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Oupblog | Oxford University Press’s Academic Ins Blog
The talented authors, staff, and friends of Oxford University Press provide daily commentary on a variety of subjects on its official blog since 2005
2023-09-26 09:30
Animal pharm is closing its doors Until the middle of the twentieth century, human beings had no defense against deadly microbial diseases. Bubonic plague, cholera, tuberculosis, and syphil… Read More
2023-09-20 14:59
Virtues and vices in a non-ideal world Humans are prone to bias, irrationality, and various forms of prejudice. From an evolutionary perspective, this is no accident. Biases can be viewed a… Read More
2023-09-20 09:30
In praise of sloth Exotic words like bamboozle and wayzgoose are the bread of popular books on etymology, but as regards origins, the toughest words are usually not so conspicuous and not s… Read More
2023-09-17 09:30
Advancing open access in the UK Oxford University Press and Jisc, the education and research not-for-profit, have held a successful and productive Read & Publish (R&P) agreement sin… Read More
2023-09-15 13:53
How to succeed as a newly qualified doctor Becoming a doctor requires years of study and clinical placements, so what happens when a newly qualified doctor finally starts their first job? H… Read More
2023-09-14 09:30
Translating Proust again There is no ideal, ultimate translation of a given original. Classic texts in particular, from Homer onwards, are susceptible of multiple readings and retranslation… Read More
2023-09-12 09:30
Antonina: a sixth-century military wife In our modern world, the spouses of major political figures may sometimes themselves spend quite a bit of time in the limelight, and be significant a… Read More
2023-09-11 09:30
Making psychology a reflexive human science As the thousand flowers of psychological research bloom in the fields of popular understanding, we ought to reflect upon the nature of the explan… Read More
2023-09-06 09:30
An etymological stinkpo(s)t Most of what I am going to say in this blog post can be found elsewhere, that is, in any good dictionary and partly online, but the conclusion will be, or so I h… Read More
2023-09-03 09:30
Is it a noun or an adjective? The distinction between nouns and adjectives seems like it should be straightforward, but it’s not. Grammar is not as simple as your grade-school teacher… Read More
2023-09-02 09:30
Pandemic? What pandemic? Three months after the official US government “end” of three years of monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic that took over 1.1 million American lives, we are… Read More
2023-08-30 09:30
peeve" rel="nofollow">Language peeves and the word peeve I assume that since for quite some time there have been no new comments, the discussion about good and bad English in the pages o… Read More
2023-08-16 09:30
glance" rel="nofollow">A few things at a glance The comments on the most recent post (9 August 2023) have been many and interesting. I’ll return to them later, but in the meantime… Read More
2023-08-14 09:30
International law in quest for justice One of the stated purposes of the United Nations, according to the UN Charter, is to settle international disputes or adjust situations that threaten… Read More
2023-08-12 09:30
The rise of dairy consumption [infographic] Domestication of livestock in different regions of the world occurred as a gradual process starting 9,000 to 10,000 years ago. As trade routes we… Read More
2023-08-06 09:30
In praise of phrases Writers need to love words—the good, the bad, and the irregular. And they need to respect syntax, the patterns that give words their form. But when writers unders… Read More
2023-08-01 09:30
The Buddha’s never-ending story Those of us who teach in the field of Religious Studies invariably find ourselves introducing students to the Buddha’s life story. It is a predic… Read More
2023-07-21 09:30
How to write a journal article Academics normally learn how to write while on the job, suggests Michael Hochberg. This usually starts with “the dissertation and interactions… Read More
2023-07-13 09:30
The joy of playing duets At a recent string teachers’ conference, coffee break in full swing, a delegate got out his violin and began to play a lively tune. Within minutes he was join… Read More
2023-07-12 09:30
Etymology gleanings for June 2023 Not that there is a lot to glean, but perhaps it is worthwhile to answer a few questions now, rather than waiting for another harvest. As usual, I’ll… Read More
2023-06-28 09:30
Plain as day? Etymologists interacting with the public on a day-to-day basis usually receive questions about words like copacetic and shenanigans, but so many nouns, verbs, adjectives, adve… Read More
2023-06-27 12:30
The great gun conundrum [podcast] With estimates of nearly 400 million privately-owned firearms in the United States and more than 40,000 deaths due to gun violence each year, guns and gun… Read More
2023-06-21 09:30
bud and buddy" rel="nofollow">Confronting bud and buddy In the previous installment (14 June 2023), I mentioned several attempts to explain the origin of bud(dy). See also the comment at… Read More
2023-06-14 09:30
bud(dy)" rel="nofollow">The company we keep, part two: bud(dy) I am picking up where I left off two weeks ago. Since there have been no comments or letters connected with part one, I wil… Read More
2023-06-05 09:30
Finding purpose for the corporate office Over two decades ago, a new type of fictional TV series debuted on the BBC that established a foothold between reality TV and sit-com. The Office br… Read More
2023-06-04 09:30
What’s coming down the pike? During the news coverage of the COVID pandemic, I enjoyed seeing Dr Anthony Fauci on television and hearing his old-school Brooklyn accent, still shining… Read More
2023-05-31 09:30
The company we keep Observing how various words for “friend” originate and develop is a rather curious enterprise. Some etymologies are trivial, that is, they have been known fo… Read More
2023-05-22 09:30
Black Methodists, white church The Black Church has served a variety of functions in Black communities. The church offers a separate space where Blacks have asserted a distinct and affirmin… Read More
2023-05-18 09:30
Bringing museum collections to life “Would you have a dried specimen of a world, or a pickled one?” On 24 September 1843, the writer and naturalist Henry David Thoreau reco… Read More
2023-05-10 09:30
Etymology gleanings for April 2023 Since my previous attempt to glean on a half-frozen field, I have received quite a few letters and suggestions. All of them deserve a response. But first… Read More
2023-05-07 08:30
What does a technical writer do? When people think about careers in writing, they may focus on writing novels or films, imagining themselves as the next Stephen King or Sofia Coppola. They… Read More
2023-05-03 09:30
A riddling tale This is not a mystery tale, but a few twists in the history of the word riddle are worthy of note. Riddles, it should be noted, played and play an outstanding role in world… Read More
2023-04-27 09:30
Eight fun facts about Bibles at OUP Bibles have had a long history at our Press; in fact, Oxford’s Bible business made OUP a cornerstone of the British book trade, and, ultimately, th… Read More
2023-04-26 09:30
Hooker, as promised" rel="nofollow">Hooker, as promised The promise, referred to in the title, was made last week (19 April 2023) in connection with the etymology of the verb filch. I al… Read More

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