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I meant to make a laudatory post last week to the effect that, where other than The New Yorker might you find a smart, funny, informative article on a literary figure as obscure as Alfred Lord Dunsany

Mitchell is right on this precise point, though: as a classical music fan, I find its use in classical venues to be an outrage.

I took that test when we applied to adopt! Picture was from the 30's: any idiot could tell that you were supposed to translate the stallion and the shirtless man in the picture into something sexual.

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Ian Frazier aces the Ellin Mackay piece.


I laughed. I cried.

That was a good piece, but I really enjoyed the Mary Norris one. It reminded me of my father who, like The New Yorker, practiced the "close" style of punctuation and drilled it into me when I was young.

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If the New Yorker was as closely edited as its reputation suggests, it would never print a phrase like "the philosopher Otto Weininger." One has to assume that the editors who reviewed that copy didn't really know anything about Weininger. If you do, it reads about as plausibly as "the philosopher L. Ron Hubbard."

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I am of two minds about Mary Norris and her book. I think, you should know, that I believe, The New Yorker overuses commas, to the point of making it impossible for me to read.


Wilf: perhaps they now rely on the belief that writers know their subject better than anyone else can. Always dangerous.

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