Cultural History
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Cultural History
The roots of culture; history and pre-history.
Curated by Deanna Dahlsad
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History through the president’s words

History through the president’s words | Cultural History |
Since 1900, there have been 116 State of the Union addresses, given by 20 presidents, with some presidents giving two addresses a year. Studying their choice of words, over time, provides glimpses of change in American politics—“communism” fades, “terrorism” increases—and evidence that some things never change (“America” comes up steadily, of course. As does “I.”). Wayne Fields, a professor of English and American Culture Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, and Mark Liberman, a linguist at the University of Pennsylvania, offered their analysis of the meaning behind the words the presidents used.

Via Mr. David Burton
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What Does 'Sold Down The River' Really Mean? The Answer Isn't Pretty.

What Does 'Sold Down The River' Really Mean? The Answer Isn't Pretty. | Cultural History |
The phrase 'sold down the river' means you've been betrayed. It used to mean something far worse.

"River" was a literal reference to the Mississippi or Ohio rivers. For much of the first half of the nineteenth century, Louisville, Ky., was one of the largest slave trading marketplaces in the country. Slaves would be taken to Louisville to be "sold down the river" and transported to the cotton plantations in states further south.

In his 2010 history of the Mississippi River, journalist Lee Sandlin said that "the threat of being 'sold down the river' was seen as tantamount to a death sentence."

Via Seth Dixon
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Vintage Slang Terms For Being Drunk Are Hilarious A Century Later

Vintage Slang Terms For Being Drunk Are Hilarious A Century Later | Cultural History |
Do you think that people didn't get wasted back in ye olden tymes?
Gracie Passette's curator insight, November 14, 2013 1:48 AM

Cuz drinking is the emotional lubricant ;)

Catharine Bramkamp's curator insight, November 18, 2013 8:25 PM

This article reminded me of the Newbie Writers Podcast episode, the Slang Smack Down.  We have so many slang words that go in and out of fashion and are sometimes specific to a certain group.  Here are a couple:

He has been measuring sidewalks upside down.


He is holding up his head so as not to lose any.


He has a champagne appetite and beer income drunk.


He has a cold tea drunk.


He has a pink tea drunk.During the holidays, don't get so drunk you think the next liquid is only pink tea!
Curated by Deanna Dahlsad
An opinionated woman obsessed with objects, entertained by ephemera, intrigued by researching, fascinated by culture & addicted to writing. The wind says my name; doesn't put an @ in front of it, so maybe you don't notice.
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