In social justice activism, offensive rhetoric is considered a form of toxic pollution. Language shapes our culture, society, and schema for thinking about different groups, and so can never be considered harmless.
We’ve been told not to use the metro. We’ve lived through warnings during Nevruz, the Kurdish New Year, to not go out due to potential clashes on the streets. The German Consulate and German schools in Istanbul shut down for two days ahead of the weekend due to a
The last thing the world needs is another reimagining of the fairy tale. It has been done from every angle: straightforward, post-modern, and (yawn) from the villain’s perspective. So it was with some wariness that I approached Patrick deWitt’s new novel, Undermajordomo Minor, a fairy tale of sorts that
Some narrators announce their unreliability in the opening sentences of a short story (see Matt Sumell’s “All Lateral”), and in this way their skewed vision of the world serves as a stylistic lead, drawing readers in. In “The Know-It-All,” from the latest New Ohio Review, Jeff Spitzer creates a
As anyone paying even the remotest of attention to the news this past week, we all know this is a sobering time for journalists, satirists, publishing professionals, and supporters of free speech. The brutal murder of staff and police at Charlie Hebdo magazine offices by Muslim extremists, along with violent
It’s a skinny thing, Gustave Flaubert’s Le Dictionnaire des idées reçues, not even 100 pages. And The Dictionary of Accepted Ideas also isn’t the source you’d turn to when someone peppers a conversation with a few big words. It is, however, the dictionary you could pick up and read during, say, a
“Oh, I get it. ‘Pete’ is the name of the boy who falls off the log. ‘Repeat’ is the name of the other boy, but when you say his name, you’re also asking me to say the joke again.” My daughter says this a week after she’s been told