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A PEARL IN THE SKY: A full moon rises over the Bear River Mountains. / Photo by Ted Pease

Today's word on journalism

September 18, 2008

Partisan politics:

"Say 'conservative' and they wag their tails. Say 'liberal' and they bare their fangs. More to the point, say either and all thinking ceases. . . . [P]eople hear this doublespeak and cheer. Why not? They have been taught that words mean what you need them to in a given moment. Turns out, all it requires is a limitless supply of gall and the inherent belief that people are dumber than a bag of hammers."

--Leonard Pitts Jr., Pulitzer-winning columnist. The Miami Herald, 2008 (Thanks to alert WORDster Jerry Vonderbrink)

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Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Folkorist Keiko Wells kicks off English department speakers series

August 28, 2008 | LOGAN Utah State University's Department of English Speaker Series kicks off the year Wednesday with Keiko Wells and her presentation "What I See in America through the Study of Black Spirituals." The free event begins at 12:30 p.m. at the USU Haight Alumni Center. Refreshments will be served, and all are invited.

Wells is a visiting scholar from Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan. Her wide-ranging research interests include American folk music lyrics, hip-hop, Japanese-American religious traditions, African-American culture, culture in the American West and variants of the "Little Red Riding Hood" folktale. Currently, she is translating Sabine Baring-Gould's "The Book of Werewolves" into Japanese.

The USU Department of English Speakers Series was established to promote the value of arts and humanities in American public life. The series features faculty writing and research accomplishments, as well as noted visiting authors and scholars sharing their work.

Next up is the Creative Writing Sampler featuring original works by USU English faculty Shanan Ballam, Star Coulbrooke, Brock Dethier and Anne Shifrer. The event will take place at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 10, at the USU Haight Alumni Center. For more information, call (435) 797-3858 or email



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