Conjuring and Cancelling with Cancel Culture

Like the term political correctness, cancel culture has become an incantation to conjure with. conjure: To invoke by supernatural power, to effect by magic or jugglery. From Latin conjurare: to swear together, to band, combine, or make a compact by oath, to conspire. Before cancel culture, there was cancelling, in the sense of rejecting or … Read more

Two Literary Syndromes—AWS and OHS

Several fictional characters are so memorable that their names have been attached to physical and psychological maladies. Some of the so-called syndromes can be found in medical sources. Others, like “Bambi Syndrome” and “Peter Pan Syndrome,” are found only in pop culture—at least for the present. Some psychologists suggest that Peter Pan Syndrome may deserve … Read more

AP Quiz Top Two Anathemas

On March 4 this year, National Grammar Day, the AP Stylebook editors tweeted a question for their readers: What grammar rule do you find yourself getting wrong no matter how many times you look it up? Tell us your grammar kryptonite. The feed I saw had 72 Quote Tweets. If “Quote Tweets” means “responses,” then … Read more

Shakespeare—for All Time

According to T. S. Eliot, April was :the cruellest month.” For me, April is Shakespeare’s month, a time to reread some of the plays and perhaps watch some of the film versions. Like his character Cassius in Julius Caesar, Shakespeare died on his birthday: William Shakespeare 23 April 1564—23 April 1616. His contemporary and fellow … Read more