Saturday, June 7, 2014

Weekend Links: Pentecost Crafts, the Schwa, and more!

Some good reading for your weekend:

"Pentecost Crafts, Songs, Activities, And More!": some fun ideas for celebrating this week's feast with kids.

"The Reason for the Divorce*": I can't spoil this one by quoting any of it. It would give it away. But, rest assured: this one is funny, not sad (and doesn't really have anything to do with divorce).

"The Schwa Is the Laziest Sound in All of Human Speech":
Some languages are syllable-timed, like Spanish, where each syllable is roughly the same length, giving the impression of a steady "machine-gun" rhythm. English is a stress-timed language, meaning that the rhythmic impression is based on the regular timing of stress peaks, not syllables. If you want to speed up in Spanish, you shorten the length of all the syllables. If you want to speed up in English, you close the distance between stressed syllables. How? By greatly reducing the unstressed syllables. What vowel do unstressed syllables tend to get? Schwa.
"The Biggest News at BEA?":
Just got back from a week in New York, seeing all the books and publishers and figuring out what direction the industry is moving. There was a great spirit at Book Expo this year — none of the angst and worry that has dogged the show the past few years. They tried something new this time at the Javits Center — opened up the floor to the public on Saturday, sold tickets at $20 a pop, publicized a ton of author signings, and watched 10,000 people buy their way into the show. (For the record, it was apparently all teen girls, looking to get their YA and romance novels signed, or to catch a glimpse of a celebrity like Cary Elwes signing copies of his latest tome.) But the biggest topic of conversation? The dispute between Amazon and Hachette. No question. 
"What if Your Child is Gay?":
Every child, whether gay or straight, is oriented toward sin, and so are you. If your child or grandchild says he or she is gay, you shouldn’t act shocked, as though you are surprised your child might be tempted toward sin . . .

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