Are you old enough to know the English phrase “sent to Coventry”? According to Merriam-Webster, if you were “sent to Coventry,” you have been ostracized. Although the cover story of the July 1940 issue of Astounding Science Fiction featured a… Read More ›
Month: March 2021
Boston in Transit
Boston’s rich history of public transit deserves your attention if you live in, work in, or have visited The Hub. That’s short for “Hub of the Universe,” in case you missed the memo. Boston is nothing if not proud of… Read More ›
William is preparing for his upcoming 17th birthday by taking a power nap on his kitty couch to make sure that he remains cute enough.
The book called The Book—plus a lagniappe: a book about type
Read The Book in hardcover! Not in paperback. Nor on your Kindle. And don’t listen to it as an audiobook! The hardcover is essential. The full title is The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time, as you… Read More ›
Hwæt?Beowulf? newly translated for your enjoyment
The world is atwitter at the arrival of a new translation of Beowulf by Maria Dahvana Headley. Well, a certain segment of the world, anyway. And you may well wonder why. The idea of reading this epic poem has never appealed to… Read More ›
“Guess the Language”: quite a challenge!
If you heard a short sample of a language that you didn’t know, could you still guess which language it is? Quite a challenge, no? Well, in this video, you have the opportunity to see Latvian linguist Julie Maksimova face… Read More ›
Robert Galbraith has a secret identity, though you won’t spot him changing in a phone booth. What’s his secret identity? Well, many people know him better by his pseudonym, J.K. Rowling. No, wait! That can’t be right. J.K. Rowling is… Read More ›
A really important dispute about “OK boomer”
According to a post the other day in All Things Linguistic, it is widely believed that the correct translation of “OK boomer” into Middle Egyptian is whereas they point out that a more accurate translation would of course be Perhaps… Read More ›
The Font of the Baskervilles
The Hound Font of the Baskervilles? We’ve all learned, particularly in the last few years, to be cautious about believing what we read. Some people (though not nearly enough of us) have even learned to be cautious about what we see… Read More ›
Pi(e) day: not actually a national holiday!
OK, I tried to release this at precisely 3/14 1:59:26.535897932384. How well did I do? But why would the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) lie to us about Pi Day? This is just too distressing for words: Declared a… Read More ›