Each week, we round up five stories from across the Web that scribes of all stripes should check out.
As we near the end of 2012, it's time for best of lists, and ____ of the year stories. Writing and editing are no exception. Ben Zimmer gives his words of the year, and The Atlantic
offers a nice roundup of all the best typos from 2012.
But let's start with something we think about all the time: where we write.
The philosophy of writing space:
Writers like to wax romantically about their writing room or cabin. If nothing else, they at least think they'll get some work done by going to the coffee shop. David Wood explores some possibilities as to why writers long for the perfect writing space, and why surroundings matter. He focuses especially on the secluded writing retreats of a few famous authors: “Far from giving expression to, or feeding in some revealing way, the otherwise inaccessible inner workings of the brilliant mind, they reflect a disdainful resistance to the importance of surroundings ...” Read the story here
The year in words:
Some publications have already announced their word of the year, including GIF
. In his list of candidates for the American Dialect Society's word of the year, Ben Zimmer lists these and several other noteworthy terms that became fashionable in 2012, such as Grexit, pink slime, Frankenstorm, and fiscal cliff. All your favorites are here
The year in typos:
Even more fun than the year in words is this look back at the best typos and corrections of 2012. There’s a lot here, from Mitt Romney's "Amercia" ad to reports about a Florida “socialist” (socialite) involved in the Petraeus affair. My favorite item in this collection is a correction from The New York Times
: “An earlier version of this article incorrectly described imagery from The Shining. The gentleman seen with the weird guy in the bear suit is wearing a tuxedo, but not a top hat.” Read them all here
The fiscal cliff for English majors:
The fiscal cliff showdown has an analogy somewhere in classic literature. NPR set out to find it this week, interviewing theater directors and bookstore workers to find out how they would compare the events in Washington to Shakespeare or other great works. My favorite is probably the comparison to Aristotle's concept of dramatic irony. Read the post here
Google authorship revives the dead:
Many bloggers are using Google's new authorship function, which ties bylines to Google+ profiles. It's why you see those little pictures next to articles in Google results. Well, one Yale English student found a hole in the system, creating a page for Truman Capote. Guess what happened next. Read the story here
Evan Peterson is a writer based in Chicago, and the editor of OpenMarkets magazine at CME Group. He's on Twitter at @evanmpeterson.