David Sedaris, on Cussing in Other Languages

[Please note: as you may have guessed, this post contains extreme profanity. If that’s something that bothers you, it’s probably best to skip this post.] Look, I’m not one of those people who is so cynical and coarse as to only be able to appreciate “adult” comedy, as opposed to the kind of comedy that …

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The Untold Story of English, “Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue”

The real story of English is about what happened when Old English was battered by Vikings and bastardized by Celts. The real story… shows us how English is genuinely weird – miscegenated, abbreviated. Interesting. - John McWhorter, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue I also am a daughter of the colony. I share their broken speech, their …

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Marilynne Robinson on the Nature of Beauty, the Writer’s Life, and Much More

Cultures cherish artists because they are people who can say, Look at that. And it’s not Versailles. It’s a brick wall with a ray of sunlight falling on it. - Marilynne Robinson, The Paris Review To my mind, American novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson is one of the most interesting, intelligent, and insightful people around. …

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30 Memorable American Wildflower Names

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.” - Alice Walker, The Color Purple A view of California's glorious 2019 wildflower "super bloom". From time to time, I’ll grab old books that other people are throwing out and bring them home. My …

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A Glorious, Utterly Self-Defeating 18-Month Reading and Viewing List

Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for? - Robert Browning, "Andrea del Sarto" Overreaching don't pay. - Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn I have been planning this sabbatical for quite a while. I have two Master's degrees and no interest in paying for any more, but after …

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