The American Dialect Society is about to make a major decision: what will be the Word of the Year for 2012? Since we only live once, will it be YOLO? Or perhaps Frankenstorm, in memory of Hurricane Sandy? Language columnist Ben Zimmer says there's no clear front-runner.
From medieval medicine to18th-century English "crack", gin has come a long way. But according to Richard Barnett, author of The Book of Gin, now is "the best time in the last 500 years to be drinking" it.
Chef Amanda Cohen's Dirt Candy is a turducken of a book: graphic novel, cookbook and memoir in one. Cohen's East Village restaurant in New York City is focused entirely on vegetables — and with just nine tables, it's become a foodie destination.
Conventional wisdom says e-books are destroying the traditional publishing business model. But the story's not that simple. For one thing, flexible pricing allows publishers to hold what amount to one-day-only sales on any given title — which means more people will discover that book.
About three-quarters of public libraries offer e-books, according to the American Library Association. But finding the book you want to read can be a challenge when every publisher has its own licensing rules for libraries — and several major houses don't sell e-books to libraries at all.
Charles Dickens wrote many of his greatest works in serial form, but serial publishing has fallen by the wayside since his day. Now, it's being revived online, and Margaret Atwood is publishing a future-dystopia novel called Positron in installments via the literary website Byliner.
The publishing industry has been in flux for years. First chain stores, then Amazon, then e-books — all combined to create dramatic change. Industry consultant Mike Shatzkin outlines some of the biggest changes, like the recently announced merger of Penguin and Random House.
Cliches are often criticized as the most overused and contemptible phrases in the English language. But writer Hephzibah Anderson says there are times when cliches are not only useful, but also create a sense of camaraderie. And sometimes, she writes in Prospect magazine, only a cliche will do.
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