Votes and Vowels: A Changing Accent Shows How Language Parallels Politics

Are we moving toward an era where Americans will speak discernibly red versus blue accents? It’s hard to say. Social identities are complex, and can be defined along a number of different dimensions like class, race, or ethnicity. Not everyone feels that politics are a part of their core identity. But I suspect that political ideology may become an anchor for accents to the extent that large social groups collectively…

Why am I Getting the Paper?

  Newspapers and their fans make a lot of noise about the professionalism of journalism, that journalism needs to be paid for, that the Internet is no substitute for the hard core objectivity and insightful commentary newspapers offer. and so on. Whether these arguments are true or not does not interest me. I have found distortions online and distortions in print. I worked at a newspaper and in trade publishing.…

ABC is developing the steampunk adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Yes, really.

As gimmicky as “steampunk Huck and Tom” sounds, the characters actually may be quite well suited for steampunk. Twain’s novel Tom Sawyer Abroad was a play on Jules Verne-style adventure stories, and featured a mad professor and his absurd, futuristic airship. And Tom Sawyer had his own mystery story with Tom Sawyer, Detective. However, Twain was poking fun at the conventions of these genres, not merely using them as vehicles…

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Flannery O’Connor: “I am in a state of shock”

There’s often a moment in a lit class when a student says, “Since the professor says there’s no single ‘correct’ interpretation of a story, then pretty much anything goes, so I’m going to argue ‘Huck was a girl’ or ‘Hester was a witch.’ ” Of all the possible “correct” answers, the stronger ones are better supported by textual evidence. Then there are the truly wild questions… The famous author responded…

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Dozens of Plagiarism Incidents Are Reported in Coursera’s Free Online Courses

“If we really are trying to teach the world, including people from other cultures, we have to take a responsibility to educate people about plagiarism, not just vaporize people for it,” said Mr. Severance, who is also a clinical associate professor of information at Michigan, in an interview on Wednesday. –The Chronicle of Higher Education.