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katlittrell's blog

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The Role of Fiction in Science (A Discussion)

For this project I worked with rachelr, ckosarek and ewashburn on a collaborative tumblr/facebook page wherein we explored the role of fiction in science.

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On This Unworthy Scaffold, Make Imaginary Puissance

But pardon, and gentles all,
The flat unraised spirits that have dared
On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
So great an object: can this cockpit hold
The vasty fields of France?...
Suppose within the girdle of these walls
Are now confined two mighty monarchies,
Whose high upreared and abutting fronts
The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder:
Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts;
Into a thousand parts divide on man,
And make imaginary puissance;
Think when we talk of horses, that you see them
Printing their proud hoofs i' the receiving earth;
For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
Carry them here and there
    - Henry V, Prologue.

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Slang: It's Heaps Hectic

In my last paper for this class, I focused on the importance of defining language in certain academic contexts. In the general course of my life, however, I find myself more celebrating the ambiguity and mutability of language, particularly that “peculiar kind of vagabond language, always hanging on the outskirts of legitimate speech, but continually straying or forcing its way into the most respectable company”1 -- slang. When I began thinking about this paper, I was sitting in the Lusty Cup, an on-campus café, and picked up a book that was serendipitously lying around.

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Semantics of Foundation

Words continually evolve, their connotations and definitions shift and are forgotten and replaced as the generations pass. The mutability of language causes people to connote certain words differently. This semester, I am taking an course cross-listed in both English and Biology called “The Story of Evolution and the Evolution of Stories”. This comment from one of my classmates prompted my essay:

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