They are greeted like celebrities, with huge cheers and applause from the audience on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, for example, and it is well-deserved—they’re stars in their own right—but you probably won’t recognize their names.[...]
In the age of Banksy, anonymity, energy, and acting without permission combine to make a potent brew. Those whose work springs up in a public setting overnight, without prior announcement or transaction, are freely assumed to be passionate swashbucklers, brimming with talent and sly social commentary.[...]
It’s never too late to thank the teacher who changed your life.
Oprah Winfrey fell to pieces when she was reunited on air with Mrs. Duncan, her fourth grade teacher, her “first liberator” and “validator.
“The three volumes of Green’s Dictionary of Slang demonstrate the sheer scope of a lifetime of research by Jonathon Green, the leading slang lexicographer of our time.[...]
Image via Wikimedia Commons
Is it possible to fully separate a word’s sound from its meaning—to value words solely for their music? Some poets come close: Wallace Stevens, Sylvia Plath, John Ashbery. Rare phonetic metaphysicians. Surely we all do this when we hear words in a language we do not know.
We live in an age of truthiness. Comedian Stephen Colbert coined the word to describe the Bush administration’s tendency to fudge the facts in its favor.[...]
We’ve all had those moments of struggle to come up with le mot juste, in our native language or a foreign one.[...]
“The first thing to notice about movies made in the classic Hollywood studio era,” writes New Yorker film critic Richard Brody, “from the twenties through the fifties, is the stillness of the actors — not a static, microphone-bound stand-and-deliver theatricality but a lack of fidgetiness even while in motion, a self-mastery that[...]
In all of our minds, the word “Orwellian” conjures up a certain kind of setting: a vast, fixed bureaucracy; a dead-eyed public forced into gray, uniform living conditions; the very words we use mangled in order to better serve the interests of power.[...]