Archive | Famous People

Xerxes Was Nuts

I’m reading A History of Histories (review and review). The basic idea, I gather, is that when someone writes a history, that piece of writing is itself a part of history. That piece of writing gives us an indication of what people at the time of the writing felt about history and how they fit […]

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Mark Twain Doesn't Hold Back

A beautifully seething letter from Mark Twain to a patent medicine salesman. It’s just the kind of thing I’d want to say to the parasites today who try to make money off the ignorant, weak, and desperate. In this case, the salesman was dealing with someone who knew better, and who’d lost two children to […]

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Not Necessarily

It’s not a big deal, but some people have a habit of throwing the word “necessarily” into odd places in a sentence. “We wouldn’t necessarily want to be disemboweled by a grizzly bear, so we’re bringing bear repellant.” “Necessarily” there doesn’t really mean anything that a dictionary could help you understand. But listeners usually just […]

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