So many tributes to Tony Benn have focused on his written output, many suggesting these will be his significant legacy. What are the essential books by and/or about him? posted by monkey closet at 2:20 AM - 1 answers
I am struggling to understand a line from Robert Browning's poem, The Bishop Orders His Tomb at St. Praxed's. The fourth line reads "She, men would have to be your mother once." This does not make sense to me grammatically. I did find this reference to the same problem, which recommends replacing "she" with "her", which still doesn't sound correct to me. It indicates that the line is a case of bad grammar from a dying man.
Please help me understand what is being said here. TIA posted by michellenoel at 2:24 PM - 21 answers
As in Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack and Quack. Whack or Oo-ack? Is there a definitive answer? There are many arguments for either pronunciation, but did McCloskey ever make a recording? Did anyone note the pronunciation from a reading he did? posted by noether at 8:22 AM - 17 answers
Can the hive mind take a look at the picture of this necklace and see if the back of it is calligraphy of some sort? It looks like Arabic or Persian. If so, does anyone know what it says?
Here's the picture. posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:17 PM - 8 answers
I’ve noticed that I’m increasingly reading “I’ve not” in place of “I haven’t” and “I’ll not” in place of “I won’t.” When I was growing up (the 70s), these expressions were exceedingly rare. I knew they existed, of course, but to me they seemed redolent of century-old books: “I’ll not brook such behavior in my classroom, Tom Sawyer!” “Fezziwig! I’ve not heard his voice since my youth.” But in the last 15 years or so, I've been seeing these phrasings more and more often in colloquial writing — other blogs, Amazon reviews, internet discussions, MeFi etc. I don’t seem to hear these forms spoken, which adds to their air of formality. [more inside] posted by ROTFL at 10:09 AM - 22 answers
The movies and films I have in mind are: A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean, Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, and The Thin Red Line by Terrence Malick (though many of his films would count). The "technical" definition of grace is such that I'm not entirely sure that's an accurate description of what it is that I see that joins these movies together, but it is certainly something present or mentioned in all three. The things that stick out to me are things such as: forgiveness, that nature is perhaps closer to God(liness), that there is grace/beauty in life despite some of the bad things in it. Do you know of any films and books that might be considered related to my above group given what I've tried to describe? posted by SollosQ at 6:55 AM - 39 answers
If anyone besides my spouse and her family knows the word "toast-a-dies," would you please step forward? I'm trying to find out the origin of this term for French toast. [more inside] posted by dlugoczaj at 9:04 AM - 5 answers
The inspirational saying on my tea today reads, "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself" and is attributed to George Bernard Shaw.
My limited knowledge of G.B. Shaw is that he was not prone to penning inspirational proverbs - did he really write this? [more inside] posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 3:51 PM - 9 answers
I'm looking for lessons, exercises or examples of how one can learn to be more vigilant or to improve their situational awareness. I realize some people develop this trait naturally, but are there examples of such things being actively taught? Lessons of a law-enforcement/investigatory nature will be extra helpful, but I'll happily take other examples. [more inside] posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:48 AM - 21 answers
I read a novel that has lots of sexual scenarios, one of which involves a "frigid" woman who is repeatedly offered grissini (breadsticks) by a waiter as a subliminally sexual seduction.
There was another ongoing scene in which a woman was a research subject for testing orgasm response.
Why? Because I can't remember and like the pirate with the steering wheel belt buckle, it's driving me nuts. Thanks! posted by haineux at 7:31 PM - 3 answers
I'm looking for first names that are used to describe a kind of person or that person's actions. For example: if you are accused of being a "Pollyanna", it means you have sort of a blind optimism or more generally harbor a positivity bias (and it's not usually a compliment). What are some other names that are shorthand for character traits? [more inside] posted by 2bucksplus at 3:04 PM - 79 answers
What fiction, non-fiction, or academic works on a "post-literate" world can you recommend? Has anyone written about a world where the most successful and powerful don't necessarily posses the ability to read or write as we know it? [more inside] posted by GPF at 1:19 PM - 9 answers
Several months ago, I read somewhere a mention of an author using the 1970s book An Encyclopedia of Fairies by Katharine Briggs as a main reference for a work of fiction. I thought it was C. Robert Cargill for his debut novel Dreams and Shadows, but he told me via Twitter that it wasn't him. I'm stumped. And it's bugging me now. Who mentioned this book, perhaps in their own forward or acknowledgments or something? Thanks. posted by CheekyEv at 11:25 AM - 1 answers