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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Author: Alice Northover

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“a rather unexpected start”: Alice Northover on the OUPblog

I had a rather unexpected start for the OUPblog. I spent my first day getting to grips with all the customizations and plugins of the blogging platform. I was armed with quite possibly the most amazing exit memo ever written (thank you Lauren). I was fully confident that a smooth transition was underway.

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The 34 most popular OUPblog posts of the last ten years

Yesterday we shared 34 selections of the OUPblog’s best work as judged by sharp editorial eyes and author favorites. However, only one of those selections coincides with the most popular posts according to pageviews. Does Google Analytics know something that our editors do not? Do these articles simply “pop” (and promptly deflate)? Or are there certain questions to which people always demand an answer?

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The best of a decade on the OUPblog

Wednesday, 22 July 2015, marks the tenth anniversary of the OUPblog. In one decade our authors, staff, and friends have contributed over 8,000 blog posts, from articles and opinion pieces to Q&As in writing and on video, from quizzes and polls to podcasts and playlists, from infographics and slideshows to maps and timelines. Anatoly Liberman alone has written over 490 articles on etymology. Sorting through the finest writing and the most intriguing topics over the years seems a rather impossible task.

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Words of 2014 Round-up

Word of the Year season closed this weekend with the annual meeting of the American Dialect Society. As usual, major news stories dominated selections, but there has been a notable uptick in social media-related choices. It is interesting to note how hashtags are becoming more prevalent with #IndyRef as a common runner-up, and #dirtypolitics and #blacklivesmatter winning the title.

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Top ten OUPblog posts of 2014 by the numbers

We’re kicking off the new year with a retrospective on our previous one. What was drawing readers to the OUPblog in 2014? Apparently, a passion for philosophy and a passion for lists. Here’s our top posts published in the last year, in descending order, as judged by the total number of pageviews they attracted.

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Shakespeare’s ‘Dark Bae’ sonnets

In continuation of our Word of the Year celebrations, I’m presenting my annual butchering of Shakespeare (previous victims include MacBeth and Hamlet). Of the many terms of endearment the Bard used — from lambkin to mouse — babe was not among them.

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Keeping caffeinated for International Coffee Day

Of all the beverages favored by Oxford University Press staff, coffee may be the life blood of our organization. From the coffee bar in the Fairway of our Oxford office to the coffee pots on every floor of the New York office, we’re wired for work.

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Introducing the new OUPblog

Loyal readers will have noticed a few changes to the OUPblog over the past week. Every few years, we redesign the OUPblog as technology changes and the needs of our editors and readers evolve. We have retired the design we have been using since 2010 and updated the OUPblog to a fresh look and feel.

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Twelve facts about the drum kit

Drummers are often seen as the most unintelligent and unmusical of band members. Few realize how essential the kick of a pedal and tap of the hi-hat are for setting down the beat and forming the tone of the band. So what is there to the drum kit besides a set of drums, suspended cymbals, and other percussion instruments?

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A marriage equality reading list

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act in their decision on the United States vs. Windsor. The judges also dismissed the Proposition 8 case (Hollingsworth vs. Perry), clearing the way for same-sex couples in California to marry.

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Friday procrastination: Webby honoree edition

Thank you to our wonderful contributors, staff, and most of all readers. OUPblog is one of nine 2013 Webby honorees in the ‘Blog – Cultural’ category. I can’t tell you how thrilled we are to be alongside the New Yorker’s Page-Turner and Perez Hamilton. And further congratulations to the Oxford Islamic Studies Online team or their Religion & Spirituality Websites nomination and the Oxford Music Online team for their Best Writing (Editorial) honor.

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Friday procrastination: hatchet-man edition

If my grandfather could survive the Siege of Leningrad and still distinguish between a German and a Nazi, then so can I says Polina Aronson. Shakespeare and food. The Sight and Sound Film Poll: An International Tribute to Roger Ebert and His Favorite Films

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Friday procrastination: cool videos edition

Google Plus and academic productivity. Extremely rare triple quasar found. Fitting in with our March Madness: Atlas Edition, Oxford Bibliographies in Geography launched this week. Nonsense botany from Edward Lear. His nonsense language wasn’t bad either. Dead authors can tweet you out of the water. A reminder about Open Culture’s master list.

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Friday procrastination: Rain on the sun edition

OUP author Jason Mittell is understandably proud of his student’s excellent video. March Madness begins. We’ll be starting our own on the OUPblog and OxfordWords, but to start one for the papacy and of course Tournament of Books. American Revolutionary art Internet-ed. And more links for your reading pleasure…

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