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Lego-Building Tween Refers to “The Hobbit” Text

My daughter, having just received a hand-me-down paperback, is annotating it and consulting it as she cannibalizes multiple generic Lego sets for what looks to be an epic DIY “Lego Hobbit” video. (We did buy her a small “Riddles in the Dark” set so she could have a Gollum, Bilbo, and ring, but everything else is remixed from some other set.)

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Rant against the death industry

Death is universal, so one day I’ll face these decisions. I just asked my tween to put down her Legos and my teen to put down his algebra, so I could tell them that when I’m dead, I don’t want them to pay for a fancy coffin, or cushions, or an open casket. I told them to put a picture of me on a stand, and to ask people at…

William Shakespeare (Portrait)

Coined by Shakespeare? Think again

For years, Shakespeare has been thought to deploy greater linguistic variety than contemporaries like Marlowe, Kyd, and Jonson; scholars have estimated that he coined as many as 1,700 words, and that he employed a uniquely large vocabulary of at least 20,000 words. As professor Alfred Hart, long the authority on Shakespeare’s vocabulary, wrote in 1943, his addition of new words play after play shows “how deep and apparently inexhaustible were…