There are 5 posts.
You’ve heard of Uncle Sam, but have you heard of Brother Jonathan? What about John Bull? The rise of characters who personify entire nations – and, in some cases, their disappearance from the national consciousness, or their replacement by new and different characters – has something to tell us about naming, narrative, and national identity. […]more
Across the US, those who are not too replete with their Thanksgiving feast will be braving the crowds in order to secure themselves one of the bargains associated with Black Friday, the day following Thanksgiving which is often regarded as the first day of Christmas shopping in the US. Even on the Thanksgiving-less shores of […]more
Are you an expert on word trends? Every year, the Oxford Dictionaries editors select one word that they feel reflects “the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year” to award it with the ‘Word of the Year’ title. Over the years, the UK and US editorial teams have often chosen a different Word of […]more
On a Sunday afternoon in November I am at the Benedum Center with hundreds of fellow Pittsburghers watching a performance of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.” It’s the second act, and Papageno the bird-man has just found his true love. The English super-titles help us decipher what he is saying as he starts to exit the […]more
Although this blog has already covered a number of the interesting words and phrases associated with the speakeasies of 1920s and early 1930s America, the period still has a number of gems. As today marks the anniversary of the conviction of notorious Chicago-based gangster Al ‘Scarface’ Capone, what better reason to revisit some of the […]more