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There are more than 170,000 words in the English language.

From DAVID P. BARASH [Wall Street Journal] – ‘Nicholas A. Christakis, M.D., is one of our most distinguished Woggle-Bugs, a physician and sociologist, director of the Human Nature Lab at Yale University, where he is Sterling Professor of Social and Natural Science, Internal Medicine and Biomedical Engineering.

In other words, the guy knows what’s he’s talking about…’

A very impressive appeal to authority, but are credentials words? David Barash might do better. How many other words are there? From Oxford UP: ‘If distinct senses were counted, the total would probably approach three quarters of a million.’


Continued at The Wall Street Journal | More Chronicle & Notices.

The flowering of cheap gumshoe journalism in America.

By MATTHEW WALTHER [The Week] — The quantity of information about people on the internet and various media archives is virtually unlimited. It is also more or less accessible, if you want it to be. It is now possible to bring to bear upon such pressing questions as the relative wokeness of extemporized comic routines performed by various cable news anchors between the year Green Day released American Idiot and the appearance of the first Vox explainer on Pizza Rat the sort of scrutiny once applied only to mainstream presidential candidates. Continue reading “The flowering of cheap gumshoe journalism in America.” »

Butchering the language in Rwanda.

By TOM ZOELLNER.

DO NOT MESS with the French language. At the quai d’Orsay, diplomats consider the zealous defense of their tongue a cornerstone of their mission. Among all the markers of culture and nationhood — food, music, religion, literature, even forms of government — the people of France hold up their particular dialect of Latin as the supreme valuation of what it means to be French, especially outside the hexagon of the home country. Continue reading “Butchering the language in Rwanda.” »

A respectable case for Brexit.

By NICK O’HEAR.

MY REMAINER FRIENDS complain bitterly about Brexit, about how the public were deceived by the Brexiteers, but there is a perfectly respectable case for wanting to leave the EU, one that is not nasty nor xenophobic.
Continue reading “A respectable case for Brexit.” »

The meaning of a match: Les Herbiers vs PSG, 08.05.18.

By JAKE SANDY [Onside View]—In a story that sounds like the plot of a Hollywood film, Les Herbiers VF, a French third division team have set-up a Coupe de France final tie against the footballing behemoth that is Paris Saint-GermainContinue reading “The meaning of a match: Les Herbiers vs PSG, 08.05.18.” »

Has Jeffrey Goldberg made ‘The Atlantic’ a ‘safe space’?

By JACK SHAFFER [Politico] —Atlantic Editor-in-Chief Jeffrey Goldberg climbed out on a limb last month to add conservative fire-breather and Never Trumper Kevin D. Williamson of National Review to join his growing staff. On Thursday, Goldberg retreated to a safe place near the trunk and proceeded to saw off the branch, casting Williamson down to the ignominy of unemployment. Continue reading “Has Jeffrey Goldberg made ‘The Atlantic’ a ‘safe space’?” »

The E.U.’s rule of law.

CN150excerptBy DANIEL HANNAN [New Criterion] — The rule of law is regularly set aside when it stands in the way of what Brussels élites want. To cite only the most recent example, the eurozone bailouts were patently illegal. Article 125 of the E.U. Treaty is unequivocal: Continue reading “The E.U.’s rule of law.” »

While you were watching ‘Planet Earth’ and ‘Downton’…

By JURICA DUJMOVIC [Marketwatch]—A study by Verve Search, an SEO and content agency, sheds new light on the phenomenon of eSports, as competitive gaming is called. Did you know that the League of Legends (multiplayer online battle arena/MOBA) final drew in more viewers than the last game of the 2016 NBA Finals (36 million vs 31 million)? Or that the total eSports prize pool exceeds $93 million? Continue reading “While you were watching ‘Planet Earth’ and ‘Downton’…” »

Elmore Leonard v James Joyce!

By BEN BLATT [Publishers Weekly] — There is a lot of writing advice out there. But it’s hard to test, and it’s often best to judge someone not by what they say but what they do. Novelists may tell their adoring fans to do one thing, but do they actually follow their own advice? With data, we can find out—looking at everything from the overuse of adverbs to Strunk and White’s advice against qualifiers like “very” or “pretty.” Continue reading “Elmore Leonard v James Joyce!” »

The incompetent character in charge of decline.

