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‘The best way to lose weight is to eat clean’, my gym instructor informs me. There’s a linguistic crime in this sentence, but it isn’t the awkward non-adverb at the end. It’s the word ‘clean’. It’s part of a broad and largely accidental linguistic phenomenon: language that shames by default. A brief modern etymology The […]more
This month marks the 100th anniversary of the final quarantine of Mary Mallon, better known as ‘Typhoid Mary’, who was the first recognized asymptomatic carrier of typhoid. An Irish-born cook in the New York City metropolitan area, Mallon caused several outbreaks of typhoid in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. While several dozen infections […]more