This past summer, several employees at the New York City office of Oxford University Press took part in a rite that most of haven’t experienced since elementary school: a spelling bee. In the age of autocorrect and spellchecker, the skill of spelling has undoubtedly lost some of its luster.
As the television show Mad Men recently reached its conclusion, we thought it might be fun to reflect on the contributions to language during the turbulent decade of the 1960s. This legacy is not surprising, given the huge shifts in culture that took place during this point in time, including the Civil Rights movement, the apex of the space race, the environmental movement, the sexual revolution, and—obviously—the rise of advertising and media. With this in mind, we picked 16 words from the 1960s that illuminate this historical moment.
Recently reading through the Notes and Discographies section of Greil Marcus’s book Mystery Train (first published in 1975), I was struck by Marcus’s meticulousness when it came to recommending records.
Does the word cyber sound dated to you? Like the phrases Information Superhighway and surfing the Web, something about the word calls one back to the early era of the Internet, not unlike when you ask a person for a URL and they start to read off, ‘H-t-t-p, colon, forward slash…’
With Thanksgiving as a time of the year to reflect on what brings us joy and …, we thought it would be a good time to reflect on the music that we’re thankful for having in our lives.
No other holiday has mood swings quite like Halloween. Running the gamut from horror to kitsch to comedy, the holiday is as variable as the types of costumes donned by schoolchildren on the day itself. This Halloween, we have put together a collection of songs collected from the staff at Oxford University Press that reflects that intrinsic variability.