Archive for November, 2011

November 25, 2011

Word Nerd Swag

In honor of Black Friday:

Gifts for the word lover in your life.

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November 25, 2011

A Brief History of “Black Friday”

Black Friday: it’s the day people fight over marked-down IPads at four in the morning and women wrench at $25 Betsy Johnson dresses in a tug-of-war.  But where does the term “Black Friday” come from?

Most people know it as a term that refers to the day when retailers turn enough profit to be “in the black” — and old accounting term used when businesses were making a profit and the numbers were recorded in the ledgers using black ink.  “In the black” is the opposite of “in the red” when businesses were losing money and the numbers were recorded in red ink.

But the term “Black Friday” was first used in the ’60s and early ’70s in Philadelphia to describe the heavy traffic that commenced on the day after Thanksgiving.

After 1975, the term was heard outside of Philadelphia and eventually referred to retail instead of traffic.  The two now go hand in hand and most people who don’t want to dodge shoppers in parking lots or be injured in a scurry for big screen TVs on clearance will just stay inside and order online.

November 23, 2011

Hot, Bad, and Bothered: Literary Review Reveals Worst Sex Scene Nominees

“In the shower, Ed stood with his hands at the back of his head, like someone just arrested, while she abused him with a bar of soap.”

“A freshly made ear and a freshly made vagina look very much alike.”

“His lady lifted to the stars on his impossibly stiff, impossibly elegant cock.”

These are just some of the nominees for the Literary Review‘s 2011 Bad Sex in Literature Awards. Among the nominees are heavy weights, Stephen King, Haruki Murakami, and James Frey. I’ll let you guess the quote above that belongs to Murakami’s IQ84.

Needless to say, I wait with hot, bated breath for the winner to be mercilessly thrust into the limelight. . .

November 22, 2011

New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2011

What a better way to initiate this blog than to post The New York Times Book Review’s 100 Notable Books of 2011?

There are a few already on my to-read list: Don DeLillo’s first published collection of short stories, The Angel Esmeralda; Jeffery Eugenides’s long-awaited novel (his first in ten years), The Marriage Plot, and Huruki Murakami’s latest, 1Q84.

I just bought Laura Kasischke’s Space in Chains, and so far it’s all her — ethereal, witty, and organic.

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