New book takes humbug out of quotations

A new, meticulously researched book of quotations attempts to set the record straight on those beloved phrases that have crept into everyday use as signs of wisdom and wit, including Sigmund Freud’s sage advice that “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” (He didn’t quite say that, although his biographer thinks he would have approved of the idea.) “The Yale Book of Quotations” has a simple thesis: famous quotes are…

We will soon be lost for words

At first Nihal and I were slightly wary of each other and then I told him I wondered if an ageing Radio 4 presenter could learn “street”. He humoured me and gave me a lesson. I flatter myself that I have a reasonably good ear for language. I reckoned I could get away with a bit of “Hey, man? how ya doin?” But, no, it doesn’t work like that. Street…

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Fantasy Congress

We The Creators of this site, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish Fantasy Congress for the United States of America. In this game, we give you the power to draft and manage a team of members from the U.S.…

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Very Short Stories: 33 writers. 5 designers. 6-word science fiction.

Help! Trapped in a text adventure! – Marc Laidlaw Machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time – Alan Moore Dinosaurs return. Want their oil back. – David Brin Cryonics: Disney thawed. Mickey gnawed. Omigawd. – Eileen Gunn MUD avatars rebel: virtual Independence Day. – Paul Di Filippo Leia: “Baby’s yours.” Luke: “Bad news?” – Steven Meretzky –Very Short Stories: 33 writers. 5 designers. 6-word science fiction. (Wired) Cool idea. Which are your…

Can Wikipedia Ever Make the Grade?

Mr. Halavais expected some of his fabrications to languish online for some time. Like many academics, he was skeptical about a mob-edited publication that called itself an authoritative encyclopedia. But less than three hours after he posted them, all of his false facts had been deleted, thanks to the vigilance of Wikipedia editors who regularly check a page on the Web site that displays recently updated entries. –Brock Read –Can…

Martin Scorsese's Next Film To Be Three Hours Of Begging For Oscar

“You want feel-good and heartwarming, right?” Scorsese said. “I can do that. Or I can do casual violence with no strings attached. You know I can. What else you want? Kung-fu wire-work? Mentally disabled guy? Boring Robert Redford-style fishing movie? Just tell me what to do, I’ll do it. Done. End of story. Give me my Oscar and I’m out of here. Poof.” –Martin Scorsese’s Next Film To Be Three…

Thinking that Goes beneath the Surface

A month in hyper-space can scatter the brain. Traditional books offer readers respite from hyperactivity. The book’s definitive, closed, linear argument lets mind and sensibility enjoy moments of inner harmony. Linear text offers the kind of contemplative thinking that goes beneath the surface. –Heim, Electric Language: A Philosophical Study of Word Processing. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987. –Thinking that Goes beneath the Surface (Jerz’s Literacy Weblog) This quote is almost…