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Travel Cultures Language

An Idiom Abroad

by Joyce McGreevy on January 3, 2017

The statue of the Duke of Wellington in Glasgow shows that Scotland's fashions go beyond the wordplay of clothing idioms. (Image © Joyce McGreevy)

Trafficking in high fashion, Glasgow style. 
The Duke of Wellington monument at the Gallery of Modern Art.
© Joyce McGreevy

A Wordplay Stitch in Time

Sew, a funny thing happened on the way to a textile exhibition. One morning in Glasgow, I stopped at a café to write. The assignment: draft a column  about the wordplay of clothing idioms.

I’m no smarty pants, but I hoped to leave readers in stitches so I put on my thinking cap, booted up my laptop, and buckled down to work.  As cellphone users aired their dirty linen in public, I felt hampered and wished they would put a sock in it.

Have You a Party Piece?

by Joyce McGreevy on November 14, 2016

Kiaran O'Donnell and Rick Chelew play guitar at a small gathering, carrying on the Irish tradition of the party piece, sharing songs, stories, and poems. (Image © Joyce McGreevy)

Sharing our gifts turns strangers into friends; Kiaran O’Donnell and Rick Chelew had just met.
© Joyce McGreevy

What an Irish Tradition
Can Teach Us Today

It was known as the party piece, a “bit of an auld song” or spoken word. Would we have called it an Irish tradition? Probably not. As students in Galway, sharing songs, stories, and poems was just something we did on Saturday nights.

But the tradition goes back centuries, notes Irish historian P.W. Joyce. Ancient Irish sagas depict hospitality to travelers as a social virtue, and guests reciprocated with music or spoken word. “Like the Homeric Greeks, the Irish were excessively fond of hearing tales and poetry recited  . . . Every intelligent person was expected to know a reasonable number.”

Twode to a Changing Culture

by Meredith Mullins on October 3, 2016

Happy cartoon emoticon thinking, showing the language of social media and cultural change. (Image © Tigatelu/iStock.)

Emoji emotion
© Tigatelu/iStock

The Language of Social Media

Who says a story can’t be told in 140-character tweets? Here’s a tweeted ode (a twode?) to a changing culture . . .

 

GAS. “Greetings and salutations” (or is it “Got a second?”) It could go either way. #AreYouConfused?

The language of social media is a universe of its own—a rapidly changing organism.

It’s a dialect of abbreviations, acronyms, emojis, emoticons, and haiku-like prose.

cat texting, showing the language of social media and changing cultures. (Image © Leo Kostik/iStock.)

Even a cat can text faster than I can.
© Leo Kostik/iStock

I am not a maestro of text or tweet. #FullDisclosure

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