Books, words, people, and places worth knowing. Ideas to consider. Lost things rediscovered.

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Damning with fulsome praise.

It may be harsh to blame the victim, but it must be said: The word “fulsome” has only itself to blame for being misunderstood. It looks and sounds as if it means large, lavish, and …

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How do I love thee? Let me count the bivalves.

Valentine’s Day may be contrived, driven by retail sales of sub-par chocolate and guilt, but there is no denying that it brings out a kind of creativity not seen at other times of the year. …

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Let us honor our words.

In his novel All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy whips up language like a wizard, and creates words so perfect that they should be engraved on a big pink-granite wall in a park devoted to …

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It’s not stand-up comedy, it’s a commercial.

The Boston accent makes a lot more sense once you visit Ireland. The Irish brought it, we reconfigured it slightly. Been using it evah since. Check out this Superbowl commercial that relies on the sound …

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Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy is even greater than we remember…

My Opinion piece, below, ran in the New Hampshire Sunday News, New Hampshire’s largest newspaper, on January 19, 2020. This paper has a long history of conservative editorials — there was a time when they …

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Money talks.

There’s wisdom in the thesis explored in this New York Times article, “I’ll Share My Salary Information, if You Share Yours,” by Jessica Bennett (1/9/2020), which in a nutshell says that the more women talk …

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Race and Little Women

Louisa May Alcott would be fascinated to hear and read the discussions about diversity and literature-turned-into-films. Alcott, the author of Little Women, was way, way ahead of her time, and she pushed hard against the …

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Now, what was I going to do?

Is there anything more gratifying than a clearly written article that debunks some long-held and negative belief? Especially one related to the decline of this quirky vessel we inhabit during our worldly expedition? One such …

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The Saint of Central Square

Robert Kinerk is a fine writer and one who has covered genres from hard news to very well-regarded children’s literature, rhymes to headlines, stage plays to lyrics, and everything in between. The gifted Cambridge, Mass., …

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Phillipa Gregory’s “Tidelands” is brilliant.

Phillipa Gregory long ago established herself as a writer of excellent historical fiction. In her care, the Plantagenets and the Tudors came alive to a global readership. Even the heavy breathing of the various TV …

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Bachelors.

I have yet to travel anywhere in the world where people drop paired things together. It is always one sock, one glove, one mitten, one shoe, one sofa pillow in the middle of the motorway. …

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That word is in there. Somewhere.

That maddening sense of knowing a word but being unable to seize it, slip it into a sentence, and send it out into conversation has a suitably hard-to-remember term: Lethologica. This condition gets its name …

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