Words

When Brigham Young Got A Mormon Alphabet

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“In 1853, after [George D.] Watt taught shorthand to Brigham Young, the Mormon leader commissioned the British clerk to create a 38-character ‘Deseret alphabet.’ The phonetic alphabet was meant to simplify the spelling of English words. Watt said … ‘An alphabet should contain just as many letters as there are simple-pure atoms of sound.’”

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The Dream Of Speed-Reading (And What It Does To Our Brains)

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“It is much more difficult to gather ideas of any complexity at all using Spritz than it is in ordinary reading. Complex ideas, like those routinely presented in philosophy or literary fiction, require a lot of rereading as you go. Also, when the sentence begins in a Spritz display, you can’t tell how long it’s going to be: a terrific drawback for comprehension.”

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Amazon Working On “Netflix For Books”

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“The e-commerce giant is working on a subscription ebook service called Kindle Unlimited, which would offer unlimited ebook rentals for $9.99 a month. It’s a move that’s very much aligned with where both the tech and the publishing industry are headed.”

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Global Versus Local Literature – How Our Global Culture Changes The Context Of What We’re Reading

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“If, then, when nations were forming, writers began to address their work to a national audience, wouldn’t it be logical that now, in a period of intense globalisation, they might think of their books from the start as being destined to travel beyond national borders? Hardly noticing the shift perhaps, the novelist begins to have a foreign audience in mind.”

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Knowing When To Quit: How Much Harry Potter Is Too Much Harry Potter?

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“While it’s heartening to know that Harry’s doing well in his career as an Auror and that Viktor Krum is still going strong as Bulgaria’s Seeker, it begs the question anew of when exactly it’s time for a creator to walk away from their creation—and whether they really can these days.”

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Do We Still Need To Learn To Write Cursive? Here’s Why

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“The benefits of writing by hand, and doing so from a young age, are fundamental: improved and sustained development in social skills, hand-eye coordination, long-term memory. And when one considers “fluency” in its literal sense, it makes sense that cursive especially can energize a more fluid and coherent process of thought.”

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David Mitchell Is Tweeting A Short Story

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The author of Cloud Atlas and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet “turns to the ‘diabolical treble-strapped textual straitjacket’ of Twitter for the first time to tell a new short story, ‘The Right Sort’. Mitchell will unveil his tale, about a boy tripping on his mother’s Valium pills, in Twitter’s 140-character bursts for the next seven days.”

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France Banned Free Shipping, So Amazon Now Charges One Cent

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“This past October, French lawmakers decided it was time to show Amazon who’s boss. Frustrated by Amazon’s fast and cheap book-selling model, which poses a threat to France’s healthy ecosystem of indie bookstores, politicians banded together to approve a bill that prohibited Jeff Bezos’ company and other online retailers from shipping discounted books for free.” Far be it from Amazon to break the law …

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Why Is Reading Poetry Aloud So Scary (For The Performer *And* The Audience)?

poetry performance anxiety

“As poets with performance backgrounds rise through the ranks of poetry print culture, American poetry appears caught between a fear of performance and a celebration of it. As these page + stage poets become more prominent in universities, journals, and reading series, are they helping to renew conversations about performance as an aspect of making poems?”

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How Far Did You (Not) Get Into This Book? Big Data Knows

A brief history of time

“When you highlight books on your Kindle, when you highlight a sentence that you particularly like, Amazon is keeping track of that – I’m not sure everyone knows that – and Amazon records what five sentences in a book are the most commonly highlighted.”

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Scholarly Journal Retracts 60 Articles In Review Scandal

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“The reason for the mass retraction is mind-blowing: A “peer review and citation ring” was apparently rigging the review process to get articles published. You’ve heard of prostitution rings, gambling rings and extortion rings. Now there’s a “peer review ring.”

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