Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A timeout: the methods of etymology" plus more...

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OUPblog - "A timeout: the methods of etymology" plus more...

A timeout: the methods of etymology

I expected that my series on dogs would inspire a torrent of angry comments. After all, dog is one of the most enigmatic words in English etymology, but the responses were very few. I am, naturally, grateful to those who found it possible to say something about the subject I was discussing for five weeks, especially to those who liked the essays. As I have observed in the past, though I am supposed to love my enemies, I have a warmer feeling for those who are fond of me.  At the moment, my...

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Researchers use drones and satellite photos to document illegal logging in monarch butterfly reserve

The monarch butterfly has been called "the Bambi of the insect world." These fascinating insects are famous for their bright colors and their incredible fall migratory route, which can be as long as 2,500 miles.

Starting from as far north as Canada, millions of monarchs take a two-month journey to a mountain range that straddles the border of two Mexican states, Michoacán and México, where they spend the winter. This area, known as the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, is sacred...

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Where is China going? The history and future prospects of China's economic reforms

In recent years, numerous phenomena in Chinese society have worried the informed elites and have angered the common citizens. On the one hand, government power has been expanding, the monopolies of state-owned enterprises, especially central enterprises, have grown, and consumption of public funds and official corruption have become rampant. On the other hand, there have been widespread forced evictions and demolitions in the rural areas, soaring house prices in the cities, serious inflation,...

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The perks and perils of trespassing

Some eight years ago I sat down to draw out a blueprint for a book that should tell stories about how the chemistry of individual elements of the periodic table had changed, for better or for worse, the courses of ordinary peoples' lives. Several things motivated me; I was sitting on a number of stories where literature and history intersected with chemistry that I would love to tell to a bigger audience, but I also found there was a lack of popular science books in chemistry that actually...

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Why study English? Literature, politics, and the university, 1932-1965

What is the purpose of studying English? How does language underpin politics? What role, if any, should the subject play within democratic society?

Attempts to understand attitudes towards these questions in the early-to-mid-twentieth century have previously emphasized two hostile schools of thought. Firstly, an approach towards criticism influenced by the Cambridge critic F.R. Leavis, who emphasized both the moral seriousness of literature and the natural hostility of the critic towards most...

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