Today I’ll try to say something about the verb “see.” Once again, we’ll have to admit that the more basic a word is, the less we know about its remote history.
Where does philosophy belong? In lecture halls, libraries, and campus offices? In town squares? In public life? One answer to this question, exceedingly popular from the Enlightenment onward, has been that philosophy belongs on stage—not in the sense that this is the only place we should find it, but that the relationship between philosophy and drama is particularly productive and promising.
What is democracy? Pundits have been writing recently that democracy is majority rule, but that is wrong, dangerously wrong.
When it comes to catastrophic events for humans, a big nasty asteroid or comet colliding with Earth tops the chart, and several movies have exploited this scenario. The recent Netflix movie “Don’t Look Up” did that again, but as a satire and a warning. It is widely considered an allegory for climate change, but let’s consider the astronomical scenario as presented. Is such a scenario scientifically sound?
The etymology of the word “hear” is especially tough – but life would be a dull thing is everything was clear.
Why spy? . . . For as long as rogues become leaders, we shall spy. For as long as there are bullies and liars and madmen in the world, we shall spy. For as long as nations compete, and politicians deceive, and tyrants launch conquests, and consumers need resources, and the homeless look for land, and the hungry for food, and the rich for excess, your chosen profession is perfectly secure, I can assure you. (John Le Carré, “The Secret Pilgrim”)
Charlie Chaplin was certainly the greatest mime, probably the greatest actor, and arguably the greatest artist in any medium in the twentieth century. As self-transformations go, his personal rags-to riches story is hard to match. But the theme of metamorphosis also permeates his movies.
The phrase in a/the twinkling of a bedpost (with the archaic variant bedstaff) means the same as in a twinkling of an eye, that is, “very quickly,” because twinkle, when used metaphorically, refers to a rapid movement. Agreed: eyes and stars twinkle, but bedposts don’t, and here is the rub.
Do Hollywood’s portrayals of policing matter as much as the industry’s material entwinement with law enforcement—as much as the working relationships pursued beyond the screen? Instead of conceding that the consumers of popular media are eminently capable of thinking for themselves (and thus of resisting flattering depictions of power), more and more commentators are calling for the complete elimination of cop shows, cinematic police chases, and other, ostensibly entertaining images of law enforcement.
Darwin’s tree of life and Mendeleev’s periodic table of the elements share a number of interesting parallels, the most meaningful of which lie in the central role that each plays in its respective domain.
Any large organization or bureaucracy is likely to have a style guide for its internal documents, publications, and web presence. Some organizations go a step further and develop what is known as a control language.
Corruption has risen to the top of the British political agenda. Even if we agree with Boris Johnson that the UK is “not remotely a corrupt country”, then Britain certainly did struggle with corruption in the past. Indeed it has had a long history of corruption and anti-corruption. This has some lessons for today.
The Oxford Etymologist is out of hibernation and picks up where he left off in mid-December. It may be profitable to return to the origin of “star”, but from a somewhat broader perspective.
In 2021, our authors published new research, analysis, and insights into topics ranging from religious tolerance to taboo, atheist stereotypes to the appeal of religious politics, and much more. Read our top 10 blog posts of the year from the Press’ authors featured in our Religion Archive on the OUPblog: 1. Stereotypes of atheist scientists […]
How can we help Afghan refugees? What are the challenges facing American democracy? Is Weimar Germany a warning from history? These are just a few of the questions our authors have tackled on the OUPblog this past year. Discover their takes on the big political issues of 2021 with our list of the top 10 politics blog posts of the year.
This year on the OUPblog, our authors have marked major anniversaries, championed activism, confronted antisemitism, shattered stereotypes, and sought to understand our post-pandemic world through literature. Dive into the top 10 literature blog posts of the year on the OUPblog: