“Clickbait” has arrived -- in Merriam-Webster’s unabridged online dictionary.
The dictionary announced Tuesday that it has added that word along with about 1,700 other entries, including “emoji” (small images used in email and text messages), “jegging” (a legging that looks like tight jeans), “photobomb” (to jump into a photo as it is being taken) and “NSFW” (not safe for work).
The first known use of “clickbait” was in 2010, the dictionary says, and the word means “something (such as a headline) designed to make readers want to click on a hyperlink especially when the link leads to content of dubious value or interest.”
Is this post feeling a little too self-referential? Awkward. Let’s move on.
Several of Merriam-Webster’s newly added terms are themselves ripped from the headlines.
“Colony collapse disorder,” for example, refers to a problem plaguing honeybees, which in turn is threatening U.S. agriculture.
“Dark money” refers to money for political campaigns donated through nonprofits...Read more
Writer Flannery O'Connor will appear on a new postage stamp, the U.S. Postal Service announced Tuesday. On the stamp, O'Connor is flanked by peacock feathers; she raised peacocks at her family's Andalusia Farm in Georgia.
O'Connor's work led the field of Southern Gothic with the novels "Wise Blood" and "The Violent Bear It Away" and many works of short fiction, including the collection "Everything That Rises Must Converge." An omnibus collection, "The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor," which won the 1972 National Book Award for fiction, was named the Best of the National Book Awards, 1950-2008 by a public vote.
O'Connor was born in 1925 in Savannah, Ga., the only daughter in a devout Roman Catholic family. The family moved to Midgeville when she was 12, then to the Andalusia Farm after her father died. She went to Georgia State College for Women, then to the Iowa Writers Workshop and then to New York, where she was a resident at Yaddo, a retreat for artists in Saratoga Springs. She...Read more
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh is getting involved in the investigation into the loss of more than $600,000 worth of artwork from the city's library system.
"You can’t lose $600,000-plus of artwork in the city of Boston and have a good rationale for it," Walsh told the Boston Globe.
Two pieces of art were discovered missing from the Boston Public Library's flagship Copley Square branch in April.
One was an engraving by Albrecht Dürer. Officially titled "Adam and Eve," it is also known as "The Fall of Man" and is one of Dürer's best-known works. Engravings of the work made in the early 1500s that remain in excellent condition can sell for more than $600,000 at auction, as the missing one did at Christie's in 2011.
The second work that disappeared is an etching by Rembrandt titled "Self-Portrait With Plumed Cap and Lowered Sabre," worth $20,000-$30,000.
Both were kept in a locked room with an alarm. Patrons could access them by appointment in the branch's reading room for rare books.
A rare proof of Sylvia Plath's novel "The Bell Jar" is coming up for auction in England. Bonhams will auction the uncorrected proof of the book, printed before publication, on June 24.
The proof of Plath's semiautobiographical novel bears her pseudonym, "Victoria Lucas." It was originally published in England under that name in 1963.
Later British editions and those in America attributed Plath as the author. By then, as her fans know, Plath was dead. The poet committed suicide later in 1963 after completing, but not seeing the publication of, the poems in the acclaimed collection "Ariel."
The 1962 proof edition of "The Bell Jar" shows that about 70 textual changes were made between the proof and the publication of the book. Bonhams quotes scholar Peter K. Steinberg as writing, "These textual differences are the result of edits made either by Plath herself when she reviewed the proof or by the editors as they prepared the final typesetting. This shows that Plath read her proofs of The Bell...Read more
Jeff Nunokawa is obsessive. The Princeton University English professor has posted more than 4,500 small essays to Facebook, “one a day,” he writes, “over the course of what has come to be many years.” These essays are literary and they are also personal; each begins with a quotation (from a writer, mostly, but occasionally from other sources), and each also features an image, which may be explicit or oblique.
The idea, Nunokawa told Rebecca Mead of the New Yorker in 2011, is to be simultaneously revealing and discreet. “I never speak explicitly about politics,” he explained then. “I think it would be bootless, and, moreover — this is going to sound priggish, but I believe it — inappropriate. I never talk about sex, per se. There’s a self-censoring mechanism embedded in the brain — if you want to interest other people, you can’t get too personal.”
It’s a great idea, a kind of daily homily or reflection, as well as an innovative use of social media, which is too often just a source of noise....Read more
Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda, rented the home from October 1922 until April 1924. At the time, it was relatively modest, and Fitzgerald did his writing in a room over the garage. It was other houses around the bay that are said to have inspired the fictional grand mansions of Gatsby and the Buchanans (including their dock with the green light).
The home has since been remodeled, and now boasts seven bedrooms, six-and-half baths, grand parabolic windows, a second-floor balcony, a gourmet kitchen, a maid's room, a den and a bar in the basement.
The latter is something Fitzgerald would have appreciated.
According to legend, the Fitzgeralds threw wild parties in the house, Zillow writes, with "house rules" such as: "Visitors are requested not to break down doors in search of liquor, even when authorized to do so by the host and hostess."
And it wasn't just...Read more