March 11, 2009 |
As outdoor herb gardens perk up with spring, resist the temptation to rush out to harvest the new leaves. Let your garden grow. Instead, take a moment to revisit cooking with dried herbs. Contrary to conventional wisdom, fresh isn't always better. As proof, witness the heaping pile of salami, provolone, lettuce, radicchio, onion, pepperoncini and garbanzo beans known as Nancy's Chopped Salad at Pizzeria Mozza.
October 11, 2007 |
Tracing the evolution of English verbs over 1,200 years -- from the Old English of "Beowulf" to the modern English of "The Princess Diaries" -- researchers have found that the majority of irregular verbs are going the way of Grendel, falling to the linguistic equivalent of natural selection. The irregular verbs, governed by confusing and antiquated rules, came under evolutionary pressure to obey the modern "-ed" rule of regular verb conjugation, according to a report today in the journal Nature.
April 9, 2005
I am appalled at the hoopla of media attention being given Jane Fonda and her new book ["No Ordinary Jane," by Susan Salter Reynolds, April 5]. Fine, perhaps she has some excuse from her upbringing that resulted in a tempestuous lifestyle, but neither that nor devoting an entire chapter to her trip to Hanoi with a couple of mea culpas makes everything all right. Fonda states that her "awakening" period in the '60s was like changing from a "noun to a verb." In this household, she is still considered an "expletive."
January 2, 2005 |
Help! Desperate writers have commandeered "hijack." Best used to describe what mobsters do to trucks and pirates do to ships, hijack has lately been forced to portray all manner of dull activity. In major U.S. newspapers, the word was contorted in 43% of its 2,202 recent appearances. Things hijacked in 2004 included trials, meetings, foreign policy, elections, President Reagan's legacy, cable news, two chapters of a book on autism, Broadway musicals and the moral high ground.
January 20, 2004 |
By now it's well established that bird-watching is one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic outdoor pursuits in the United States, but you'd never know it by looking at the rather staid genre of bird literature. Whether you pick up one of the countless field guides or tales of "my great birding adventure," you stop paying attention after a while, because the language is as interesting as having oatmeal every morning.
May 26, 2002 |
The sun the sun comes round the corner like a shining knight of old galloping over the landscape on the horses of morning And shaking his lance over us in trance of night awakens us to speak or sing to banish death and darkness And each steed a word each verb a stallion reared up against all ignorance Untamed rampant radicals in dictionaries of light