Tag Archives: language

“Lay, Lady, Lay.”

“Lay across my big brass bed.” The Bob Dylan song encapsulates the entrenched American muddle around “lie” and “lay.” The victory of “lay” is all but complete. It’s obvious the song invites the lady to sexual congress, not to a … Continue reading

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Blooper Reel — Evening News

It’s a veritable laff riot when talking heads wax jocose with their colleagues while the camera rolls. Rachel, female reporter ending her remote footage: “Back to you, Tucker. I’m gonna stay here and have fun with Curly, my new buddy.” … Continue reading

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On Being an Afterthought

I like learning that the average reading speed for adult viewers of subtitled movies is 15 to 17 characters a second, that 37-42 characters fit on a line, and the number of lines is limited to two. A sad fact, … Continue reading

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Haunted by the Undefined

Thank you, Maeve Higgins. I’m always glad for the rare journalist who doesn’t assume her reader is privy to novel slang. A term I knew only from sailing has headlined several unread articles recently. I assumed it had to do … Continue reading

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Bastard File

I went shopping online for a metal file with which to increase the gap of the hook on the support strap I use for my classical guitar. The hook engages with the sound hole of the instrument, and is too … Continue reading

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“… This realm, this England.”

I find the paragraph cited here interesting and amusing for its self-aware description of how the author and his interviewee, both of them writers, preen themselves competitively on their humble class origins to establish their bona fides while preparing to … Continue reading

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Body Language

I’ve had little opportunity to enjoy the spectacle of dance except vicariously through the writing of Joan Acocella in The New Yorker. I admire the discipline and athleticism that dance demands of its performers. The passage cited here charms me … Continue reading

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