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Last updated 4/25/2018 at Noon



I read an article last week in which the writer used the word “alas,” which I realized is sort of a canary in my personal mineshaft. I tend to roll my eyes and make assumptions when I see someone “alas”-ing me.

Because it's archaic and old-fashioned, a relic of Middle English, seized upon by Shakespeare, perfectly acceptable in Victorian usage, and then out the window, onto the heap where we put our ice boxes and those cranks that used to start cars. It was not a 20th-century word, according to me, and hasn't redeemed itself.

It's just a word. It has...



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