This Week in Words – Jul 21

by Treehouse Editors

compiled by Rachel Bondurant

Jumping right in here, an e-publisher in Britain called Clandestine Classics is getting attention for adding “explosive sex scenes” to some of literature’s most beloved classics. The argument is that it may “bring the classics to a new generation of readers,” but at what cost? The founder of the company goes so far as to imply the real motivation for the added passages by saying there’s a market for this, whether you like the idea or not. Well, of course there is. Sex sells, and that’s nothing new. But listen, Clandestine, if you had asked me (or any other lover of Austen, Doyle, or the Bronte sisters) you’d hear what you ought to already know: If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. They’re called classics for a reason.

For our tech-savvy readers, a little bit of Apple news. The people over at TED have released an e-book app for the iPad, allowing users to purchase books a la carte or purchase a three-month subscription for a very reasonable $15 to access all their books. If it’s anything like TED Talks, of which I am a huge fan, then we should be able to expect great things from this app. Also over at Apple, a new magazine app is up and running. Some of the big names in magazine publishing – Condé Nast, Time Inc., and News Corp, etc. – have joined forces as Next Issue Media to present a one-stop reading app for major magazines. Currently, there are only about 40 titles on board (like The New Yorker, People, Sports Illustrated, and TIME), with more expected later this year. $10 a month gets you access to titles with a less-than-weekly publishing frequency, while $15 a month adds the weeklies to your subscription. You can still subscribe a la carte, too. The beauty of the app is that it really is one app, while other current options like Newsstand simply keep your individual subscriptions aggregated.

With the serious stuff out of the way, I have a couple of fun things for you. The first comes from Oxford University Press’s blog. OUP presented an insult rhyming game to its Twitter followers based on the dozens “slanguage.” The rules were that you had to base your insult around a lit figure, and obviously, your tweet had to rhyme. They list their favorites on the blog.

And last but not least, I’d like to remind everyone that we’re never too old for choose-your-own-adventure stories. To prove it, Johannes pointed out to me this fun little Tumblr full of choose-your-own-adventure endings when the adventure you chose ends in tragedy. It is aptly titled: You Chose Wrong.