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A note of thanks, a dose of sanity

2016 has had far more than its share of horribleness. Many of us are ready to leave this year far behind, even as we’re terrified of what the coming years may bring. At a time when many people are being told that their voices and lives don’t matter, we think oral historians have a vital role to play in amplifying silenced voices and helping us all imagine a better future.

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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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Julius Eastman: Gay Guerrilla

Julius Eastman (27 October 1940-28 May 1990)—composer, pianist, vocalist, improviser, conductor, actor, choreographer, and dancer—has left a musical legacy worthy of special attention. Now is a prime moment to attend to Eastman and his work, as we recognize and honor the loss of this significant musical figure just twenty-five years ago from today.

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The Oral History Review at the OHA Midwinter Meeting

By Troy Reeves
I had the pleasure of participating in certain parts of the Oral History Association’s Midwinter Meeting, held 14-16 February 2014 in Madison, Wisconsin. Let’s get this question answered right off the bat: Why Wisconsin in February? Because the organization meets in the winter (or early spring) at the location of the upcoming meeting.

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Komen leadership in flux

By Gayle Sulik
Earlier today, Komen President Liz Thompson announced her plans to leave Susan G. Komen for the Cure next month. Founder Nancy Brinker will also give up her role as Komen CEO and serve as chair of the board as soon as a replacement is found, and two board members are stepping down, Brenda Lauderback and Linda Law.

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Know your slang, poindexters?

Never mind if you’ve got the heebee-jeebies, how did we get that word? Winner of the Dartmouth Medal for RUSA/ALA Outstanding Reference Source and 2011 Booklist Editors’ Choice, Green’s Dictionary of Slang is a remarkable collection of this often reviled but endlessly fascinating area of the English language. From the past five centuries right up to the present day, and from all the different English-speaking countries and regions, it demonstrate the sheer scope of a lifetime of research by Jonathon Green, the leading slang lexicographer of our time. We dug through a few of the 10.3 million words and over 53,000 entries — definitions of 100,000 words with over 413,000 citations — to come up with a little quiz to celebrate.

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Quiz on country music,
Level 1: Walk the line

The 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards is this Sunday, April 1st, so we thought it was time to pull together a country music knowledge challenge. Compiled by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Michael McCall, John Rumble and Paul Kingsbury — authors of The Encyclopedia of Country Music — we begin the first of a three-part quiz on the twang of guitars and accents today. How much do you know about the music of “three chords and the truth”?

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The marriage of lobbying and charitable efforts

By Gayle Sulik
Telecom giant AT&T is currently proposing a $39 billion buyout of T-Mobile. The purchase, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ), would have negative implications for the telecommunications market, so much so that the DOJ filed a civil antitrust lawsuit on August 31st to block the proposed acquisition, stating that it would “substantially lessen competition…resulting in higher prices, poorer quality services, fewer choices and fewer innovative products.” AT&T vowed to “vigorously contest” the matter. In addition to hiring 99 lobbyists and spending $11.7 million

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Factoids & impressions from breast cancer awareness ads

By Gayle Sulik
One might assume that anything involving breast cancer awareness would be based on the best available evidence. Unfortunately, this assumption would be wrong. I’ve evaluated hundreds of campaigns, advertisements, websites, educational brochures, and other sundry materials related to breast cancer awareness only to find information that is inaccurate, incomplete, irrelevant, or out of context. We could spend the whole year analyzing them. For now, consider a print advertisement for mammograms by CENTRA Mammography Services.

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The teal before the pink: ovarian cancer awareness month

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Will the White House be lighted in teal just as it’s been lighted in pink to commemorate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month? Will grocery stores line shelves with teal ribbon products? Will schools give out teal t-shirts or pins? Probably not. Pink has been the color of choice when it comes to cause support…

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Boobies, for fun & profit

By Gayle Sulik
A blogger who goes by the name of The Accidental Amazon recently asked: “When did breast cancer awareness become more focused on our breasts than on cancer? Is it because our culture is so obsessed with breasts that it slides right past the C word?”

The Amazon’s questions are important — but they are inconvenient; blasphemous to the pink consumption machine, disruptive to the strong societal focus on pink entertainment,

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Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Sells Out the Pink to Get the Green

By Gayle A. Sulik

In response to increased publicity surrounding Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s questionable trademark and marketing activities, the organization published an official statement on its website, titled: “Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Sees Trademark Protection as Responsible Stewardship of Donor Funds.”

According to the statement, Susan G. Komen for the Cure® has never sued other charities or put other non-profits out of business, and the organization does not have plans to do so in the future. Apparently knitters, sandwich makers, and kite fliers who want to raise money for breast cancer or other causes should breathe easier now!

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The Battle “For the Cure” – The Phrase, That Is

By Gayle A. Sulik

Laura Bassett wrote a scathing essay in Huffington Post about Susan G. Komen for the Cure‘s legal dealings to win control over the phrase “for the cure.” According to Bassett, “Komen has identified and filed legal trademark oppositions against more than a hundred…charities, including Kites for a Cure, Par for The Cure, Surfing for a Cure and Cupcakes for a Cure – and many of the organizations are too small and underfunded to hold their ground.”

Why would the largest, best funded, most visible breast cancer organization put so much energy

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