Tag Archives: culture

‘When Did He Do Well? Ne’er!’

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I’ve filched my title from the standup comedy of the matchless Gary Gulman. If you don’t know him, you owe it to yourself to track down on YouTube, exempli gratia, his explanation of how the states got their abbreviations. (c) … Continue reading

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The Innovation Corrective

Generative artificial intelligence is a colossal genie blasting out of its bottle as we speak. A key player in the crowded field is named Altman. Get it? Altman —> Alt + Man —> Alternative Man. I made the name up … Continue reading

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The Bro Mob: Meta, Not Beta

“Last month, Mark Zuckerberg spent hours touting his love of jiujitsu, wrestling and UFC [Ultimate Fighting Championship] on Joe Rogan’s podcast, which is known for its hypermasculinity. Watching TV was not active enough, Mr. Zuckerberg said. “Compared with social media, … Continue reading

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Can We Be Over ‘So’?

I think I’ll forfeit my fortitude when the next person who’s asked a question starts his answer with “So.” It’s like answering queries with “Therefore….” — Where are you from? — Therefore I was born in Poughkeepsie, but grew up … Continue reading

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A Dying Hero’s Own Thoughts and Prayers

Vicky Phelan died of cervical cancer last month at age 48 in County Limerick, Ireland. She had been an advocate for fellow victims of botched Pap smears. Her ringing demand for freedom from callous, corrupt leadership has universal application. “I … Continue reading

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Hardcore Arabic: ‘Treble Formation’

The language has astonishing sweep and granularity that are explicit and penetrative to a degree redolent of lore and legend. The open-sesame to Arabic’s magic for this English speaker is Wright’s majestic grammar. (1) Here, of an early morning on … Continue reading

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Crisis Antidote: Neighborhood Bookshops

The small shops are sprouting where their readers are, in residential areas, keeping alive the rich literary scene that made Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital, one of the cities with the most bookstores per capita in the world. “Argentina may always … Continue reading

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Nosegay of ‘Droit de Seigneur’

Consulting an Arabic dictionary involves looking up a word’s “root,” usually comprising three consonants. Words formed from the root are listed, with their translations, along with idioms in which the word occurs. What the root is may not be apparent … Continue reading

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Pronoun Rebellion (3)

A man’s word is his bond. It’s an aphorism. States a pithy truth, along the lines of, “When someone makes a promise, he keeps it.” This one floats a model of behavior, an ideal. Not a command, exactly, but it … Continue reading

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‘Except for Perhaps Poetry…’

In 1970, David Godine started a small publishing company in an abandoned cow barn in Brookline, Massachusetts. After a distinguished history of publishing select titles in well crafted editions, he has sold the company. I enjoyed reading what he did … Continue reading

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