Critical Linking: April 20, 2013

I suppose I should apologize to all users of language for my crime against nomenclature. I could also apologize to my wife, a writer and my editor, who lobbied loudly against the word when I invented it—and later came to believe that if we had only copyrighted it, we’d be fabulously wealthy by now. (An English major, she also did a spit-take when we learned my little word was being added to the Oxford English Dictionary.) 

The word in question? Fashionista.  Your apology, sir, is not accepted.


The first of the seminal reading ages, of course, is the floor-tipping, giddily joyous moment at which you become a free and fluent reader, hunched over books of your own choosing and unleashed from the strictures of learn-to-read schemes. The age at which this happens varies considerably from child to child, but perhaps averages at about seven or eight – then voracious consumption of obsession-pandering series about ponies, spies, scientific trivia or ballet is likely to ensue, alongside a cheerfully eclectic “give it a go” mentality that might see Enid Blyton swapped for Daniel Defoe or an Usborne history encyclopedia, depending on the mood of the day.

I’ve returned to the “voracious consumption of obsession-pandering series” stage in my early 30s. I wonder how that works into her scheme.


”The man I remembered was kind, gentle, elemental in his vastness, tormented beyond endurance, and although we always called him papa, it was out of love, not fear,” Gregory wrote, admitting that, “What I really wanted was to be a Hemingway hero.” It was an ambition that went unfulfilled: he later had a sex change, dressed as a woman, was known to friends as Gloria, and was found dead in a cell at the Miami-Dade County Women’s Detention Center in 2001.

I don’t know. I think Hemingway could have written a book with a character like that. I think he would have enjoyed the challenge.


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