L.A. Kennedy

Beyond the story

Don’t feed the trolls. Quartz Olivia Goldhill Wildly inaccurate facts and spurious arguments are unavoidable features of social media. Yet no matter how infuriatingly wrong someone is, or just how much counter-evidence you have at your disposal, starting arguments on the internet rarely gets anyone to change their mind. Nearly a century-and-a-half ago, British philosopher …

Continue reading

Literature’s evolution has reflected and spurred the growing complexity of society. By Julie Sedivy Reading medieval literature, it’s hard not to be impressed with how much the characters get done—as when we read about King Harold doing battle in one of the Sagas of the Icelanders, written in about 1230. The first sentence bristles with …

Continue reading

How filler words and tiny pauses keep conversations from going off the rails. The Atlantic | Julie Beck Photo by Ian Ross Pettigrew / Getty / The Atlantic. When one person asks another a question, it takes an average of 200 milliseconds for them to respond. This is so fast that we can’t even hear …

Continue reading

In three recent novels that reimagine ancient epics — Circe, The Mere Wife, and The Silence of the Girls — authors wrestle with both their source material and the centuries of cultural baggage it carries. Mikaella Clements Writers have always come back to older texts, finding new twists on old legends. Jean Rhys and James …

Continue reading

According to a 15th century guide to detecting and eradicating witchcraft, witches were capable of making penises vanish—and some even kept them in nests and fed them oats. by Callie Beusman Photo via Wikipedia Since time immemorial, men have worried irrationally about perceived threats to their penises. Long before there was castration anxiety, there was …

Continue reading

Via Language Insight Writing is an integral part of any language and may just be one of the most valuable skills humans ever developed. If you’re a linguist, writing will be integral to your work, whether you are translating a novel or writing notes to take with you to an interpreting session. Were it not …

Continue reading

Via gosparkpress.com Before Print The concept of publishing began long before the invention of the printing press. It began as far back as the invention of writing. Scribes copied works all by hand. Obviously, this was a long, painstaking process, thus, books developed along with movable type. The Invention of the Printing Press The Chinese …

Continue reading

Via Spark Press “You may burn my books and the books of the best minds in Europe, but the ideas those books contain have passed through millions of channels and will go on.”—Helen Keller from her “Open Letter to German Students”  A Short History… The first banned book in America Book burning is a long-held practice …

Continue reading

BY Shaunacy Ferro While today we can get machines to write for us, for most of human history, writing was a manual endeavor. And there are people who are super passionate about keeping it that way. Some schools are building handwriting requirements into their curriculums, although even the positive research results on the benefits of …

Continue reading