On Hilary Mantel, Newsweek Global, National Dictionary Day and Bad Words

October 13 to October 19, 2012

Two big announcements lead this week’s roundup. First, Hilary Mantel was named this year’s Man Booker Prize winner for Bring Up the Bodies, sequel to 2009’s Wolf Hall, which gave her her first Booker Prize. Second, Newsweek confirmed plans to go all-digital by 2013. Also in the lineup: tweets celebrating Mr. Webster’s birthday, a U.K. secretary’s 10-point grammar guide for his department staff, and bad habits that may hurt your grammar.

The first issue of News-Week (now Newsweek) dated February 17, 1933. Photo credit: News-Week magazine, Newsweek, Inc. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Man Booker Prize 2012

Hilary Mantel wins 2012 Man Booker Prize

Novelist, short story writer and critic Hilary Mantel bagged the 2012 Man Booker Prize, making her the first woman and the first British to win twice and the first to win for two works in the same series, revolving mainly around the rise and fall of Henry VIII’s chief minister Thomas Cromwell. She first won the prize for Wolf Hall in 2009. Luck seemed to have smiled on Hilary Mantel as she confessed, “You wait 20 years for a Booker Prize; two come along at once.” If you want to know more about this year’s Booker Prize-winning Bring Up the Bodies, The Telegraph offers a video of Mantel introducing the novel, which “takes up from where Wolf Hall left off and goes to May 1536—to the destruction of Anne Boleyn.” The book drew critical acclaim for Mantel’s “ability to make a historically unsavory character come alive and seem wholly human.” Mantel is working on the third installment of the planned trilogy titled The Mirror and the Light.

Booker shortlist 2012: why language will prove victorious, whoever wins

Bring Up the Bodies bested a longlist of 145 works which was narrowed to a shortlist of six. Man Booker chairman Peter Stothard said that this year’s roster of nominees is dominated by the “pure power of prose – the shock of language,” contrary to last year’s fixation in a novel’s “readability.” Robert McCrum, novelist and associate editor of the Observer, reviews this year’s shortlist.

Newsweek Goes Digital-Only

A turn of the page for Newsweek

It takes years, sometimes decades, to build a name in the publishing industry. Newsweek, one of the “most iconic and celebrated” newsmagazines in the world, will publish its last print issue on December 31, 2012. Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of the Newsweek and The Daily Beast, and Baba Shetty, CEO of The Newsweek Daily Beast Co., announced that the newsmagazine will switch into an all-digital format, called Newsweek Global, in 2013.

Newsweek to reduce staff, eliminate print edition as it goes digital only in 2013

Newsweek’s announcement to go all-digital after nearly 80 years in print “was not unexpected” given challenges faced by the magazine industry and comments from by Barry Diller, chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp, in an earnings call in July, saying “[the] brand is good” but the cost of producing the weekly magazine was a problem that needed to be addressed. Some saw the move to be “progressive” as more readers are shifting to getting news from their mobile phones, tablets and desktops. Unfortunately, as part of the move to all-digital, layoffs are to be expected as the organization streamlines its editorial and business operations.

#DictionaryDay

National Dictionary Day: Look it up!

October 16 is National Dictionary Day in the U.S., honoring the birthday of lexicographer Noah Webster. Don’t know what a “lexicographer” is? Well, look it up!

Language and Politics

Tory minister issues snotty grammar rules for mandarins

Owen Paterson, U.K.’s new Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs secretary, issued a 10-point guide compelling his staff to observe proper grammar and punctuation, avoid jargon and prefer short sentences. However, critics said Paterson should focus on “more pressing issues” instead of “obsessing over every dot and comma.”

Presidential figures of speech

The Economist looked at the use of language in the first round of America’s presidential debates and counted and categorized metaphors and expressions. Guess which metaphor and expression were most used by Obama and Romney.

Bad Words?

Txting is bad grmmr, techrs say

W/ d hyp of mbl fones among d yth of 2day, grmmr s slwly bcuming more of a thing of d past, n yngsters r gradually adpting txt-spk 2 der daily lives.

I, like, don’t like ‘like’

Are you, like, one of the Valley Girls and rappers who, like, “like” so totally? Here’s an argument against the teeny boppers’ irritatingly excessive use of the word that’s spreading like wildfire, you know.

Grammar Gremlins: Expletives are not always bad words

“In the minds of many, ‘expletive’ is understood to describe a curse word, but in grammar it differs.” Don K. Ferguson sets out to banish the notion about the sinister nature of expletives, saying that, according to entries in older dictionaries, the word stands for another word and that the obscenity is listed at the last.


We at Project Chiron aim to encourage the use of social media for knowledge exchange and skills development. We’re not necessarily about current events; we are about relevance, credibility and innovation. With millions of content spread and shared through social media networks every day, we want to help you see what’s important so you won’t have to sweep through all your news feeds and tweets. Our weekly roundups are curated by Dan Dupale and Mina Jesuitas and edited by Kim Palanca and Paulo Formantes.

Comments, corrections, questions and suggestions are welcome.

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