The Missing Dictionary Entry

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the phrasal verb “to miss out (on)” is an American colloquialism that arose in the early twentieth century. This meaning of “being deprived of an experience or opportunity” is a relatively new meaning for “miss” in our language; a word that actually dates back to Old English. Originally, “miss” meant “to go wrong, to make a mistake,” which has … Continue reading The Missing Dictionary Entry

Empathy in Isolation: Sharing Loneliness with Nick Carraway

In Act IV of Coriolanus, Shakespeare uses a seemingly inconsequential simile about a solitary dragon leaving its swamp. It is in this simile that Shakespeare coined the adverb “lonely.” Similarly, in Act III of Hamlet, Polonius tells Ophelia to sit down and read, so that her “loneliness” would appear natural. It is odd that loneliness—a feeling universally understood today—is a relatively new term, and it … Continue reading Empathy in Isolation: Sharing Loneliness with Nick Carraway