Sparking the texts instead of reading them

A student in my “History and Future of the Book” class today referred to how some students in a different class got caught “sparking the texts instead of reading them.”  I knew she was referring to Spark Notes, but I’d never heard the name being used as a verb before.

''You Can Always Look It Up''… or Can You?

E.D. Hirsch (2000) The progressive theory that students should gain knowledge through a limited number of projects instead of by taking courses in separate subjects is based on the following reasoning. If you learn a bunch of facts in separate, academic courses you will passively acquire a lot of inert, fragmented knowledge. You will be the victim of something called “rote learning. “But if you engage in integrated, hands-on projects…

St. Valentine's Day Gifts

From the University of Toronto’s Representative Poetry Online: “Poems to be memorized and spoken to your sweetheart.” They came to tell your faults to me, They named them over one by one; I laughed aloud when they were done, I knew them all so well before, – Oh, they were blind, too blind to see Your faults had made me love you more.– Sarah Teasdale, “Faults“

Lower-cased initialisms

Via Language Log: It is a small but not insignificant recent change in written English that in Britain the newspapers have started spelling acronyms in lower case with capital initial instead of all in caps. The Universities and Colleges Employers Association and the the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs are not UCEA and DEFRA, but (at least fairly often) Ucea and Defra. Another recent example: Figwit.

John Henry was a steel-drivin' bastard

Via MetaFilter: You’ve got just over two weeks to make it to the John Henry celebration in Leeds, Alabama, where some folks believe the legendary steel driving contest actually took place. Maybe you already made it to John Henry Days in Talcott, West Virginia (or read a fictionalized account), where some more folks claim the same. John Garst, Scott Nelson, and other folklorists weigh in here, supplemented by a wealth…