There are two kinds of histories, I was once taught: They’re either beads on a string or marbles in a jar. They either connect events, teleologically, or they accumulate them, layer them.
What, then, of a history of histories?
At The Dallas Morning News, the editors and copy editors worked diligently to plane down our prose, so we wouldn’t use too many fancy words. When I did throw in a word that I suspected the editors would yelp about, a word I really felt was necessary, I would argue: Don’t we want our readers to be better readers? To learn something? What’s wrong with looking up words? I always did as a kid — and often still do.
For four years now, that’s what James Meek, author of the terrific novel, The People’s Act of Love, has done: looked up every word he came across that he didn’t know.
New lessons in how to read the body, notably such messages as “Get outta here!” and “Oh … mah … Gawd!” Courtesy of The Valve.