Define Connotations

dictionary definition of a wordWhat is connotation?  Recently I was giving a presentation, and I talked about a word’s connotation.  “Traditionally, for many, doubt has a negative connotation.”  Someone interrupted me mid-sentence, in front of everyone, “uh, I think you mean denotation.”  Um, excuse me, but I am a lawyer, and I was an English major before that, and an avid reader and word lover/enthusiast always, and I believe I know the difference between connotation and denotation better than you do, thank you very much.  Also, even if you were right (which you’re not), it’s extremely rude to interrupt someone and try to make them look stupid in front of a group.  And it’s especially obnoxious if you’re also wrong.  But then, of course, I went straight home and looked up both denotation and connotation in the dictionary, and this is what I discovered: Continue reading

Man Book Club: An Apology?

man book club true dunce academyBy now we’ve all read or seen or heard about The New York Times article skewering all-male book clubs.  These groups, consisting entirely and exclusively of men, purportedly get together and do nothing but read books by men about men.  And, we can only assume from the context, also drink whiskey and tell sexist jokes and reminisce about the good old pre-women’s suffrage days. Whether this is genuinely newsworthy or just calculated clickbait, I’m not sure, but one thing is certain; the corresponding outrage is real. Continue reading

White Rapper Face-Off: Eminem vs. Vanilla Ice

vanilla iceeminem marshall maters white rap you know what time it is

Yo, yo, yo!  You know what time it is! It’s been a long time comin’, but we ’bout to hash this beef out once and for all.  Through the years, these two great white hopes have been pitted against each other in a brutal grudge match.  The people want this settled once and for all: who is the greatest white rapper of all time?  Continue reading

Book Review: Adulting – by Kelly Williams Brown

adulting by kelly williams brownIs there anything more millennial than this taking a noun and making it a hip-sounding new “-ing” gerund trend?  Googling, texting, tweeting, Facebooking.  That’s about all I thought Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown was going to be, a novel-length collection of snide millennial hipsterness.  I was…wrong? Continue reading

Book Review: The Wordy Shipmates, by Sarah Vowell

book reviewIf you’re looking for a great book recommendation, you could certainly do worse than Sarah Vowell’s The Wordy ShipmatesStrike that, the book was amazing, who am I kidding?  I guess I feel like kind of a book nerd admitting this, but Vowell makes history fun.  Exciting.  Hilarious!  I know, I couldn’t believe it either.  But there you have it. Continue reading

Library Wait Lists and Late Fees Strike Again

It’s happened again!a little life cover image  After several months on the library waiting list, it was finally, finally my turn to get my hands on the book I had heard so much about: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.  I was so excited!  I had heard so many good things.  That it was one of the great works of contemporary literature.  Moving.  Award-winning.  Incredibly done. Continue reading

Book Nerds Unite: Dunce Version

dunce cap catCalling all book nerds, anarchists, and dunces!  We, the dunce academy need to kick this revolution into higher gear.  We need to let the internet know that we are one of the best cyber book clubs around.  We need to rival other book sites like Goodreads and BookRiot and Amazon.  They’ve got nothing on us.  I want a book list and I want it now.  Let’s spread reading and our love of books.  Let’s start a fire.  Find a book, give it to a friend, a stranger, your mailman, your enemy.  I don’t care at this point, we just need to spread the word. Continue reading

Book Review: Dear Mr. You

dear mr you book coverThis book might have been just as fascinating had it been written to all the women in Mary-Louise Parker’s life.  No doubt it would have been.  If Parker and/or her editors ever stumble upon this lowly site, I gently and humbly encourage them to embark on that venture.  You heard the idea here first! Continue reading