Monday, August 30, 2010

Around the Word

We're welcoming back the week with some peace, love and understanding:
  • Dennis Glover proposes a truce in the Redfern Park Speech battle raging between former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating and veteran speechwriter Don Watson. Watson recently took credit for penning the famous address, delivered in 1992, in which Keating apologized to indigenous Australians for atrocities committed by early European settlers.  Glover tours the rhetoric brilliance of the speech, considered a crowning jewel of oration down under.
  • Ever caught yourself on a date scanning the bookcase of your companion? The New Republic burrows into a new matchmaking site for bookworms seeking literate romance. lets you scroll through users' virtual bookshelves and read their thoughts on books they post. The founders, Matt Sherman and Matt Masina, believe that reading choices offer a wider window into a person than do other networking niches (think Cupidtino, a meetup for Mac users)—while still catering to the literati.
  • The New York Times Magazine explores how gendered nouns, spatial terms and color names affect patterns of thought and behaviors—like physical orientation and color perception—that seem instinctual. Guy Deutscher, who adapted the article from his forthcoming book Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages, focuses his lens on Guugu Yimithirr, an indigenous Australian language with no words for "left" or "right." Its speakers get around with an internal GPS of uncanny accuracy.

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