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In Next Month's TVR



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Joseph Epstein

Joseph Epstein
An article in the recent issue of The Women's Quarterly bemoans the absence of the teaching of handwriting in schools, pointing out that this is especially a hardship on young boys. Handwriting apparently comes less easily for boys than it does for girls. "Boys are graphologically challenged," the article reports; and a professor of special education at the University of Maryland named Steve Graham adds that boys being poorer at penmanship than girls "is one of the better established facts in the literature."


Allan Metcalf

Allan Metcalf

What's the best way to ensure the success of a new word? Some say it's this: find a gap in our language and fill it.

It's easy to see why so many people follow this principle. After all, the vocabulary of a language is not just a haphazard heap of words (a great heap, in the case of English), but an organized whole. It's a network, a great web, with one word tied to another. If there were no connections, word associations would be impossible. But there are connections. Say cheese, for example, and a listener will think of mozzarella or mice or photographs; say cheesecake, and the listener will think of dessert and perhaps even pinups. Psychologists use word associations to test our preoccupations and also our intelligence because our knowledge and our thinking depend on the connections we make among words.


Richard Lederer

Richard Lederer

My son Howard and daughter Annie live and move and have their beings in that windowless, clockless pleasure dome known as Las Vegas. I'm pleased to report that they are the only sibling pair ever both to reach the finals of a World Series of Poker event and to have won national tournaments with capacious and impressive names, such as the 1991 Diamond Jim Brady Texas Hold'em Shootout, the Four Queens Poker Classic in High-Limit Omaha, and the Hall of Fame Classic Deuce-to-Seven Lowball Draw No-Limit.



The October issue of The Vocabula Review is due online October 20.


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