• I can’t watch!

    by  • June 30, 2014 • 0 Comments

    I’ve watched some of the U.S. team’s play in the FIFA World Cup — luckily, some key moments, such as when the U.S. took the lead against Portugal, and when Portugal scored with seconds left in stoppage time. But I have to admit I have not been there for every kick and save. And...

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    The future will be being

    by  • October 23, 2013 • 0 Comments

    For Slate’s Lexicon Valley blog, Ben Yagoda ponders why so many of his students use the archaic “amongst” instead of “among.” He notes that the 18th century term had been pretty well put to rest by 1994, but it launched a vigorous resurrection with the millennium, given new life by those born in the...

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    Exasperating certitude

    by  • September 22, 2013 • 0 Comments

    My local paper, the Greenville Daily Reflector, runs a page two feature every day that both fascinates and confounds me. It puts “Bless Your Heart” behind its online paywall, so I won’t link it here. That uniquely Southern locution can express anything from admiration to pity to outright contempt, but the DR’s selection of...

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    The oldest shop in Florence

    by  • July 3, 2013 • 0 Comments

    It is a little surprising that the oldest shop in Florence, Italy, opened in 1910. Somehow you’d expect a few concerns operating for centuries in one space, like Berry Bros. & Rudd in London. Still, Florentines and tourists have bought cameras and film, eyeglasses and shades at Umberto Dei Ottica Fotografia for 103 years....

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    Let me see

    by  • April 18, 2013 • 0 Comments

    Do I have this straight? Because some nutjobs might blow themselves up making meth, I have to show ID to buy decongestant, and can be put in prison for buying more than a certain amount each month. But we must let other nutjobs kill people because it would horribly infringe liberty to check if...

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