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Sesame Street Is Moving to HBO, and the Symbolism Is Crushing

I’ve been fascinated by the rhetoric of headlines surrounding the “Sesame Street moves to HBO” story. * HBO gentrifies ‘Sesame Street’ –VentureBeat * Sesame Street Episodes Will Shrink to Half an Hour –Time * Sesame Street Is Heading to HBO, and Getting Even Bigger –Esquire * This episode of Sesame Street brought to you by the letters HBO –Financial Times In short, Sesame Street was founded to help low-income kids keep up…


Personal Essays: 7 Tips for Expressing Ideas in Words

Wondering how to write a personal essay? Is your personal essay due tomorrow morning? If so, here are some quick tips. Good luck! Your instructor is not going to grade you on how much you loved your deceased family member, how wonderfully you played in the big game, or how narrowly you escaped death. Your instructor wants to gauge your ability to focus on one specific incident — even a…

Understanding Sonnet 130 (Preview)

Close Reading of Sonnet 130: Form, Theme, and Cultural Context (and a Rage Comic)

I’m preparing to teach Shakespeare again this fall. Seton Hill offers the course every other year, so each time it comes around, it feels new.  The course will focus on plays, but I do like starting out with a brief unit on the sonnet in order to help my students get accustomed to the language. It occurred to me that a lecture on the sonnet would be a good place to start…

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Hermann Zapf, the font designer behind Palatino and Zapf Dingbats, has died at 96

Hermann Zapf, the designer of fonts such as Palatino, Optima, Zapfino, Melior, Aldus, and the bizarre but much beloved Zapf Dingbats, has died at age 96.The revered German typographer and calligrapher passed away on June 4. In his long and prolific career, Zapf worked on many fonts, but his personal favorite was the humanist sans serif typeface Optima, the lettering chosen for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington, DC. — Quartz

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The “Best” E-mail Signature Is Actually the Worst

I have no particular opinion about how to close an email. I just checked my “outbox” and I see that I haven’t closed any of my recent messages. Several were responses to requests from other people, so “Thank you” would be out of place, and even “Here you go” would be so unnecessary it would sound awkward (if not rude). When closing an email, I usually just stop writing. A…


100 Careers for English Majors

Anyone with an English degree will tell you that picking this major can lead to a lot skeptical questions: “What are you going to do after school?” or “What kind of a job can you really get with an English degree?” But the awesome part about this major is its flexibility—you’re not confined to a specific vocational track. Instead, the skills you learn can be applied to a ton of…


Reading-Is-Fundamentalists Slaughter 52 Illiterates

Committed to the eradication of illiteracy “by any means necessary,” RIF was formed in 1973 by a coalition of dissident librarians censured by the government for their extremist views. Some 500 deaths have been linked to the group in the past 24 years, including a 1991 incident in which an armored bookmobile exploded at a Ku Klux Klan rally outside Mobile, AL, killing 83 illiterates. — Satire from The Onion