Friday, December 2, 2011

Around the Word

In defense of adverbs: Though Stephen King said, "The road to hell is paved in adverbs," one writer is coming to the much-maligned part of speech's defense. Atlantic writer Lily Rothaman argues that many famously, fantastically memorable phrases would be duds without adverbs -- would we "give a damn" about Rhett and Scarlett without "frankly"? Where do you weigh in on the adverb debate?

NYPL woes: The New York Public Library has been a vital resource for scholars, writers, and readers in NYC for over 100 years. But with budgets tightening and a large renovation planned, the library is in an unprecedented state of upheaval. Check out the Nation's in-depth article on the changes at America's largest library.

So-so sentences: Is "so" the new "um"? That's the question the Chronicle of Higher Education's Lingua Franca blog is asking, after the New York Times pointed out a pattern of starting sentences with "so" earlier this year. Microsoft employees take credit for starting the "so" phenomenon, but its been picked up by everyone from politicians to NPR (a chronic offender). What do you think about this connector-turned-sentence starter? Is "so" so over?

For the policy wonk who has everything: The gift-giving season is upon us, and you might be debating which books to put on your shopping list. The Guardian has compiled several different lists of the best books to give in 2011, but our favorite is the list of political books. From manifestos to biographies to political thrillers, you're sure to find something on this list for the current events connoisseur in your life.

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