The Rise, Fall, & Rise of the Comma: History, Religion, and Language

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The comma is known as a piece of punctuation that helps break up sentences by inserting short pauses. Commas can also add more clarity to sentences by separating adjectives and parts of sentences. Many of us are quite grateful for the comma, but have you ever thought about the origins of it? Who started it? What language did English steal it from?  According to some, that answer would be Greek. Once upon a time, before the…

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Books that Shape Us: One Student Reflects on Four Years

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This week, Humanities House Resident-Scholar Mady McColm gets us to think about reading in college.  What have you read recently that has affected your experience of being human in the world? Check out Mady’s list below! “Works that I read in undergrad that profoundly affected me” Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer The Reader by Bernhard Schlink The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros Two or Three Things I Know for Sure…

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A History of Thanksgiving Food

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Last week many Americans partook in Thanksgiving eating food like turkey, stuffing, corn, mashed potatoes, green beans, bread, pumpkin pie, and maybe cranberry sauce. The first Thanksgiving, in 1621, took place to celebrate the Plymouth pilgrims’ first successful autumn harvest. It wasn’t made into a national holiday until 1800s, thanks to President Lincoln and the author of Mary had a Little Lamb Sara Josepha Hale. That’s almost two hundred years later! There’s no official menu,…

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Good Luck, Bad Luck: The Complex History of the Black Cat

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During the Halloween season, black cats can be seen as spooky Halloween costumes and scary decorations. Black cats are most commonly associated with witches, as we see in television shows and movies like Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Hocus Pocus. There is also the well-known superstition that it is bad luck for a black cat to cross your path. Yet considering a black cat is just a cat, how did black cats become associated with…

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