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WORDS

The Washington Post Is Closing Its Sunday Magazine

"The newspaper has eliminated the positions of the magazine's 10 staff members, according to the Post. There's no guarantee the staffers will be offered other positions at the paper, though the Post reports that restaurant reviews and the crossword puzzle will continue to appear in print." - DCist

It’s Worth Reviving The Fading Art Of Writing Longhand

I’m old enough to remember writing by hand when it was the only choice. Then I fell to the seductions of these newfangled things called laptops. I was delighted by the convenience. But I switched back to longhand several years ago, and now it’s the only way I write my drafts. - The Millions

A Brief History Of “Y’all”

Some linguists suggest that the word comes from Scots-Irish; others think it originated among enslaved Igbo-speakers. In any case, the OED says "y'all" was first used in print in the 1850s southern US.  Yet one scholar has found a dozen appearances of the word in 17th-century London. - The Conversation

American Bookstores Are Offering More Spanish-Language Books

"Driven by language-immersion schools and bilingual families, many stores are now specializing in bilingual books for young readers. Others serve heritage-language customers who want to practice their Spanish, as well as language learners seeking cultural immersion." - Publishers Weekly

A Prescription For Our Age: Long Poems?

Long poems really had been popular, with wide and diverse readerships, at various times in literary history. Is this a kind of reading that we should try to recover? There are signs that the long poem might be making a comeback. - Psyche

After Five Centuries, The Holy Roman Emperor’s Secret Code Has Been Deciphered

"Sent by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V to his ambassador at the French royal court — a man called Jean de Saint-Mauris — the letter gives an insight into the preoccupations of Europe's rulers at a time of dangerous instability caused by wars of religion and rival strategic interests." - BBC

Why “Gaslighting” Is The Merriam-Webster Word Of The Year

“In this age of misinformation — of ‘fake news,’ conspiracy theories, Twitter trolls, and deepfakes — gaslighting has emerged as a word for our time,” the dictionary company said Monday, unveiling its pick. - Washington Post

Is The Founding Novel Of Lesbian Literature Really A Lesbian Novel?  Is It Even A Good Book?

Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness was a powerful, even life-changing story for several generations of gay women.  But there's a serious argument to be made that it's actually a trans novel.  As for its literary merit, ... well, it has plenty of flaws. - BBC

Why Small Indie Bookstores Are Surviving

Now, when so many of our needs are unified and algorithm-prompted by online retail, independent bookstores offer person-to-person customization. Something, it turns out, that we are craving despite the ease of online shopping. - The Globe & Mail

It’s Past Time For This Rebel Poet To Seize Her Place In History

Poet tatiana de la tierra produced one-of-a-kind chapbooks scrounged from cardboard and recycled paper, and her "writing itself was just as singular — unassimilated and unafraid even by today’s standards." - Los Angeles Times

Stop Looking For The Next Austen

"When we go in search of new Austens or Brontës, we’re imagining we’ll find novels that remind us positively of theirs. We claim we’re searching for something new, and equally original, but in effect we’re seeking out literary echoes, not wholly distinct virtuoso performances." - Washington Post

How The Justice Department Sank The Mega Publisher Merger Deal

"While the country's attention was focused on the midterm elections, Judge Florence Pan unsealed her full opinion. In it, she sided with the federal government's persuasive and creative legal thinking, which focused on harms to an unusual victim: highly paid authors." - Salon

Why Some HarperCollins Authors Won’t Cross The Picket Line

"Nobody goes into publishing for the money; it’s a vocation for people who believe in the power of the written word to evoke empathy for and awareness of the human condition. You can’t eat empathy, however." - LitHub

NPR’s Book Recommender Is Back

And it features 402 books this year. - NPR

This Year’s Oxford “Word Of The Year” To Be Chosen By Public Vote

Voting is now open online, and over the next two weeks English speakers can cast their vote, choosing from three words selected by Oxford University Press (OUP)’s lexicographers, each of which is believed to capture “the mood and ethos of the last year in its own way”. - The Guardian

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