation, English Language, Literature |Leave a Comment

Morning, friend! Ready to kick off your week with a Beckettian nightmare vision?
Samuel Beckett scholar Jenny Triggs was earning a masters in Visual Communications at the Edinburgh College of Art when she created the unsettling, cut out animation for his 1953 novel, The Unnamable, above.

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Watch Stars Read Classic Children’s Books: Betty White, James Earl Jones, Rita Moreno & Many More

≡ Category: Books, Education, English Language, K-12 |Leave a Comment

As if we needed the competition—am I right, parents?—of some very excellent children’s books read by some beloved stars of stage and screen, and even a former vice president.

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Oh My God! Winston Churchill Received the First Ever Letter Containing “O.M.G.” (1917)

≡ Category: English Language, History |1 Comment

Winston Churchill is one of those preposterously outsized historical figures who seemed to be in the middle of every major event.

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Hear Beowulf Read In the Original Old English: How Many Words Do You Recognize?

≡ Category: English Language, Literature |4 Comments

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I was as surprised as most people are when I first heard the ancient language known as Old English. It’s nothing like Shakespeare, nor even Chaucer, who wrote in a late Middle English that sounds strange enough to modern ears.

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The C.I.A.’s “Bestiary of Intelligence Writing” Satirizes Spook Jargon with Maurice Sendak-Style Drawings

≡ Category: Comedy, Creativity, English Language, History |Leave a Comment

Ten years in academia gave me a healthy dislike of clichéd jargon, as well as an appreciation for jokes about it. There are a few, like the academic sentence generator and Ph.D. Comics, that capture a bit of what it’s like to go to school and work in higher ed. Corporate drones, of course, have Office Space and Dilbert.

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