Linton Weeks appears in the following:
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
To some social observers, petting parties of the 1920s were a natural, post-First World War outgrowth of a repressed society. To others, the out-in-the-open hug-and-kissfests were blinking neon signposts on the Road to Perdition.
"Petting parties varied quite a lot," says Paula S. Fass, professor emerita of history ...
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Do you ever feel like communication — in this Age of Communication — is more confused and confusing than ever? Does anybody even read whole messages anymore — beyond the subject line or the first screen? Do you get tangled up in threads and bewildered by attachments? Do txt msgs ...
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Let's see — what shall we have? So much to choose from in the collection of historical menus at the Los Angeles Public Library.
There are some 9,000 items to consider — creative, colorful, delicious-looking. By just perusing the choices, we get a deep sense of the city's ...
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Vintage baseball players – sort of like Civil War re-enactors who wield wooden bats instead of muskets — move among us. They glory in the past times of America's pastime.
Think: When Johnny comes sliding home.
Dressed in old uniforms, teams play each other using 19th century rules. Sometimes they ...
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Has American English become homogenized? Have our regional ways of saying particular things — sometimes in very particular ways — receded into the past? Or do we talk as funny as ever?
When I was researching an NPR History Dept. piece on lost American slang words recently, slanguist ...
Wednesday, May 06, 2015
The 1950s was a hinge decade for noteworthy and nation-changing civil rights events across the United States, including Brown v. Board of Education in Kansas, the bus boycott in Alabama and the National Guard-protected integration of Central High School in Arkansas.
Meanwhile, there was also a revolution brewing in bookstores ...
Tuesday, May 05, 2015
In New York City, supporters of public libraries say that respect for — and repair of — the libraries is long, well, overdue.
A new campaign, Invest in Libraries, puts forth that in the past 10 years, the city government has reduced funding for public libraries by nearly ...
Thursday, April 30, 2015
Maybe there really was a time when America was more innocent.
Back when May Basket Day was a thing, perhaps.
The curious custom — still practiced in discrete pockets of the country — went something like this: As the month of April rolled to an end, people would begin gathering ...
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
To the unsuspecting observer, the 25-minute silent, grainy black and white video from the vaults of the U.S. National Archives seems to showcase a quaint, carefree summer camp for boys in 1937.
Healthy, happy, high-energy guys — against the bucolic backdrop of the Catskill Mountains in eastern New ...
Thursday, April 23, 2015
In American English, some slang words come and go. And some stay and stay.
Or as Walt Whitman poetically observed in his 1885 defense of American slang, complete with creative spelling: "Slang ... is the wholesome fermentation or eructation of those processes eternally active in language, by which froth ...
Monday, April 20, 2015
In the American West, water is so alarmingly scarce these days that California has imposed restrictions and, as the Sacramento Bee reports, landscapers are planting desert plants and rock gardens.
The drought, Gov. Jerry Brown told USA Today recently, is "unprecedented in recorded history."
The dryness may be ...
Friday, April 17, 2015
The language of addiction is always evolving. Maybe we need an addictionary.
For example, when the word "alcohol" was written or spoken in early 19th-century America. it was often used in the chemical and medical sense. This is from an article about drawing out the essence of stramonium, or jimson ...
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Friday, April 10, 2015
Tens of thousands of Americans — in the first half of the 20th century — were stricken by poliomyelitis. Polio, as it's known, is a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.
The hallmarks of the Polio Era were children on ...
Tuesday, April 07, 2015
As the weather warms more and more and people wear less and less, it's sometimes hard for Americans to remember that there are cultures in other parts of the world that enforce severe dress codes.
Or that certain communities in our own nation's past also imposed strict clothing prohibitions. Not ...
Thursday, April 02, 2015
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
In the annals of journalism, there is a long tradition of newsfolks — reporters, writers, broadcasters — pulling April Fools' Day tricks on readers and listeners. Sometimes the prank prevails; sometimes it fails.
For instance, the Long Beach Independent reported in 1961 that the newly minted Los Angeles ...
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
"All slang words are detestable from the lips of ladies," Eliza Leslie said in 1867. She was the author of the Behavior Book, a 19th century etiquette manual published in Philadelphia.
How times have changed. Men and women in contemporary America sling slang around like hash — or like weed. ...