Dust off the disused detritus of our decomposing diorama. Wake the sleeping giants with a fire to their feet. It’s time to fly. There are answers in the sky. Do not fasten your seatbelt.

ESL: English as a Shitty Language

  • Daniel Webster: Sir? I seem to have spilled ink on the list of adjectives. I can’t read the one that means “capable of meeting financial obligations.”
  • The English Language: I don’t remember what that one was. Just pick something. How about “solvent”?
  • Webster: You already used that. It a chemistry noun that means “a substance capable of dissolving another substance.”
  • English: Fuck it, use it again.
  • Webster: But it has a completely separate meaning unrelated to finances, and it's a noun...
  • English: Who gives a shit? I'll call it…a homonym. Words that are spelled and pronounced the same but mean completely different things.
  • Webster: But sir, there are plenty of available combinations of sounds and letters...surely you could afford to give each concept its own word?
  • English: Nah. I'm crazy. It's my thing; people like it. Use solvent.
  • Webster: But sir--
  • English: Who's gonna fuck with me on this, Webster? I'm the English fucking language! They're speaking me all over the world! I do what I WANT!
  • Webster: I kind of hate you...
  • English: Well, you're supposed to.

5 Things on a Book’s Cover That Tell Me I Probably Won’t Like the Book


1. The phrase “A [Character’s Name] Novel”

2. Mettalic lettering

3. Cover design that uses photos of real human models with visible eyes

4. The words “Saga” or “Chronicles”

5. Two authors


I’m at a geek culture convention called Fandom Con. Everywhere I look there are superheroes, cartoon characters, and Doctor Whos. It’s basically like walking around inside Tumblr.


Three men in this coffee shop are working quietly on their laptops. One woman is reading a book. Two other women are arguing the merits of Hogwarts’ national defense policies in loud, shrill, very serious tones like they’re on stage at a presidential debate. Their voices are the only sound in this coffee shop.