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Details like headlines matter. Journalists should work hard to avoid being misread.

If you were this person’s attorney, you’d probably want this social media blurb phrased a little differently. The headline attached to the story is clearer. Yes, the social media blurb is shorter, but I’d rather cut the “Twp” and make room for the unambiguous “and.” Derry man accused of assaulting female witness and attorney jailed on $100k bond.

The Case Against Reading Everything

Right now, I’m teaching “American Lit 1915-Present” for the last time. It’s the companion course to “American Lit 1800-1915,” which I’ll also never teach again. They are required courses for English majors who need to cover American Lit, but they were also designed to serve as electives. My colleagues and I have trouble covering the depth that we know our English majors need, without overwhelming students who are just looking to sample a bit of AmLit to fulfill a course requirement. So we’ve revamped both these courses, starting next fall. One new course will be “American Lit 1776-Present,” which will obviously cover fewer works than we can fit into 2 terms, but the benefit is we can be confident that any student who’s taken the course will have a clearer understanding of the scope of American literature. Another new course will be “Topics in American Literature,” which will allow us to go into some depth, without needing to cover a little bit of everything. I’m thinking of picking the focus “Literature and Government,” which could include “Rip Van Winkle,” All the King’s Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, Invisible Man (Ellison, not H.G. Wells) and Farhenheit 451.