Classic cursing: a cure for all boredom

I absolutely love words, and I love learning about the way words morph over time. One of the most fun ways to see that is to look at the curses and slang used in each period. It reveals what was common, important, and valued at that time. It is also wildly hilarious, and I very well may end up reading this whole dictionary of insults and slang. It’s called “A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue” and it can give you a slew of new-again comebacks from 1785.

I feel like this could be great fun for a higher-level English class; maybe something at a college level while studying 18th century literature? You know, for research, to better understand stories like

Some of my favs from this:
birds of a feather: rogues of the same gang (is that where the phrase came from!?)
to blow the grounsils: to – er- lie with a woman on the floor
gollumpus: a large and clumsy fellow
mettlesome: bold, courageous (presumably this has turned into meddlesome, or someone who bothers in others’ business)
ruffles: handcuffs

Fantastic name. ♥
One of the sources for the words found in the collection; sounds like a good read!
complete with handwritten notes, language of origin, and notes on when a word is specific to “Canting” or the language used by thieves and scoundrels

Human Libraries: What’s Your Story?

The Human Library Lets You “Check Out” People To Hear Their Stories

As always, the most amazing ideas come from Denmark. Instead of checking out books, you sit down with a person for a half-hour conversation. People can register as available and give themselves a title. The idea is to allow people to meet people they might not have otherwise, and to have a place they can safely ask questions they might have or shared experiences they’re dealing with. Examples of human book titles? “Olympic Athlete,” “Fat Woman,” and “A Questioning Christian.”

Would you be willing to “check out” a person for their story, or would the idea of talking to a stranger feel too strange or invasive? What would your title be if you signed up? Mine would probably be, “A Traveler,” but I think I need a few more places under my belt before I’d feel like I could really live up to the name.

Libraries eliminate late fees?

No more late fines?

I had to find a dime for a library fee recently, and it was a struggle. (And for the record, I returned it day-of but they had already closed, so they counted it as next day. 😞)

Apparently some libraries are removing late fees after seeing that some people will just keep the book and stop coming to the library to about the shame of paying a late fee.

What’s worse for you: the shame, or the fee itself?

The Scientific Smell of Old Books

Researchers have broken down the smell of old books

This is so cool! I feel like every reader knows the smell of old books, but what actually IS that smell?? Well, we finally have our answer, broken down into what people say they think it smells like connected to the actual chemicals that might be making it smell that way. Cool!

You should really read the article, but for people who like to skip to the last page, the overall smell people reported is a sort of woody, earthy smell. Think of damp peat moss, if you have any familiarity with damp peat moss.

My top 3 weirdest results in the list:

  • “green”
  • “old seasoning”
  • “fish”

10 Books That Predicted (Or Created!) the Future

See the source image
These 10 Books Predicted (or Created) the Future

I immediately thought to Divination in Harry Potter. I also can’t help but start wondering what books now are predicting the future? I feel a bit grim to think it won’t be so much cool technology advancements or interstellar travel, but most likely the disaster novels about world-ending weather.

Since I’m awake…

11 Famous Books You Had No Idea Began As Dreams

SleepAdvisor, June 13, 2019

11 Famous Books You Had No Idea Began As Dreams

At this early hour, I learned just how much I could be missing. My dreams do tend to be pretty awesome and crazy; I’m lucky I usually remember them! But no sleeping means no dreaming, so I guess I won’t be following in their footsteps (keystrokes?) anytime soon. I tend to be more of a reader than a writer anyway. ☺ Some of the dreams these books came from are hella depressing though – I can get why they woke up and felt the need to get it out of their heads.

Readers reflecting their reading

People Who Read A Lot of Books Are Way Nicer, Kinder and Empathetic, Study Shows

…when broken down by genre, they saw that readers of comedy were the best at relating to people. Romance and drama lovers were the most empathetic and most skilled at seeing things through other’s eyes.


You do have to consider whether people are more empathetic because they read, or whether people read because they are more empathetic. But it’s an interesting article, despite the concentrated sample size and self-survey bias! What might other genres say about a person? Do you see these attributes in yourself and your own reading habits too?