Tag Archives: Slate

Robust Redux

In an earlier post on TFP about banning the word “robust” from a conference called Internet Librarian, I had imagined the excessive use of the word was a local phenomenon.  It turns out that “robust” constitutes a kind of long-term cultural blip.  Bruce Reed in Slate, for example, provides links to a number of sources where “robust” has become robust, though his focus is “robust” as a buzzword in health care reform.  However, even five years ago, another author grumbled about the overuse of “robust” by researchers in hematology.  This blip in the usage of a particular word deserves study by someone who might be able to provide an explanation, someone like a David Crystal.

Maybe one explanation is that “robust” is blowin’ up:

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Mark Doty over at Slate

This is not breaking news, but since I did not know it until this week, it was news for me.  Mark Doty has been participating in a lively discussion about poetry over at Slate.  That is cheering.

What causes chagrin on this topic is that Texas is losing Mr. Doty.  If you follow his blog (see the links section of this site), Mr. Doty charts his move eastward and northward.  For those of you who are his new neighbors, we Texans expect you to treat Mr. Doty well.