The Culture In a Word

  • In a Word When words get ‘girl cooties’

    A word that starts out as a neutral or even positive term for men feminizes (becomes exclusively identified with women) and often pejorates (gets worse).

  • In a Word Where did all the hoydens go?

    It is hard even to imagine hoyden as a meaningful term of reproach and criticism today. Why shouldn’t girls climb trees? What’s wrong with women laughing loudly and saying what they think?

  • In a Word Can the punniest also be the funniest?

    Why, as John Pollack writes in “The Pun Also Rises,” do we consider puns “the lowest form of humor?”

  • In a Word Must Dennis be a dentist?

    A group of psychologists recently published a paper claiming that nominative determinism actually works. They found that men named Dennis were more likely to be dentists, the theory being that 'people choose – or are unconsciously drawn to – careers that resemble their own names.'


Photos of the Week 08/13 Photos of the week

Counter-demonstrators shout during a white nationalist-led rally marking the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville ‘Unite the Right’ protests, in Washington, Aug. 12.

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