The Art of Reading Poetry

In fifth grade, my music teacher asked me to recite a poem during our holiday concert. This meant having to stand in front of my classmates, teachers, and parents, and, I guess, read? I practiced it, but practice always felt like a weird term for that. More like, read it over and over in my…

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Five Shakespeare Lines You’ll Want to (Surprisingly) Avoid This Valentine’s Day

Dusting off your Shakespeare for Valentine’s Day sounds like a great idea. The Bard’s famous words are tried and tested — they’ve been working for four hundred years. But are you sure you know what they mean? And are you sure that’s what you want to say?

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5 Greek Love Myths and How to Apply Them to Reality

Though the Ancient Greeks didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, their myths are full of romance. Take a leaf out of their book this February 14th (or maybe don’t). 1. Apollo and Daphne: Don’t chase — it’ll work out better for everyone. Virtuous maiden Daphne was wandering around in the wilderness when the sun god Apollo showed…

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Zeroes and Ones and Your Odds of Writing a Best-Seller

Did you ever suspect the runaway best-seller Fifty Shades of Grey was written by robots?  Well, somebody check E.L. James for vital signs because she might actually be an algorithm.  Check this out: Surely a human being would die of boredom before biting a lip in print forty-three times in one novel. Actually, I’m skewing…

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And the Oxford Word of the Year is… Selfie

Must. Remind. Self..  The OED is not an arbiter of, but a chronicler of,  English language use. Every year, the Powers-That-Be lean over the windowsills located high atop their Ivory Towers and cock an ear towards the milling crowds below. When they hear a word they do not recognize being shouted often enough, they dip…

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