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url 2020-03-15 12:49
Next up in the Will's World Project - The Ides of March
The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare) - William Shakespeare,John Jowett,Gary Taylor
Julius Caesar and Me: Exploring Shakespeare's African Play (Theatre Makers) - Joseph Paterson

So, the creators of Good Tickle Brain (click header for the link to their comic) decided to combine current events with the Ides of March theme. I'll stick with Shakespeare. 


As per usual, I'll read the play first...while also listening to the Arkangel Shakespeare production, then look to a couple of performances to see different takes on the play. 


I've got another Donmar Warehouse production lined up for this, as well as Greg Doran's production for the RSC. I may also look into Paterson Joseph's book about playing Brutus in Doran's production. 


Anyway, I hope you are all having a lovely Sunday.



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url 2014-03-14 19:46
New words added to the Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford Dictionary of English - Angus Stevenson

Cross-posted on Soapboxing


The OED has published a huuuuge list of new words and usages, and it is good. Cue a raft of op-eds decrying the death of the English language, but those people can suck it. The list seems to sort itself out into the usual categories:


Overlooked and now obsolete words that are now getting recorded. Maybe obsolete is too harsh, but I imagine the heyday for the word beatboxer (n) was back when Biz Markie was a thing. (Men in Black 3 doesn't count.) The scimitar-horned oryx (n) is straight up extinct. 


Sciency (n) techno-words that describe something that is meaningful only to people with very specific letters after their names. Observe: dichloromethane (n), ethoxylated (adj), quadrupla (n and adj). Bonus points on that last for starting with a Q. Too bad it's too long to be a good Scrabble dictionary word, which is having its own round of OMGs after Scrabble opened submissions to the hoi polloi


Academicese. There's a whole lists of words that start with the prefix ethno-, as well as variations on the term hegemony. My favorite of the last group is hegemonicon (n). (We're going to fill the Hegemonicon with mud, mud, mud! Kids under twelve get in for free!) 


Why wasn't this in the OED before? Scissor-kick (n), demonizing (v), empath (n). In regards to empath, it's possible I watch too much science fiction. 


Foreign loan words: vato (n), shvitz (n and v), ese (n). Warms my heart to see some Yiddish. Some of these dovetail into the next, somewhat bullshit category of words which is...


Slang. This is where all the op-eds bemoaning the end of civilization come from. Slang seems to be an  iffy catch-all, referring to words like profanity, or words spoken by discounted groups of people - racial minorities, the poors - or just words coming out of youth culture. People seem to lose their shit about the last two, but slide more on the first. Given how old most swears are, there's really no way to argue that they're going to ruin Christmas if they haven't already.


There are four- four! - variations on the word cunt, in addition to three new sub entries on the c-bomb. There is also the utterly charming cunnilingue (n), which I assume means what I think it means. Also bestie (n). There don't seem to be the kinds of words that really get people into a tizzy such as netspeak, textspeak, or acronym words (like lol or wtf), so maybe this time the op-eds will be more muted.


I once got in a hugely stupid fight on facebook about the acronym word when a friend of mine blubbered about wtf making it into the OED. But that's an acronym, not a real word! Okay, sure, except for thousands of military words - they love their acronyms when things get fubar and they go awol - a lot of tech words - scuba and laser - and all kinds of organizations like Nabisco or the Gestapo (which is a funny juxtaposition.) The dictionary is not Miss Manners, nor is it a style guide. Use it wisely. 


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url 2014-03-05 20:58
12 Books That End Mid-Sentence
The Castle - Ritchie Robertson,Anthea Bell
Dead Souls (Everyman's Library, #280) - Nikolai Gogol,Larissa Volokhonsky,Richard Pevear
The Broom of the System - David Foster Wallace,Duke Riley
A Sentimental Journey (Penguin Classics) - Laurence Sterne
Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pynchon
Shadow Country - Peter Matthiessen
Malone Dies - Samuel Beckett
The Long Division - Derek Nikitas
Everything Is Illuminated - Jonathan Safran Foer
Finnegans Wake - James Joyce

The ending of Kafka's The Castle


She held out her trembling hand to K. and had him sit down beside her, she spoke with great difficulty, it was difficult to understand her, but what she said


That's just one of twelve books in this Publisher's Weekly blog post about novels that end in the middle of a sentence. The reasons for each abrupt ending are given, but Kafka has the best excuse--he died. 


The books are the nine above and these three below:






Source: jaylia3.booklikes.com/post/813712/12-books-that-end-mid-sentence
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url 2014-01-22 01:24
O.E.D.’s New Chief Editor Speaks of Its Future

Word lovers will have to wait a little longer.  Being the digital age changes are afoot, but one thing at least remains the same--it still takes quite a while to complete a new edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. From TOM RACHMAN's  article in the New York Times:


"To compile a dictionary of nearly every word in the English language was an endeavor typical of Victorian times, complete with white-bearded gentlemen, utter confidence and an endearingly plodding pace. After a quarter-century, the first installment emerged in 1884. Its contents? “A to Ant.”


In our own impatient age, the Oxford English Dictionary is touch-typing toward a third edition, with 619,000 words defined so far, online updates every three months and a perma-gush of digital data to sort through. 


. . . 


The O.E.D. has stood apart, partly for authoritative definitions but chiefly for its unmatched historical quotations, which trace usage through time. The first edition, proposed in 1858 with completion expected in 10 years, was only finished 70 years later, in 1928. The second edition came out in 1989, at a length of 21,730 pages. Work on the third started in 1994, with hope of completion in 2005. That was off slightly — by about 32 years, according to the current guess of 2037."





Source: jaylia3.booklikes.com/post/768125/o-e-d-s-new-chief-editor-speaks-of-its-future
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url 2013-12-30 16:54
Grammatical Peeving

I feel like all I do these days is post grumblings about the grammar police, but then I also feel like I'm waging a one-woman war on facebook to get people to stop being dicks about rules that either aren't really rules, or don't matter in informal contexts. Sure, I'm not a fan of sloppy, inelegant or badly phrased writing, but following a series of contested or outdated grammar rules will not fix shitty writing. The Oxford comma partisans always point out these badly worded sentences as "proof" that the serial comma should be used in every single sentence, and I always think, "Bro, you need to reword that shit, pronto. Ain't no comma going to fix that sentence." For example:



"By train, plane and sedan chair, Peter Ustinov retraces a journey made by Mark Twain a century ago. The highlights of his global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela, an 800-year-old demigod and a dildo collector."


Adding the Oxford comma keeps Mandela from being a dildo collector, but he's still, apparently, an 800 year old demigod. 

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