Words Can Hurt Us. Especially the Bad Ones.

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Sometimes when people ask what I do for a living, I tell them I count profanities in movies. That’s not entirely true, of course, but it is an important part of my job. But why is it important? In a culture that grows ever coarser and, linguistically, less creative, it’s a fair question. And today, […]

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Why “This is Us” is Sweeping the Nation

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Over the last two seasons, NBC’s This is Us has become must-see TV for many a viewer, many of whom watch the show with a box of tissues handy. While the show has its content problems—and really, how many popular TV programs don’t?—it also showcases compelling, deeply emotional narratives that, for many, hit close to […]

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What Lady Gaga Got Right—and Wrong—at the Oscars

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Lady Gaga is one of Hollywood’s most enigmatic entertainers. One minute she’s wowing us with a heartfelt salute to legend Julie Andrews, the next she’s shocking us by wearing a meat dress or, in American Horror Story, wearing hardly anything at all. Her latest splash in the Hollywood spotlight came at last week’s Oscars, where […]

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