Kara Mitchell (Colorado): English Is Not All That Matters in the Education of Secondary Multilingual Learners and Their Teachers. How we talk American: Simon Winchester on the making of the five-thousand-page, five-volume book, known formally as the Dictionary of American Regional English and colloquially just as DARE. A review of The Language Wars: A History of Proper English by Henry Hitchings (and more; and Hitchings debunks common myths about English, recommends the smartest writing about words, and says apostrophes are “orthographic squiggles” not worth fighting for). A look at how the hashtag is ruining the English language. Anatoly Liberman on the oddest English spellings, part 20. A look at 7 ridiculous origins of everyday words. A look at how English literature has come to dominate the world. Oh, to be bilingual in the Anglosphere: The dominance of English as the global language is a mixed blessing, as native speakers often lose the brain benefits of a second language. English has been the dominant global language for a century, but is it the language of the future? Nicholas Ostler on his book The Last Lingua Franca: English Until the Return of Babel.
A new issue of the Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research is out. Uh-oh: Archaeologists working at the site of La Corona in Guatemala have discovered a 1,300-year-old-year Maya text that provides only the second known reference to the so-called "end date" of the Maya calendar, December 21, 2012. The other foreign-policy woman: U.N. ambassador Susan Rice plays hardball as hard as Hillary — can she succeed her? Today, we can see the tragedy of the commons transpiring in the Eurosystem, where the ECB and the 17 national central banks share a common pool of money demand. Paul Krugman and Richard Layard on a manifesto for economic sense. What's so sexy about nice? Rachel Dratch on her problem with nice guys. Katherine Eban on the truth about the Fast and Furious scandal: The ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels — how the world came to believe just the opposite is a tale of rivalry, murder, and political bloodlust. Richard Falk on how, in a globalized world, human identity should serve as the moral trump card in relation to conflict situations.
Lewis A. Grossman (American): The Origins of American Health Libertarianism. Obama and health care: Jeff Madrick reviews Remedy and Reaction: The Peculiar American Struggle Over Health Care Reform by Paul Starr, Inside National Health Reform by John E. McDonough, and Fighting for Our Health: The Epic Battle to Make Health Care a Right in the United States by Richard Kirsch. The 2012 elections are now primarily a fight over whether health insurance is a right or a privilege, which is to say, a fight for decency. There are some who argue that this year's presidential election isn't especially important, but it's important that Americans understand that there are now four justices on the Supreme Court who effectively want to overturn the 20th century (and more by Harold Pollack on the damage done). Ezra Klein on the political genius of John Roberts, who is playing the long game. A review of All Judges Are Political — Except When They are Not: Acceptable Hypocrisies and the Rule of Law by Keith J. Bybee. Health scare: Dahlia Lithwick on how, going forward, the question may well be whether the real beauty of originalism lies in restraining out-of-control jurists — or in how handily it destroys liberals.