Slang, as readers of Shakespeare know, affects the development of language as much as any genus of terminology. At Salon, Jonathon Green writes about the strange history of English slang, as part of an excerpt from his new book, The Vulgar Tongue. You could also read our own Michael Bourne on the use of “like” in modern English.
Audio for over 10,000 events – including concerts, poetry readings, and public interviews – is being made available on the 92nd Street Y’s new digital archive. Among the treasures in the trove are readings by Tennessee Williams, Vladimir Nabokov, and Susan Sontag. (Thanks Andrew.)
“Contemporary criticism is positively crowded with first-person pronouns, micro-doses of memoir, brief hits of biography. Critics don’t simply wrestle with their assigned cultural object; they wrestle with themselves, as well. Recent examples suggest a spectrum, from reviews that harmlessly kick off with a personal anecdote, to hybrid pieces that blend literary criticism and longform memoir.” On why critics get personal in their essays.
Some Mormons are excited about the recent news of Trey Parker and Matt Stone‘s forthcoming musical, The Book of Mormon: “How can they call us a cult once we’re headlining 52nd Street? The Jews got ‘Fiddler.’ The Catholics got ‘The Sound of Music’ and ‘Doubt.’ It’s our time to shine.” Read more at the Salt Lake Tribune.
The term “academic writing” is controversial, not least because it implies that academics have an odd and persnickety way of writing. In a blog post for The New Yorker, Joshua Rothman examines the genre, looking back on his time in grad school to argue that academic writing is a “fraught and mysterious thing.”
Quartz has a roundup of the books Hillary Clinton borrowed from the State Department library during her time as Secretary of State, including a memoir, poetry, and a lot of non-fiction. Pair with our piece about what private libraries reveal about their readers.