The Culture In a Word

  • In a Word How we came to suffer our franchises

    In English, the right to vote itself is sometimes referred to as suffrage. There is a folk etymology on the internet that holds suffrage to be derived from to suffer, in the older sense of 'allow' or 'permit.'

  • In a Word Where did all the hoydens go?

    It is hard even to imagine hoyden as a meaningful term of reproach and criticism today. Why shouldn’t girls climb trees? What’s wrong with women laughing loudly and saying what they think?

  • In a Word Can the punniest also be the funniest?

    Why, as John Pollack writes in “The Pun Also Rises,” do we consider puns “the lowest form of humor?”

  • In a Word Must Dennis be a dentist?

    A group of psychologists recently published a paper claiming that nominative determinism actually works. They found that men named Dennis were more likely to be dentists, the theory being that 'people choose – or are unconsciously drawn to – careers that resemble their own names.'

  • In a Word Can comity and Comey coexist?

    The US Senate is – or was – strongly associated with ideals of comity. Many of the recent articles about former FBI Director James Comey, however, suggest that Senate comity is under threat or already destroyed.    


Photos of the Week 0625 Photos of the Week

A standing guard soldier gets his sweat wiped off by his chief at the Mamayev Kurgan World War II memorial complex in Volgograd, Russia, on June 21.

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