Sound Sense

In pointing us to a "new sentence" from Annie Proulx, Sam Anderson at The New York Times Magazine writes:

Proulx is particularly good with how her sentences sound. She understands that words are not antiseptic little meaning-cubes to be stacked neatly into sturdy towers of logic. They are wild; they make noise. They force the humans reading them to slurp and click and hoot and pop and tap their tongues. Such sounds, combined carefully, can carry their own meaning.

Give Sam's piece a read, and then perhaps click on over to this 2013 Sentence x Sentence entry about the sounds playing meaningfully in another brief arrangement ... 

An Irresistible Quality in a College Applicant

... The problem is that in a deluge of promising candidates, many remarkable students become indistinguishable from one another, at least on paper. It is incredibly difficult to choose whom to admit. Yet in the chaos of SAT scores, extracurriculars and recommendations, one quality is always irresistible in a candidate: kindness.

Read "Check This Box if You're a Good Person," from The New York Times, written by Rebecca Sabky, a former admissions director at Dartmouth College.

From the Oops! File: Universe Born in Italy!

Some solecisms provide delightful material for the imagination. Consider this opening sentence from a recent article in The New York Times:

In a throwback to another era in cosmic history, astronomers on Monday discussed the birth of the universe in a 15th-century palace, the Palazzo Costabili in Ferrara, Italy, where the amenities do not include Internet access.

After reading this, I couldn't help picturing, with astonishment and fondness, those moments just after the Big Bang, when the baby universe was crying out as it expanded inside that palace in northern Italy... 

But when I next looked at the article online, a few days later, my delight dissipated. A copy editor seemed to have come along and made an effort to put the universe back into its place: 

In a throwback to another era in cosmic history, astronomers on Monday discussed the birth of the universe at a meeting in a 15th-century palace, the Palazzo Costabili in Ferrara, Italy, where the amenities do not include Internet access.