By BRET STEPHENS [Wall Street Journal] — No presidency is ever about nothing. And the something that the Trump administration is fast becoming about is its own paranoia, incompetence and recklessness, all playing out in vertigo-inducing ways… Continue reading “The incompetent character in charge of decline.” »

‘Also, never see two Rohmer films in a row…’

CN150excerptBy LUC MOULLET [MUBI Notebook] — His films have a very simple and clean presentation of actions, often in fixed shot-sequences, a very smooth image, to the point of perfection, with harmonious colors (without being flaunted, however, like Visconti’s) which completely correspond to the rigor of his black and white documentary films. But the visual objectivity of his films is contradicted by their deep subjectivity: [Eric] Rohmer’s viewpoint is sometimes opposed to the viewpoint of the narrators and each of the characters. Often, the viewer knows more than them (Pauline at the Beach) or less than them (My Night at Maud’s). One of Rohmer’s great strengths resides in this constant dialectic between objectivity and subjectivity, and between the clarity of the images and the obscurity of the feelings and actions that avoids any redundancy between “form” and “content.” Continue reading “‘Also, never see two Rohmer films in a row…’” »

‘Gobstopping’ Islamic art objects at the Ashmolean.

By JANE JAKEMAN  [The Art Newspaper] — To illustrate the material culture supporting the various Islamic beliefs in the supernatural, whether “orthodox” or “superstitious”, the Ashmolean Museum has brought together examples that range not only from scholarly interpretation to popular faith, but also from lavish courtly productions to objects cherished at humbler levels. This in itself represents a new movement in Islamic art studies, traditionally largely focused on connoisseurship. That approach isolated the gobstopper art object in a glass case, whether physical or metaphorical, whereas the banners, talismans and amulets of poorer folk discussed here were part of their daily lives. Continue reading “‘Gobstopping’ Islamic art objects at the Ashmolean.” »

The media: missed again.

By “XIAOMAO” [Chronicle & Notices.in a comment to a Washington Post article, “The media didn’t want to believe Trump could win. So they looked the other way.”] — no, you didn’t “miss” it. you deliberately, persistently, and consistently dismissed people and their voices by twisting our words, taking things out of context to make your misleading headlines, suppressing comments that you don’t like, and in not so subtle way insisting that simply because someone doesn’t have some BS 4 year sociology degree, he is “uneducated” or “rural” (hence less worthy than you and your opinion!) you only picked and published and made up sh!t that served your own agenda and naïveté and hypocrisy, polling, your superficial demographic typing of trump supporters. Continue reading “The media: missed again.” »

The weakness of secular belief.

The burkini has become a blasphemy against the French state and society consensus.

By BEN RYAN [Theos] — The real reason for banning the burkini had nothing to do with the women themselves but with the fear about what the burkini represents to France and French values. France is proud of its laïcité, its distinctive Republic vision of secularism, which is for many a key component of what it is to have a French society. In fact according to a poll by the Institut français d’opinion publique in 2015, 46% of French adults believe laïcité is the most important Republican principle (ahead of universal suffrage at 36% and freedom of association 8%).  It is also a country that feels under siege; a succession of terrorist attacks on French soil has made people afraid. Islam is now seen as a fundamental threat to Frenchness. The burkini is a visual sign of that fear – a public and (to many) alien demonstration of a faith that rightly or wrongly they now perceive as the enemy within. The burkini is a symbol of anti-laïcité, anti-Republicanism and, therefore, anti-Frenchness. It has become a blasphemy against the French state and society consensus. Continue reading “The weakness of secular belief.” »

Yves Bonnefoy, 1923-2016.

By SAM SACKS [The New Yorker] — Bonnefoy’s writing is made of these gentle disagreements—his lifelong project was the reconciliation of stubborn opposites. The child of a teacher and a railroad worker, he was born in Tours in 1923 and spent the war years studying mathematics and philosophy. With his celebrated début collection, in 1953 (“On the Motion and Immobility of Douve”), he began a truly polymathic literary career, publishing, along with free-verse poetry, short fiction, lyric essays, translations (notably of Shakespeare and Yeats), literary criticism, and art history. He devoted considerable attention to the visual arts. (His second marriage was to the American painter Lucy Vines; the photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson was one of his closest friends.) He travelled widely, and lectured in comparative literature both in France and abroad.

Continue reading “Yves Bonnefoy, 1923-2016.” »