19 October 2012

Friday stuff and items

1) The dictionary definition of 'misogyny'

We Onions love dictionaries. Love them, cherish them, use them daily*, rail against them, defy them and play them off against each other. So it was hugely interesting to watch this week as a dictionary updated itself in the public eye. Prompted, in part, by Prime Minister Gillard's rousing speech in parliament,** the Macquarie dictionary this week announced they were broadening their definition of 'misogyny'

This, in turn, roused some *ahem* interest in certain quarters of the media

To which the editor of the Macquarie responded. Sue Butler's explanation of the process by which the Macquarie definition of 'misogyny' came to be expanded is a completely fascinating glimpse into how dictionaries are made.

We know** editors have a reputation for being pedants, sticklers for 'correct' spelling, grammar and punctuation. But really, in some ways, the reverse is true. To be a good editor you have to embrace the knowledge that language - words and how we use them - is living, breathing and constantly evolving. The question we ask of writers and writing is less often 'Is this correct?', and more often 'Does this work?'

The discussion of 'misogyny' is a good reminder that, counter to what The Australian seems to believe, language doesn't exist in a 'pure' vacuum - it is inescapably political, social and cultural. It's affected by power and privilege, by rebellion and revolt, by high culture and pop culture, by science and technology, and humour, and the internetz, and life. It is invented and reinvented, rejected and reclaimed, forgotten and revived and reinvigorated. What a glorious thing! To the dictionaries!

2) The dictionary definition of AWESOME.

Friends, behold! A cake in the shape of Monsieur Albert Rides to Glory

Peter Smith and Bob Graham launched the book yesterday at Abbey's Bookshop in Sydney with the help of this amazing cake. 

And this equally amazing window display. 

Ride well, Monsieur Albert. Or if you cannot, have a bottle of wine, a baguette, a little rest, and hope for the best!

* Hourly, really.
** Go on. You know you want to watch it again.
*** WE know this because our friends, family and the internet make jokes about this all the time.

18 October 2012

For the winning

All the way back in March, we were very excited about the advances for Storm, Book 1 in the Elementals series by Brigid Kemmerer.

Now winter is safely behind us (we hope) and spring is sprung (mostly), and the super-hot second book in the series, Spark, is already out in the stores. HOORAY!

And look! LOOK! You can win an Elementals book pack. Yes indeedy.

Storm. Spark. For the winning.

For the hotness.

But WAIT. There's more! A BIKE. Yes. That's right. A BIKE!

To celebrate the fabulous picture book, Monsieur Albert Rides to Glory by Peter Smith and Bob Graham - a bike. For the winning.*

For the glory.

* Just in time for National Ride2Work Day 2012. Oops, no. That was yesterday. Our mistake. Maybe next year...

12 October 2012

Friday stuff and items

1) Fictitious Dishes.  'The photographs in this series enter the lives of five fictional characters and depict meals from the novels The Catcher in the Rye, Oliver Twist, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and Moby Dick.' Awesome.

2) Little House on the Prairie as Tea Party manifesto?  A fabulous read - particularly for devotees of Laura Ingalls Wilder.*

3) That Lili Wilkinson's is a busy bee. Quite recently she 'done got married' ** , for the month of October she is the guest blogger over at ibrary, and next week she will be at the Fitzroy Library having lively and entertaining discussions about all things Obernewtyn, Little Fur, Metro Winds  and more, with the ever impressive Isobelle Carmody. Excellent items all round.

4) And in further most-excellent-items news... Maureen McCarthy's fabulous new novel The Convent  is out in the world now - after a big, wonderful, moving launch at the Abbotsford Convent last week. Lookee look at the booktrailer!

* And Pa! We know there are some Pa fanciers among our readers.
** Awwww. Congratulations Lili & Michael!

10 October 2012

The reason we do what we do


Path of Beasts - the final book in Lian Tanner's brilliant, gripping, moving, all-round-awesome-in-every-way Keepers trilogy  - is out this month.

And oh lordy, what an ending.*

*expect tears, and joy, and probably some snot, and sighs of satisfaction, and the desire to dive in and read the whole series again from the very beginning.

05 October 2012

Friday stuff and items

 1) It's spring in Melbourne. We can tell by how it was 30 degrees and windy yesterday, followed by an impressively dramatic temperature drop, which made it rawther chilly overnight.*

via our helpful friends at the School of Earth Sciences 

But the most telling piece of evidence is how everyone is swearing at the plane-tree fluff.

Also, in other Melbourne spring news: don't forget that DAYLIGHT SAVING starts this weekend. HOORAY! BOOOOO! **

This has been a public service announcement.
2) This Twilight: Breaking Dawn part 2 poster - it's just really really funny somehow.

3) It's Friday. What would you like to be doing best? Going on a 'sonic journey' as our colleague  Jarvis Cocker reads a passage from Heart of Darkness accompanied by cellist Philip Sheppard? Thought so.

4) For $395,000 you can buy Ingleside. INGLESIDE! Surely we need a Canadian office, don't we Mothership? We promise to leave at least one Onion  to run the Melbourne office. We were always a bit suss on her anyway.

* Don't pack away these winter doonas just yet, people. You don't want to freeze in the fickle Melbourne spring.
** The onset of Daylight Savings is guaranteed to ever and always divide the night-owls from early-birds.