words in need of revival

5 Words in Need of Revival

I must confess: I have a bit of a jones when it comes to “old” words. Maybe it’s because I fancy myself an intellectual, or because I was raised by older parents than were most of my peers. Using the word “stilly” to describe corpses lying under a blanket once got me a friendly reprimand in Advanced Creative Writing: “That word is ancient. I’m old. That’s ancient. The last time I read it was Thomas Moore, ‘Oft, in the Stilly Night.’ That’s from around 1800.” I was somewhat crushed. I liked “stilly.” I thought it fit. It had a cellar door sort of appeal. Continue reading

words that dont mean what you think

25 Words That Don’t Mean What You Think

Those who study languages live in fear of false friends: words whose meanings are radically different than what they seem. English speakers learning Spanish are humiliated to find that embarazada means “pregnant.” Their German-studying counterparts will turn red-faced in the restaurant when they learn that die Pickel means “pimples.”

But false friends are not found only in foreign tongues. English has plenty of them, due to a variety of factors. Not least among this is its history as an amalgamation of different European languages, which has led to an abundance of homophones and homonyms that aren’t even close to being synonyms. Here, I’ve compiled a list of 25 misunderstood and misused words; become real friends with them, would you?

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5 Authentic Tales by Asian Women

One of the side-effects of being a geek is an inevitable interest in East Asian culture. Whether you got sucked in through anime, electronics, films, manga, pop music, or video games, you eventually up in the same place. Often times, however, Westerners’ awareness of China, Japan, and Korea only goes so far. While most geeks are eager to reprimand others’ ignorant comments, few have any real interest in the sociopolitical dynamics of East Asian countries; aside from the Samurai and Shaolin, Asian history gets ignored in favor of Herodotean generalizations about male-dominated societies and femicide.  Continue reading

The 10 Best Animated Films (That Aren’t for Kids)

I have had the misfortune to speak with many adults—even my twentysomething peers—who honestly believe that animated movies are for children. The only exception many of these people make to this rule is hentai, which they generally lump into the category of “weird Japanese shit” and want nothing to do with. While none of the items on this list are hentai films, they are definitely not for children, thanks to intense violence, gore, sexual content, drug use, thematic elements…the list goes on. Without further ado, I give you my top ten picks for not-so-kid-friendly animated films.

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