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student:
hey government can I have some money to go to university
uk government:
sure here you go. you'll have to pay it back but only when you're earning £21,000+ a year, and if you don't pay it off after 30 years we'll just write it off, don't worry about it man
scottish government:
nah man just go to uni we ain't gonna charge you
us government:
no. you gotta pay it yourself. upfront. your parents have to save up from the moment you're born. good luck, fucker. you have six months after graduating to start paying loans so you better pray to fucking god and jesus that you have a well-paying job by then or be prepared to be fucked up the ass without lube.

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What words really mean: David Foster Wallace’s dictionary

cleverhelp:

When the American writer David Foster Wallace died four years ago, he left behind the following fragments: notes towards a dictionary all his own. DFW had an amazing mind, and his notes on words are at once insightful and at times, hilarious and beautiful.

Utilize

A noxious puff-word. Since it does nothing that good old use doesn’t do, its extra letters and syllables don’t make a writer seem smarter; rather, using utilize makes you seem either like a pompous twit or like someone so insecure that she’ll use pointlessly big words in an attempt to look sophisticated. The same is true for the noun utilization, for vehicle as used for car, for residence as used for house, for presentlyat present,at this time, and at the present time as used for now, and so on. What’s worth remembering about puff-words is something that good writing teachers spend a lot of time drumming into undergrads: “formal writing” does not mean gratuitously fancy writing; it means clean, clear, maximally considerate writing.

Pulchritude

A paradoxical noun because it refers to a kind of beauty but is itself one of the ugliest words in the language. Same goes for the adj. formpulchritudinous. They’re part of a tiny elite cadre of words that possess the opposite of the qualities they denote. Diminutivebig, foreign, fancy(adj.), classycolloquialism, and monosyllabic are some others; there are at least a dozen more. Inviting your school-age kids to list as many paradoxical words as they can is a neat way to deepen their relationship to English and help them see that words are both symbols for real things and real things themselves.

Mucous

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aposse:

Let me tell you about the sheer brilliance that is Meryl Streep and her creation of Miranda Priestly.

Ask any young woman what her favourite film of Meryl’s would be, and I’m quite certain that The Devil Wears Prada would come up in conversation, favourite or not. And it may seem like a generic answer: oh, a film about fashion, so obviously women would identify with it. No, that’s not it. This film isn’t about fashion. This film, as Meryl says, “is a story about a woman at the head of a corporate ladder who’s misunderstood, who’s motives and pressures on her are intense and who doesn’t have time to play certain nice games.”

And though screentime and first bill casting can indicate that Andrea Sachs is the main character, who are you really left thinking about at the end of the film?

Miranda Priestly — the woman who was written as a fictional equivalent to Anna Wintour from the novelist Lauren Weisberger’s experience as her assistant — in the novel was a raging, two-dimensional boss from Hell written only to antagonize and complicate the lives of her employees with impossible standards and even more impossible demands. She was expected to resemble Vogue’s editor-in-chief (Miranda’s office in the film a near replica of Anna’s), so imagine everyone’s fucking surprise the first day Meryl showed up on set wearing an untested wig white as snow, with a voice that never raised, where the most deadly delivery was a whisper.

But this scene on the right, this scene that hadn’t existed until Meryl went and thought, “wait a minute, there’s an imbalance of character here…” so she brought it to light and this was written. Sparingly, as it was said, yet one of the very few scenes to be altered in the entire film. This is how it went: Meryl showed up to the scene without any make-up. She walked in, didn’t talk to anybody, sat down and did it, got up and left, went downstairs and waited. She did this scene once.

Once. 

Once.

And the thing is, this wasn’t meant for you to suddenly cheer for Miranda; it was to show you that she was human and that her success came with a costly price that hurt her the most. She thawed the Snow Queen, extinguished the flames of the fiery boss from Hell and gave her what she never had on paper: substance.

If completely reinventing a character from a subpar novel by giving her actual character and successfully distinguishing her from the woman she was based on isn’t considered pure talent, then I don’t know what is.

(via katwaterflame)

Filed under why I love Meryl acting yes Meryl Streep The Devil Wears Prada